View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



November 2011



Morning News: Holiday wish lists, Basketball returns, Winning with Tebow

Written by , Posted in General

There are just 28 shopping days left until Christmas and, in an effort to be somewhat helpful to my loved ones who have a difficult time shopping for me, I spent a portion of the weekend perusing various online retailers and updating my wish list. One thing that caught my eye while checking out the wares on was the recently released “Ron Santo: Cubs Legend”, a CD produced by Pat Hughes featuring some of Ronnie’s “Greatest Hits” from his Cubs broadcasting career. Looks like a fun novelty stocking stuffer for any serious Cubs fan, but I can’t help but think that they missed the boat by not donating a portion of the proceeds to Ron’s beloved JDRF.

Speaking of Holiday Shopping:  The MLB Free Agent signing period is just starting to heat up and the Cubs have yet to make any big moves, which means rampant speculation and wishful thinking is still in order. With the front office and managerial openings filled, the focus has turned squarely to the players that will be on the field next season. What is the name at the top of the wish list that you’ll be sending off to Theo Claus this holiday season? Prince? Yu? C.J.? No one?

NBA Lockout Ends: In other sports news, this Thanksgiving weekend was joyous for us fans of the NBA as players and owners have come to a tentative agreement that will save a large portion of the season. As it currently stands, the season will start with a triple-header on Christmas Day. As excited as I am for basketball to return, I’m even happier for friends I have that work for NBA teams won’t have to spend the holiday season wondering about their futures.

The Zooker Goes Out with Class: As a lifelong Iowa football fan, you won’t see me shed too many any tears over the Illinois Fighting Illini historic collapse in Big 10 play this season (for those who don’t follow college football, Illinois was the first team ever to start 6-0 and finish the season 6-6). I have to commend former head coach Ron Zook though, who showed an amazing amount of dignity in getting fired yesterday. Trust me, if I walk in tomorrow and get told to pack up my things, I wouldn’t have such nice things to say. I don’t take away all the bad things I’ve said about Zook, but I feel a little bit worse about them now.

Yes, I’m Talking Tebow…: After three great NFL games on Thanksgiving, this weekend’s action seemed like an after thought. There were three QB-related story lines I was following today though:

  • Caleb Hanie – the almost hero of last year’s NFC Championship game looked like a guy that had only thrown 14 regular season passes entering the game. Though he had a couple nice throws late in the game to keep the Bears in it, his three interceptions killed him. And then there was that fake spike, fake pass, spike debacle on the final play…
  • Matt Leinert – for some reason, I found myself rooting for the former golden boy to put it together and make the most of his opportunity to replace the injured Matt Schaub in the middle of a playoff race. The lefty’s road to redemption came to an abrupt end in the second quarter with what is being described as a likely broken collarbone.
  • Tim Tebow – whether you like him or not (and I don’t), and whether you think he deserves the credit or not (and I don’t), the guy is 5-1 as a starter this season after taking over for a 1-4 team.
  • Buddy

    Tebow deserves some of the credit for the Broncos turnaround, but not alot of it. Their defense is the real story, but nobody is interested in talking about that.


    Two weeks from now when the Broncos play the Bears, will be the only time I root for Godboy.


    Big news from the college sphere: Urban Meyer is the new head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Randy

    I’ve been a Bronco’s fan for most of my life, and Tebow defines frustrating. I understand that, in spite of his play, the team believes, with no room for doubt, that he will win the game if they give him the chance. The defense today is the same defense that was 1-4 and giving up 25+ points a game, somehow you put miracle kid in and they go to giving up only 15 points a game? My fear is that the pixie dust is going to wear off, and Tebow is going to get utterly crushed. I think at this point that would be far worse than if he’d been a failure from day one.

  • Chuck

    This post has very little to do with the topics at hand, but I had to post this. This rant comes from driving several hundred miles over the holiday weekend with about four hundred coming yesterday, the busiest driving day of the year. Enjoy.
    Left-lane campers should be sent back to driving school immediately. I, going 75 in a 70, do not cause traffic accidents. You, going 55 in a 70 while camping out in the left lane, do. Get the firetruck out of the left lane before you get somebody killed. The left lane is for passing not for you, you lollygagging mother-fathering tool. Just because you are from Minnesota or Wisconsin where you can drive 50 miles without seeing a person does not mean the rest of us have to put up with this substandard driving. Move the firetruck into the right lane (or the middle lane if it is 3 wide on a side). Yes, that is me behind you flicking you the brights because you are too stupid to get over when you have several dozen car-lengths room in the other lane. Yes, that is me having to pass you on the right because you are too dim to understand good driving habits. No, you are not number one. However, you are a piece of number two.
    While I have your attention, could you please relay a memo to your cousin the wildly inconsistent speed driver? All cars build after 1980 have a thing called cruise control. It is intended to make long distance driving much easier for you. Cruise control works by regulating the throttle to maintain a nearly steady speed instead of having your speed fluctuate between 55 and 85. Yes, it is me passing/getting passed by you again while I am going a constant 75. I guess is that you probably did not notice because you are yammering in your cell phone. You may be a CEO going over last-minute strategy sessions to save thousands of jobs, or you may be a doctor giving instruction to someone on how to give birth in a stopped elevator. But, judging by your 1992 Corolla, probably not. Hang up the phone and concentrate on driving. Because you are camping out in the left lane, my guess is that you need every ounce of brainpower to do so.
    Thank you.

