In an ode to crybaby Bryson DeChambeau, I'm gonna blame this week's terrible column on my computer, my employer, my loud neighbors, my wildly inconsistent golf game, Byron Painter, Donald Trump and, well, the entire Pritzker administration. Nothing I ever do is my fault; nor is anything 'cor…

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It's Open Championship week, or the British Open, or whatever you want to call it. Yes, golf. Turn the page, I know. But who knows what you might miss???...

Since I did not bless this space last week, I have much more material than space, so let’s get going and see what fits…

My mind is wandering in a bunch of different places this week, and I'm not sure how that's any different than normal, but it will likely bring a mish-mash of topics. In other words, nothing is safe from discussion this week. Buckle up those seat belts...

• Nothing might indicate the dire straits of the Cardinals more than having a player named Lars Nootbaar on the roster! I admit I don’t follow the Cardinals and their minor league system as much as I used to, but Lars Nootbaar? Of course, he is off to a decent start for the Redbirds, who hav…

Hopefully by the time you read this, it will have stopped raining. I mean, I know I like to complain and I know some of you do too, but what a ridiculous weather pattern we have been in lately. We've seen lots of crops damaged and/or flooded, and that's obviously not a good thing, at all...

I'm not sure how off the rails this is going to be, but not all 'Phase 5s' are created equally, apparently. We're 'back to normal' in Illinois? Hardly. Ask the school superintendents, principals, teachers, kids and parents if we're 'back to normal?' And on college campuses? They won't let yo…

• Since the Cardinals have tanked, getting swept by Steve Hindert’s Cubbies over the weekend, I still am focusing a lot of attention on the Blues. Saturday was the two-year anniversary of them winning the Stanley Cup, so what did I do to celebrate? I watched Game 7 AGAIN! Bally Sports Midwes…

• The Cardinals believed that the starting rotation would be one of the strongest parts of their squad going into the season, even with Dakota Hudson being sidelined for the year with Tommy John surgery. Welp! Now the Redbirds have 3/5 of their expected starting rotation on the injury shelf,…

Well, it's Patrick Wisdom's world, and we're all just living in it. Not surprisingly, of course, Wisdom was a long-time minor leaguer in the Cardinals' system who put up big numbers and never really got a chance in the majors. A few years later, he's now raking for the Cubs. Can it last? Who…

• If I had graced this spot last week, I would have joked that so many of the NHL experts wanted to pick the Avalanche to beat the Blues in three, in a best-of-7 series. The series was so lopsided, there was almost no reason to play it. Then Ryan O’Reilly says that the Blues will beat the Av…

I'm just going to put it out there - golf is not boring. If you understand the game of golf in some form, and you watched the weekend coverage of the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, then I think you would agree. What a sport, where a man past his 50th birthday can compete with men in thei…

If you like the Cardinals, golf and complaining about the state of affairs in the Land of Pritzker, well, you've come to the right place. It's chilly and rainy and miserable outside as I type this missive, so why not give you what you missed last week - unhinged takes so scorching hot that t…

• The Illinois men’s basketball team has lost two of its assistant coaches to Kentucky, Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman. Antigua coached at Kentucky before coming to Champaign, so his departure was not as big of a surprise as Coleman, but those two work well together and were basically a pa…

• It is amazing how much better your baseball team plays when the starting pitching improves, as it has with the Cardinals the last couple of times through the rotation. I am not ready to pronounce Carlos Martinez fully back, but his last two starts have been promising. If Miles Mikolas coul…

I'm going to apologize in advance, but the wheels are off the wagon. I'm done. If you can defend this totalitarian regime still in control of our lives and livelihoods in this state, your best move is to turn the page.

As much as I would like to write about Yadier Molina or Jason Adam or Madison Bumgarner's 7-inning no-hitter or who the 49ers are going to draft third overall or who the Bears are going to draft - all that will have to wait. I am now fully vaccinated, and I have thoughts. Oh, I have a lot of…

• Catching 2,000 games in the major leagues is a big deal, and Yadier Molina became the first one to do it entirely with one team last week (though as a small aside, the big ovation should have come when the game was official and not after the first pitch). Yadi has come out strong this year…

• Last week in this space, I was lamenting the current state of the Blues, who were roundly embarrassed vs. Vegas April 5. Lo and behold, they beat the Golden Knights last Wednesday, then swept Minnesota over the weekend to put themselves back into a playoff spot, also thanks to the Coyotes …

Hopefully this missive will make it to your mailboxes this week, because, you know, cancel culture is coming for all of us. I don't know how I've escaped it so far, quite frankly. God forbid I have an opinion or two that someone might not agree with. We handle disagreements so well in this c…

With spring now in full bloom, the Major League Baseball season underway, high school sports seasons merging together in these unprecedented times, new learning models in place, a local election completed and The Masters this weekend (what did I miss?), yes, it's a busy time. In stark contra…

• 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…

• 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...