• So the Major League Baseball season is underway, and it took all of two games for there to be a donnybrook, courtesy of punk Nick Castellanos of the Reds, a former member of Larry Patterson’s favorite team. Castellanos drilled a homer in Thursday’s opener and pranced around the bases (whil…

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• It was not a good weekend for the Big 14, and this Illinois fan is disheartened considerably after the putrid performance the Illini had on Sunday vs. the criminally underseeded Loyola Ramblers. I was more worried about a matchup with the Ramblers than I would have been against almost anyb…

For all those wondering...yes, I am fine. Heck, compared to some other drama I've been dealing with lately, Illinois getting upset by Loyola Chicago is far down the list of issues. But...my goodness. When the season ends, and it ends way before you thought it would with a massive thud, the i…

You never forget the journey, and I think as you get older, you realize these things more and more. The entire season, so far, of Illini basketball has been one of the best ever, but the past couple of weeks have been truly special. Those of us who are old enough, and those of us who are pas…

• The Illinois men’s basketball team finished the gauntlet known as the Big 14 Conference Sunday with a scintillating overtime win over THE Ohio State University. After gutting out a win against Will Peters’ Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday, the Illini blew a 17-point lead before finally pulling out a…

• I don’t completely blame Michigan for not playing a full slate of Big 14 Conference games, while Illinois was playing a rigorous slate near the end (five of six on the road, on short rest). At the least, bumbling Commissioner Kevin Warren should have stepped in and told Michigan it was pla…

One of my better subjects in school (you know, like 30-plus years ago...) was math. I did the whole Algebra thing in eighth grade and Calculus in high school. I'm not sure what happened after that, other than one poor decision on top of another one and repeating those same mistakes over and …

What an incredible night to be a Fighting Illini fan, and what a colossal beatdown of a team that some had rated as the No. 1 team in college basketball, if not top three by everyone associated with the game. No Ayo, no problem. Did I think it was possible? No. I wanted the Illini to stay in…

• I probably was in the minority Saturday during the Illinois game, as I felt Ayo Dosunmu was left in the game TOO LONG as he tried for his second triple-double in two weeks. Yes, getting a triple-double is a rare thing, but I did not like it. Illinois has Final Four aspirations, and if Ayo …

Ayo or Luka? Luka or Ayo? As a die-hard Illinois fan, you can likely guess my answer. However, my job is to look at something objectively. And in a non-biased, non-political and common sense-based world (not happening in current society), a great case can be made for both players for Big Ten…

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wonder if spring training starting this week is some kind of karmic response from Mother Nature as she freezes huge swaths of the country…

It's been an interesting week, to say the least. The next chapter in that book I'm never going to write certainly took a wild turn. Sorry to be cryptic, but why can't people mind their own business? Although in this case, karma won out, and it won out quickly. I'll move on!...

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wonder if the refs in the Illinois-Indiana game last week are STILL making some ridiculous calls…

So...it hasn't been that difficult of a winter season and then...BAM. February. Happened. Yeah, this isn't a lot of fun right now, and there doesn't appear to be a break in sight. Better days are ahead and we've gotta stay positive, right!...

• Friday night was a pretty good sports night for me. Not only did the Illini beat Will Peters’ Iowa Hawkeyes, but during that game (much of which I actually watched LIVE), the news broke that the Cardinals were trading for Rockies all-star third sacker Nolan Arenado. St. Louis has long cove…

Not much happened this past week, right? The Illini beat Iowa, Nolan Arenado is heading to St. Louis, Matthew Stafford is going to the Rams, Patrick Reed plays by his own set of rules and the Office of Executive Orders keeps churning out mandated legislation left and right. I mean, between t…

Phase 4 is a new 'Phase 4,' apparently. I'm grateful that high school and junior high sports are back (in limited capacities and with restrictions) and we're inching closer to 'normal,' but the stench of dirty politics reeks pretty heavy right now. How many times can you move goal posts and …

• I remember reading that THE Ohio State University was always the recruiting favorite with E.J. Liddell from Belleville West, in part because he was a huge Buckeye fan growing up, but that Illinois coach Brad Underwood did not “close the deal,” as the decision time neared. How many more tim…

And just like that, we're back to Phase 4 here in Sangamon County. Out of the blue, on a Monday afternoon, we go from lockdown to one step away from 'somewhat' normal. Of course, we've been dealing with differing mandates from the County, Springfield Mayor and the Governor for a few weeks no…

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wish I was spending a lot of time at Cass Gym this week for the boys county tournament…

And we thought 2020 was the worst/craziest year, at least in modern history? Yep, the phone's ringing and it's 2021 on the line. As ESPN's Lee Corso would say - 'Not so fast, my friend...'

We have turned the calendar to 2021, but make no mistake, the craziness of 2020 hasn't left us, and it maybe never will. Confusion reigns as to what businesses are allowed to be open and which ones are closed, with new local guidelines handed down in defiance of the almighty Governor. 

• We will be having hockey in two weeks! The Blues’ schedule has been announced, though as of this writing, game times are still TBD. Yes, the Blues should not be in the West, but geographically, there was not much the NHL could do, though putting Dallas in the Central and Minny and the Blue…

The Chicago Bears can win, or even possibly lose, this coming Sunday and still make the NFC playoffs this season. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is 2020 in a nutshell. But when the Bears and Packers take the field, it will be 2021. The new year can't possibly be as bad as the current one wa…

The Christmas Scrooge is back, and no, my last name is not Pritzker. I'm not here to try and control your life, I'm just here to entertain and provide some liner for the bird cage. And I've got no shortage of topics this week...

