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Ofman: Dis and Dat, Dem and Dose

By George Ofman

Three cheers for our town. Make that four. The Sporting News's annual list of the best sports cities in America ranks Chicago/Evanston as fourth. Yes, Evanston. Northwestern counts.

Pittsburgh is first, what with the Steelers and Penguins winning titles and Pitts' success in the NCAA tournament. But the fact the Pirates were under .500 for the 17th-straight season should have penalized the Steel City.

  • Over/Under: Pass the crack pipe
  • The College Football Report: Free Blount

  • Philadelphia was second because the Phillies won the Series but come on, Philly's fans are so brutal the city should never be in the top five. Boston was third. This is hard to argue, thanks to very strong showings by the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.

    We had no trophy winners in 2008. But I guess the Cubs, Sox, Hawks and Bulls making the playoffs and the Bears just missing qualify for fourth. Just imagine where we'll finish next year. Factor in the Sox and Cubs flops plus the Olympic fiasco and that should drop us out of the top ten.

    In case you're interested, Winooski, Vermont, finished 396th.


    Speaking of the Olympics, What's more important to you; a billion-dollar boondoggle or kids getting killed in our streets? If this requires an answer, make your reservations for Rio now.


    Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved Tom Ricketts the new owner of the Cubs in a conference call. What's wrong with using Twitter?


    Once Ricketts officially obtains the team, his first act should be to fumigate Milton Bradley. Then he can either have him traded, pay him off or send him to Winooski, Vermont.


    Johnny Knox gallops 102 yards with a kickoff return. Danieal Manning is pretty good at punt returns and so is Earl Bennett. And we all know the exploits of Devin Hester. Does this mean special teams coach Dave Toub gets a raise?


    The Bears have a bye this weekend, meaning the marathon takes over the city. Runners beware of myriad potholes and suspicious looking folks posing as aldermen.


    The Bulls are getting ready for a season without its leading scorer. Ben Gordon bolted for Detroit (which finished 10th on the Sporting News list), leaving someone to fill the 20 points per game he averaged.

    Enter Luol Deng, the $71 million enigma. This guy is loaded with talent but perhaps as soft as toilet paper.

    No question Derrick Rose is the team's most valuable player but Deng may be its most important this season. He averaged 19 points and 7 rebounds three years ago, then fell to 17 and 6 and last season, 14 and 6.

    Do I dare say the Bulls go as far as Deng takes them?


    Sun Times employees cough it up again excepting serious financial cuts in order to have the paper survive. That's the bad news. The good news: Guys like Mully, Hanley, Ziehm, Elliot, Telander and many others continue to keep us informed and entertained.


    I like Chip Caray. He's one of nicest and classiest guys I've ever met. But is it possible for him to tone down his play-by0play from all-out screaming to maybe intense exuberance?


    Just curious here, but did the cab driver whom Patrick Kane allegedly roughed up get a limousine license yet?


    Michael Jordan was caught smoking a cigar on a San Francisco golf course during a practice round for the President's Cup. Problem is, smoking is banned on the city's public courses. Jordan is an honorary assistant for the upcoming event and the somewhat tainted Chicago icon and bitter Hall of Famer said, "I'm not even supposed to be smoking, but this was a practice round and no one said anything."

    Apparently chutzpah has no boundaries.

    A city spokesman says not to expect him to ask Jordan to pay a $100 fine. I say send this guy to Winooski, Vermont.


    Methuselah is still lacing up his skates. The ageless Chris Chelios reportedly will begin skating with the Wolves next week with hopes his body says yes. If it does, so will the Wolves, who will instantly see attendance rise with this native son's return. Chelios wants to play until he's 50. He'll turn 48 in January. One of these days someone will tell Chelly to grow up. But please, not yet.


    George Ofman, an original member of The Score and a veteran of NPR, has covered more than 3,500 sporting events over the course of his career. Comments welcome.

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