Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Please let this happen...

The Sun-Times is reporting Bears coach Lovie Smith visited former Arkansas running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones Monday ahead of the NFL draft April 26 and 27. This could mean the end of Cedric Benson's short run as the Bears' main guy, which obviously never really worked out (too many injuries, too little effectiveness).

Whether the Bears could nab McFadden remains to be seen. Da Bears pick at number 14 in the draft, and McFadden is projected to go somewhere around picks 4 to 6 (currently owned by the Raiders, Chiefs and Jets). Plus, the Bears' main need still remains on the offensive line, which went from bad to worse during the course of last season.

Still, if the Arkansas phenom did find his way, we could envision a nice rivalry of running backs with the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, who tore up the league last year with 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns (including a three-touchdown day at Soldier Field on Oct. 14) in route to the Rookie of the Year award.

Plus, he would be the most fun and um... interesting athlete since a certain Mr. Dennis Rodman.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Da notebook - March 24, 2008

-- The business section in Sunday's Chicago Tribune has an interesting look at new Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, who took over the team when his father, Bill Wirtz, died in October. In the last five months, he had revitalized the team, hiring president John McDonough away from the Cubs and beginning to restoke interest in hockey in a place where many thought it was dead.

-- The team also is near a deal to televise all 82 of its games next season, reports the Tribune's Teddy Greenstein. WGN and WPWR-50 are two possible stations to pick up the 30-odd games not currently covered by Comcast SportsNet and Versus

-- It was a good day as the Hawks beat St. Louis 5-4 on an overtime goal by Patrick Kane. The win puts Chicago within four points of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff with only six games to play

-- In Mesa, Ariz., it looks like Kerry Wood has won the Cubs' closer job. At least until he gets hurt again.

-- At the same time, manager Lou Pinella is scheduled to announce on Monday whether Jason Marquis won a job in the starting rotation over former Ryan Dempster or new/old pickup Jon Lieber.

-- An injury to lefthander Scott Eyre and some suddenly free agent outfielders could lead to the Cubs picking up some centerfield depth, says the Sun-Times.

White Sox
-- The Sox will honor former great Harold Baines with a statue outside of U.S. Cellular Field on July 20, according to the Tribune.

-- The Sun-Times' Jay Mariotti comments on the Bulls' plans to raise ticket prices even as the team continues to tank its season away in true Reinsdorf fashion and implodes in every unimagible way outside of the Knicks.

Iowa State & Iowa
-- The Cyclones' women's basketball team advanced past the first round Saturday, beating Georgia Tech in Des Moines. They play C. Vivian Stringer's Rutgers squad today.

-- Meanwhile, the Iowa women are out of the NCAA tournament after losing to Georgia in Norfolk, Va., while the Iowa wrestling team claims its first national title since 2000.