Weekly Quick Shots column on sports.
A wasted Bulls season just turned into a dream offseason. A month ago, Joe Johnson looked like the best free agent the Bulls could sign. Then the top three free agents suffered major playoff disappointments. Chris Bosh didn’t even make it, Dwyane Wade went out in the first round and LeBron James in the second. Chicago suddenly is the best option for either Bosh or James, and maybe Wade.
Most critics assumed LeBron would stay in Cleveland after the Cavs won a league-high 61 regular-season games. But the Cavs have never won a single NBA Finals game in LeBron’s seven seasons, getting swept against the Spurs four years ago. And they are now getting worse, not better, in the playoffs. If LeBron James wants to win a title, he needs to leave Cleveland. And the best place to get that title, as well as even more fame and endorsement millions, is Chicago.
Thanks for dream field
Sorry to hear Don and Becky Lansing are selling the “Field of Dreams” near Dyersville, Iowa. Rather than mourn the passing, I’ll say thanks for preserving this little piece of baseball heaven for 21 years. I pitched, hit, played catch and ran the bases there with two other sportswriters 18 years ago. Keeping the field intact for 65,000 people to visit — free — every year was a truly cool public service.
NFL gets steroid free pass
The media lost credibility in complaining about baseball’s steroid hypocrites. The Associated Press called for a revote for Defensive Rookie of the Year after the NFL suspended the winner, Houston linebacker Brian Cushing, for using steroids. The 50 national NFL writers and broadcasters then voted Cushing the winner again.
No wonder Dusty Baker called it a steroid “witch hunt” when he managed the Cubs. Baseball is the only major sport that gets slapped with a scarlet letter. Did anyone even remember that Julius Peppers, the $91.5 million new Chicago Bear, tested positive for steroids when he won the same award in 2002? Worse yet, Shawne Merriman finished third in the 2006 voting for Defensive Player of the Year despite missing four games for using steroids.
Blackhawks pass the test
Now that they’ve moved on, Quick Shots says the Blackhawks losing Game 5 at home to the Canucks helped Chicago. The Blackhawks have some experience, but not much; they reached the conference finals last year as the NHL’s youngest team. Winning a Game 6 on the road, as the Blackhawks did in Vancouver, and advancing after losing their opener at home, as the Blackhawks did in the last two series, are tests champions must sooner or later face. And now the Blackhawks have.
Big Ten should stay at 11
Officials deny it, but the Big Ten reportedly extended invitations to Rutgers, Missouri, Nebraska and Notre Dame. Why? Notre Dame doesn’t want the Big Ten, and the others add little to a league that gets twice as much football TV money per team as the Big 12 and triple that of the Big East. The only reason for expansion is to get more TV sets for the Big Ten Network.
Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on Sports appear Sundays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.