  • MJ

    U of I was overated from the get go. I have no idea how they were even in the top 25.

  • Doc Raker

    I picked up Pat Hughes CD productions of Harry Carey and Jack Buck, the Harry production is pretty good, it could use a little more Harry on it but I enjoyed it. I will look forward to picking up the Santo production.
    *Tim Tebow 5-1 but doesn’t deserve it you say? Maybe Caleb Heine should start looking to the heavens for help. Imagine Seymours dismay if Caleb (a biblical name by the way) ruins the Packers perfect season with help from the heavens.
    *Travel hockey, travel baseball, NHL, inline hockey and various other family activities will keep my off season busy.

  • @Chuck…I am a big fan of passing on the right. Sort of a ‘you are doing it wrong’ by demonstration.

  • Steve

    I like Tebow, and while I realize the defense has really stepped it up, they sure run a lot of clock. They have to run the most Clock-per-play (who keeps track of that stat?). I think Tebow is affecting the team, though it would be absurd to think that he is the only reason they’ve turned things around. But maybe not absurd to think that he was the catalyst. It is amazing the dichotomy of opinions on him.

  • Doc Raker

    No mention of the news story about the wife killing and then cooking the husband for a holiday meal in Pakistan? It is a crime for the wife to cook a husband in Pakistan, the husband however just has to comply with Sharia diet when cooking a wife. No word on if Seymour was at this dinner.

  • Chuck

    Tebow takes all the blame for things that go wrong and gives credit to everyone else when things go right. That is what leaders do to earn the respect of others. Tebow is willing to put his body on the line to win a game and other players will respond to that.

  • Seymour ordered the naan, dry.

  • flyslinger2

    @Chuck-I don’t think obama’s TelePrompTer could say it more eloquently! I didn’t let my children get their drivers license until they passed MY drivers education course-which began as soon as they were old enough to understand the concepts. Here in the DC area you get a mixed bag of transient traffic , local commuters who cringe everytime they get in their weapon of mass destruction, and the third group which are the mightily affluent BMW/Benz/Jag/high end motor vehicle owner who is pissed that their 0-60 in 2.3 seconds vehicle is inching along at a meager 5 mph. If I owned a vehicle that I could get away with doing,I would give them what I call the NASCAR nudge. My fourth child just enrolled in the loca drivers training class. I always quiz the kids on what they are being taught and see what they observe in the driving habits of their fellow classmates. 17 year old girls who could NEVER get their foot off of the accelerator were passed with flying colors. I asked the school how that could happen. The answer was they would have to allow the child back for a refresher course which would fill the seat of a new paying customer. So good driving habits are not a requirement for getting a passing grade. My nineteen near old just got a ticket for 88 in a 65 mph zone in an area that was less then one mile from where the highway ends. He got lazy. He gets to pay a hefty fine. I’m 51 and have NEVER had a speeding ticket and that’s the Gods honest truth.

  • Eddie Von White

    I wish the entire football world would stop saying Tebow doesn’t have what it takes to win in the long haul. So what? Who does? How do we know who does? Doesn’t everybody want to win today? The future will take care of itself. Maybe we can tell who the winners are by who is winning. If you are a Broncos fan and even if you’re not – enjoy the ride. Everytime Tebow plays he gets an audience – just what the networks want. I’d rather see a guy praying than dropping the F-bomb – and we get plenty of that every Sunday.

    That Palko guy and Caleb Heine looked like they were scared to death yesterday and on the brink of tears.

    Chuck – Amen! I read your post twice – We’ve all been there and better to express your rage here with your VFTB family than on the highway. Let it out, man.


    They really do need to make the driving test harder. Last year I got hit by this 18-year old trashy bitch from Highland Park at Fullerton and I-94. I was stopped at a red light, and she rammed my car, saying I was “over the white line.” WTF!? I’m supposed to go through the intersection and get killed!? And she was expecting to be able to go through also? She was driving a Toyota Rav-4. We just exchanged insurance information because I had a run-in with the Chicago Police before, and she lied to her insurance. If not for the pictures I took, she would have gotten away with it. She did $500 of damage to my Honda.
    That’s $500 of damage:
    And this is how hard she hit my car:

  • Doc Raker

    Well said Eddie, better a prayer than tweeting to your fans how great you are and where they can purchase your latest autographed item. Remember, people of religion are not as smart as others, they are small minded gun toting bigots holding onto their bibles for a sense of superiority so the media feels a responsibility to explain Tebow’s future value to his fans so they don’t get their hopes up, or at least that is what Obama’s teleprompter said.