• Saturday was a rough day for Illini fans. Not only did the football team look listless AGAIN in losing to Chicago’s supposed Big 14 team, but then the basketball team was outhustled big time in a loss to hated Missouri in the annual Braggin’ Rights game. Part of the disappointment was miti…

It was, as they say, not a banner weekend for University of Illinois athletics. Football? Loss to Northwestern. Head coach Lovie Smith? Fired. Basketball? Loss to Missouri in the annual Braggin' Rights showdown. Yes, it can now be said, without a doubt. Brad Underwood's team was overrated to…

My column may not be as anticipated as the opening of Portillo's in Springfield, and it may not bring the popularity of endless lines of cars like Chatham's Light Up the Park holiday lights display, but it is in high demand. Love me or hate me, you can't wait to read what nonsense I will wri…

• The Illini basketball team is off to a good start, before a game Wednesday night vs. Baylor in Indy after press time. While NC A&T and Chicago State are awful, a talented Ohio Bobcat squad gave the Fighting Underwoods all they could handle Friday. I think Underwood is right, in previou…

We have reached December 2020, and life is just a bowl of cherries, is it not! Instead of the usual drivel, I'll try to change things up a little this week. Scalding hot takes and sarcasm, served up quickly and with a side of spicy ranch...

Thanksgiving is here, and hopefully everyone out there is celebrating safely with their families. It is 2020, and as we adhere to our marching orders and limit our gathering sizes this holiday season, we will be treated to Houston vs. Detroit and Washington vs. Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. Pe…

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wish I had a dollar for every time “Susie from Vehicle Services” called to talk to me about my vehicle warranty…

Just another week in paradise here in Sangamon County, Illinois; I mean, there's nothing going on, right? I have nothing to write about, correct? Not quite. Buckle up...

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wonder how we will all survive not seeing all those Rodney Davis/Betsy Londrigan commercials…

• It is really damn sad that the adults in this state cannot work together, and kids continue to get screwed. Yes, I am referring to the p***ing contest between the governor, DPH and the IHSA. The IHSA screwed the pooch months ago by deferring to JB and the DPH folks, and now that it is tryi…

We live in different times, as they say, and getting all my work and errands done on a Monday to get amped up and ready for Monday Night Football, well, let's just say that hasn't happened in a very long time...

• There were no ‘crocodile tears’ in these parts, in response to the other columnist’s comments last week about Alex Pietrangelo leaving St. Louis for Vegas. I wanted Petro to come back, but I agreed with Doug Armstrong and was not in favor of some of the contract items that Petro wanted (an…

Hello, everyone. I'm going to do my best to avoid going political but I'm afraid it won't last. And with our region staring down the barrel of being knocked down back into Phase 3, I can't begin to tell you the repercussions of such a move by the Governor. How does one man hold this much pow…

If you call yourself a golf fan, or you appreciate the legends of the game, then you have to go to YouTube and look up Jack Nicklaus vs. Sam Snead at Pebble Beach in 1963 in a Shell's Wonderful World of Golf match. It's remastered in full color, and it's simply an historic meeting of Snead, …

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wonder how Padres manager Jayce Tingler managed to only use nine pitchers to shut down the hapless Cardinal offense in Game 3 of their wild card series last week…

I'm in full 'Rodney Dangerfield' mode this week, and what that means, I'm not sure. But I'm feeling the 'no respect' angle early on a Tuesday morning. Time to blast some 80's music and rant about anything that pops into my head...

The Cardinals, Cubs and White Sox are all in the playoffs, though it could be a short postseason ride for all. Anything can happen in a three game series, especially a three game series played in one stadium with no fans and no off days. I have no clue how the Cardinals are a playoff team, b…

• The Cardinals are still basically a .500 team, but in 2020, that might be good enough for them to make the playoffs. That does NOT mean they deserve to be there. At least they took four of five from Andy Becker’s Pirates over the weekend, and finishing with KC and Milwaukee gives them a de…

I attended the 'Let Us Play' rally at the State Capitol last Saturday, and while there is some debate about whether there were 'hundreds' or 'thousands' there, we shouldn't get lost in that discussion. I saw hundreds, but if someone wants to get bent out of shape and say thousands, so be it.

How many televisions (or computer screens or tablets or phones) can you watch at one time? The NFL is back in full swing, and the men's U.S. Open golf tournament will be held in New York this weekend. The regular season in MLB is winding down, and for those so inclined, I'm told the NHL and …

Thoughts for all to ponder while I am already sick and tired of the progressive tax ads on both sides, and it is barely past Labor Day…

We live in interesting times, do we not? The coronavirus pandemic rages on, but people still have to get on with their lives. Sports, albeit in modified fashions, are still being played. And in neighboring states, we've seen complete reversals of past decisions and the return of high school …

Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky? I know we're all on pins and needles awaiting Matt Nagy's decision, right? And for the record, I'm just clueless about the NFL at this point, as I haven't paid much attention to anything in the offseason or training camps.

We don't know what 'normal' is anymore, and I'm not sure we will see 'normal' anytime soon. But as I begin this missive on a Monday night, it comes after I went to a girls golf match and shot some pictures for Rochester and Chatham (normal stuff), then I got home and watched Phil Mickelson m…

A hot topic in these parts is how will we start the new school year, with some type of in-person learning or fully remote model? Well, I'll cut right to the chase. If you read the latest guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health (which are constantly changing) dated August 13,…

Thoughts for all to ponder while I wonder how odd it will feel Friday night when I am not at a high school football game...