I'm so ready for spring I cannot control myself anymore, so enjoy the golf talk and baseball drama. Oh, and the Illini had a very disappointing run of four straight losses to good teams, but roared back with a vengeance Tuesday at No. 9 Penn State. Ayo is back, and Ayo is really good. In Ayo…

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The Super Bowl has come and gone, the 60 degree temperatures are a distant memory, and by the time you read this missive, we're all supposed to be buried in snow. Yep, it must be February in Illinois. And yes, I'm supposed to be used to it, but I'm tired of it. Somebody, please get me out of…

The tragic accident that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others on Sunday has gripped the nation and many parts of the world. There are so many questions, and so much speculation. It's just an unspeakable tragedy...

Kansas City Chiefs fans, your wait is over. Fifty years after the franchise's last Super Bowl appearance, the Chiefs are heading back to the Big Game after taking down Tennessee this past Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. The Super Bowl trip is well-deserved and earned, as the Chiefs and …

The Brad Underwood era at the University of Illinois has officially gained some traction, with the Fighting Illini off to a 4-2 start in Big Ten play and earning a national ranking for the first time since 2014. Yes, that's a long time, and way, way too long, in fact. The gut-wrenching loss …

I don't know about you, but it's good to get back to some sense of normalcy. The last two weeks have involved major alterations to how we do business and what days we are working, due to the holidays and non-negotiable schedules from our printers. And with all the other variables going on, y…

The Christmas Grinch is back to steal all of your fun, so turn the page quickly, or you might have to run. Yep, I know, not very good, but I tried. In any event, please contain your excitement as I'll try to entertain you for a couple of minutes as you finish your holiday shopping...

I gotta start with our two state championship teams, so congratulations to our friends in the Rochester and Williamsville-Sherman areas. That's some pretty incredible stuff. Conditions were less than ideal up at Northern Illinois University, to say the least, but we are #blessed to have two …

I've seen a whole bunch of high school football games in my glorious life on Earth, but after last Saturday, I can confidently say I've never seen a more talented team with as much speed and size as the East St. Louis Flyers. And yeah, I'm just gonna say it. No team in this state, regardless…

Ah yes, my favorite time of the year! Check the weather every day to see how many layers to wear, leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark! It just doesn't get any better, does it? Oh wait, another week, another Bears loss. But that's normal, right?...

There's nothing better than a white knuckle drive home and drive in to work commute in early November; it's simply the best. Settle in for our six months of winter, folks. At least I'm in full driving on ice mode a few months ahead of time; I mean, you've always got to look at the positives...

Hello again, everyone. The beginning of our six months of winter season is here (do we really even have spring and fall anymore?), and that is depressing enough. But we all must soldier on, and I am finally planted for a few days back in the homestead area after trips to Jacksonville (twice)…

The Illini are trending up, and the Bears are trending way down? Yep, life comes at you fast. Almost as fast as a Springfield-area motorist who decides a right-hand turn is their God-given right, you know, no matter if the light is red and there is oncoming traffic going 55-plus miles per ho…

How much can happen in a week's time? Well, how about your Cardinals putting up a 10-spot in the first inning to finish off the Atlanta Braves last Wednesday, and here we are on Tuesday night, just six days later, and the Washington Nationals have finished off a dominant sweep of the Cardina…

Time for the return of some quick hot takes, which I know so many of you have missed. And once again, for the cheap seats, if you don't understand sarcasm, I may not be your particular cup of tea. Enjoy the rantings...

I'm not gonna lie, I figured the Cardinals would finish off their dumpster fire of a final week by needing a one game playoff for the division title (with a loss), then trudging into Washington Tuesday night (with no pitching left, virtually) for a beat down in the wild card game. It made pe…

Four straight one run losses to your arch rivals. Yeah, that's pretty tough. They came into the series hoping to inch closer or even take over first place, and instead, your Chicago Cubs have been completely ousted from any chance at a division title and are just about done in the wild card …

I remember the days (not so long ago in this space) that I didn't believe the Cardinals could get to 10 games over .500. However, with this late season surge, the team is poised to get to 20 over (if they aren't already there). It's a remarkable turnaround, and sure they've beaten some bad t…

If you are a professional football fan, and specifically a fan of the Bears or Packers (I would wager that the majority of the audience likes one of those two teams), you are very excited as a new NFL regular season begins this week. The Bears and Packers slug it out on Thursday night at Sol…

There aren't many things most everyone can agree on anymore, but the uniforms worn by major league baseball teams last weekend were simply awful. You can call it marketing, but you can also call this venture a complete failure. Having teams wear all white and all black uniforms for a full we…

I expected some shrapnel to come my way after going political last week, and maybe it will arrive at some point. I'll try harder to not offend anyone this week, but I doubt that goes well. Job duties are ramping up (once again), and certain people just continue to make my life difficult. The…

I'm going to be up front and encourage you to turn the page. The Cardinals, the Cubs - I mean, how much more can I regurgitate at this point? It's the middle of August, school is starting and the sports content is, well, lacking at this point. So, you know what that means. Time for some golf…

The Cardinals are 'all in' on 2019. Yep, we've heard that somewhere before, haven't we. The rotation needs a fresh arm and an innings eater? Nah, we're good. You got an outfielder tearing it up at Memphis, hitting over .350, ready for a chance to help the big league club? Nah, we're good. Ma…

As the calendar turns to August, the National Football League training camp and preseason 'madness' is upon us. And I'm fixated on one issue at this point - the Bears' place-kicking situation. So far, all the talk is positive. The two combatants (Eddy PiƱeiro and Elliott Fry) are blasting 60…

'Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in...' Yep, the Cardinals are a whopping six games over .500 as I finish this week's diatribe, one-half game behind the Cubs in the mediocre, but competitive, N.L. Central. Michael Corleone may have said it better, but I guess I should start…

I have made a safe and glorious return to central Illinois after spending three nights in the heart of bourbon country in Kentucky. Just in time, of course, for the big heat wave coming here this weekend. So, how about some news and notes from Bardstown and Louisville? I know you're just dyi…

Hello from warm and finally drying out in July in central Illinois, and as you read this, your favorite columnist will be away for a couple of days to visit bourbon country in Kentucky. There isn't much on the sports calendar that interests me these days, unless you want to dissect why the C…

Another big week for our state and county, as we celebrate higher gasoline taxes, higher cigarette taxes, a higher sales tax and on and on. I can hardly wait to see what's next, can you?...