    What is this you were saying about Barry? Sorry, I was listening to our liberal media drool over how he is such a god.

  • Seymour Butts

    All I know is when Tebow throws a pass, it looks different than when guys who earned their shot throw it. I do have to give him credit for his running ability..he should thank the evolutionary experiences of his ancestors instead of his imaginary friend however.

  • Part of the reason I bought my Silverado SS was so I could adequately speed carrying the weight of all of my previous tickets. Age 32; zero accidents; awful driving conditions here four out of twelve months. Chuck is wholly correct in saying that the Sunday-driving asshats in the left lane cause more accidents than speed. The media has made cellphones the poster children for distracted driving, but the dolt looking out the window, clueless, hands two and ten, is just as dangerous.

  • Seymour Butts

    I got a ticket somewhere south of Gillette, Wyoming about 1980. 89 in a 55. The problem with driving slow is that you are so bored, you pay no attention to the road. I noticed the same thing in a school zone this morning. 20 mph will put you to a catatonic gaze in mere seconds. But if you are following a car that is weaving, odds are enormously high there is a phone involved. They should make it so cell phones only work if they are corded.

  • Seymour Butts

    Oh yeah, the fine on the above ticket was under $30.

  • All the best Timmy, but your butt is gonna get slammed hard with all this running crap.

  • Doc Raker

    “Earn his position”? Define how one earns his position. You get drafted, you go to practice and at some point a coach decides to put you in a game. Was Tebow’s path to playing time different than that? Did Caleb Heine ‘earn his spot’? They were backups, something goes wrong with the starter they get thrown in to play, ready or not. Explain this ‘he didn’t earn his spot.’ 5-1 would indicate he has earned some playing time whether or not one likes the way his passes look. Rex Grossman was a Super Bowl quarterback because of his teams defense and special team play. He earned his job by not losing games. I guess that is were Tebow is, just don’t lose the game. Caleb Hiene lost the game on one bad play call, frustrating, second and 1 on the 6 yard line and they throw a trick pass play. Really? Run the ball Meat. Maybe the Bears coaching staff needs devine intervention to call some plays.

  • Doc Raker

    Wyoming $30 speeding fine. California is $280 plus court costs of $140 plus a freeway tax of $30 plus an ink tax of $20 to replace the officers pen plus a stop sign tax of $55 plus a traffic school tax of $180. Maybe those small government conservative states aren’t so bad.


    I got a parking ticket for failing to pay the parking box at the train station last month. I was told I can either pay the $35 fine, or challenge it and risk having to pay the fine on top of $150 court costs. I was very tempted to just pay the money in unrolled pennies

  • Buddy

    Cosmo Kramer would be proud.

  • Randy

    The problem here is that the Spread Option isn’t really viable when you ramp up defensive speed to what the NFL typically has these days. The guys on the other end are too good to really fall for it, and even if they do they adjust quickly. This is why you’re seeing Denver go 5 for 13 in third down situations, the offense isn’t working beyond chewing clock. Someone is eventually going to figure out all they have to do is put 9 in the box, and force him to beat them with his arm.
    I wish Tebow all the best, but at his current pace it’s just a matter of time before someone gets sick of him and hurts him, bad. Carrying the football 22 times a game is going to make that happen a lot quicker. It’s going to be a hard crash when he tears an ACL or breaks his arm, and Denver suddenly has an unconventional offense and no back-up that can run it.

  • Chuck

    The Denver coaching staff is winning the games because they are implementing a gameplan that plays to the strengths of the team while minimizing the weaknesses. That is what any competent staff should do. You don’t run the wishbone with Peyton Manning and you don’t run the run-and-shoot with Tebow. You work with what you have.

  • Seymour Butts

    What they have is Brady Quinn who was their #2 QB when they elected to stop using Orton.Tebow was listed at #3. For what ever reason Quinn was passed over for the #3 guy which is why I say Tebow did not earn it. He is a good running back who has had the good fortune to play in a division, with a schedule that does not tax poor teams. Detroit destroyed them. Their upcoming schedule is not as easy, so divine intervention may well be required for the experiment to continue to produce wins.

    I imagine it is more expensive to speed in Wyoming nowadays, but I liked the Ink tax part, sarcastic genius.

  • Really? The NBA came to an agreement? HA! This is the first I’ve heard of it. Not such big news apparently.

  • Norm

    couple news items…
    Jamie Quirk to be Sveum’s bench coach
    Greg Maddux likely to leave Cubs for Rangers.

  • CubbieDude

    Chuck, my pet peeve is drivers who cut in front of me, and then slow down so I have to slow down also.
    After passing me (or slipping into my lane from the right) they slow down to make a right hand turn, or to make a left hand turn, or to slow down for a red light, or just because.
    And that bugs me.

  • Seymour Butts

    Yeah, I hate people who slow down for red lights too!

  • Doc Raker

    When do you see traffic signals in your parts Seymour? Aren’t you in a 1 stop sign town?