Hello, everyone. It's time for your weekly dose of head-scratching, confusion and laughter before you angrily turn the page. And I certainly aim to not disappoint this time around...

How do you celebrate winning a Stanley Cup championship? Well, check out the members of the St. Louis Blues in the last week. It's been one day of partying after another, and at last check the team was living it up in Vegas. And, I mean, who can blame them?...

The story was too good to be true, of course. A Sunday night home game to win the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup, finishing off the hated Boston Bruins with three straight victories in the process. The city of St. Louis was going crazy, there were thousands of people downtown watching on…

It's one of those weeks where it's just time to let it out, vent the frustrations and wait for all the angry phone calls, e-mails and social media posts. It's time to go random and go hard...

Track meet after track meet after (track meet?) is taking its toll on your favorite columnist, who has nearly been eaten alive by bugs in the past couple of weeks. If it flies and it bites, it finds me. A lot. But I will press on, so enjoy the rants...

I just want to clear one thing up - there is no truth to the rumor that the Chicago Bears have called me to inquire about trying out for their vacant place-kicking job. I have told my agent to reject any such offers as well. I feel it is my duty to not participate in the farce that is curren…

Just when I was depressed, I wasn't feeling well and I'm staring at another week where it rains every day...I get re-energized. I know I live a life few would want to copy, but I was able to function normally on Monday. Millions of folks around the globe, apparently, were not, because some e…

One thing you never thought you'd get tired of reading in this space (since it appears rather infrequently) is hockey. Well, it might be time to turn the page. The Blues are now the favorites to win the Stanley Cup (cue the jinx narrative - not my fault for pointing it out, sorry) by some od…

Tiger Woods is a major champion again, and it's pretty much all anybody is talking about right now. My issues with Woods are well documented, but I think you have to give credit to a guy who has returned from a debilitating injury and also rehabilitated his personality and demeanor...

Well, we all couldn't wait for the start to the major league baseball season, right? Things are going swell for both the Cardinals and Cubs, so there's nothing to complain about. Life is great! It's Masters week, it never stops raining around here, golf courses are full of mud and it's going…

One series into the season and I'm off the rails. But when you see things already playing out that you've been harping on for months and months, I'm sorry. I just have to vent, so here it goes...

Spring Training is over (finally), and it's time to play baseball games for real. The Cardinals have signed Paul Goldschmidt to an extension, Kool-Aid is being swilled at life-threatening levels by some 'BFIBers' and, magically, the lineup will suddenly become one of the most feared in baseball...

A lot to get to this week, but I have to say, I was shocked Sunday when I saw that the Fighting Illini were left out of this year's NCAA Tournament field! What the...yes, nevermind. The smart-aleck columnist is just joking, people...

We're two weeks away from the start of the Major League Baseball season, and there are at least signs of spring weather in the offing here (although it's beyond wet and muddy). In any event, you got a week break from me, so it's time to remind you why it's probably best to turn the page now...

Time to once again ruin a good sports column, because my goal is to upset as many people as I can each week. Well, not really. But I am beyond fed up with this state, the politicians and our new billionaire Governor who seems to have all the answers. Gridlock never looked so good, I'm tellin…

It's tiresome to complain about the weather, but my goodness. We're about to finish four full months of winter, since we got an early start last year in November. I mean, I know where we live, but come on. We can't have a week of 40s or some highs in the 50s once in a while? Every time you t…

It's Giorgi Bezhanishvili's world, and we're all just living in it. The young man who was barely recruited out of high school is now a freshman star for the Fighting Illini. These are the kinds of 'diamonds in the rough' that help rebuild a program, and head coach Brad Underwood and all of I…

After a week of not making you go crazy reading whatever nonsense my mind cooks up, you might have to turn the page quickly this week. I'm locked and loaded and feeling rather abrasive, though many would concede that's how I normally am all the time anyway. Good luck...

Hello, Kris Bryant. You are a star in Chicago and your contract might be the next 'big thing,' bordering the Bryce Harper mania we are currently having to deal with. You might have been joking around and having fun, but you did purposefully dump all over a city (St. Louis). There was really …

Yep, I knew we were all gonna pay for it. After all, it's January in Illinois. What was our punishment for being able to play golf the previous weekend? Well, how about a foot of snow, topped off with some freezing rain early Tuesday and maybe lots more snow to come this weekend. People can …

As a newly-minted 'bandwagon' Bears fan of a couple years, Sunday's loss hurt. But in no way will I try to act like I know the pain the die-hards feel. I know all about that from the 'St. Louis' Rams days, etc. This one was tough to swallow, but in the past, my week, month and maybe year wou…

I may as well make the last missive of 2018 a doozy, right? And I'm planning on ringing in the new year with a bang, and I might be out of state (???), so if you don't see my byline in this space next week, someone may not have bailed me out of jail just yet. But hey, we all gotta hit rock b…

It's official, the Chicago Bears are back in the playoffs, and they will get at least one home game. And that No. 2 seed is within reach, if the Bears can win their last two games and the Rams stumble one more time. With that carrot still out there, which would include a first round bye, you…