Archive for March, 2010


The old man looks over the family business last night from his folding chair half-way up section 120.

This must be nice after decades of disgust, anger and pleas from fans to SELL!


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MSN got me again, the bastards.  I found myself clicking through one of those fluffy web posts on the NCAA tournament.  It’s not entirely my fault, however.  My mouse typically cruises around the desk like an Ouija board trying to spell out messages from the ghosts that roll with me throughout the day.  This time it stopped on a link titled “Studs and Duds from Day 4.”


I’ve already spoken with myself about this time-management gaffe.

Anyway, the first “Dud” that came up was Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert- a dude I recognized.  I snapped photos of this kid a couple of years ago as a standout at Oak Park.  The first game I watched was the 2008 Regional beating the Huskies handed to cross-town Fenwick.  That win earned Shumpert a Sectional meeting with Marcus Jordan and Whitney Young.  That one didn’t go as well for the Oak Parkers.  The city kids made the trip down Madison Street to meet OPRF at a “neutral” gym in Maywood.  I hung out at my old man’s high school (Proviso East) and watched Jordan’s kid handle Shumpert with only moderate effort.  Young didn’t do much after that win, but won state the following year.  Jordan was the 2009 tournament MVP and won a scholarship to the University of Central Florida where he made an immediate impression.  His presence cost the school a $3 million sponsorship deal when he refused to wear Adidas shoes in favor of his dad’s- a move I applaud.

The pic below is Jordan guarding Shumpert.  The others are random frames from the two games.

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Snapped a few frames at the state meet for kids wrestling last week.

This was a huge event held at the Rockford Metro Centre, home of the AHL Rockford Ice Hogs.  Regrettably, I did not run into recently recalled goaltender Corey Crawford or defenseman Nick Boynton.  Nor was there any sign of forwards Bryan Bickell or Jack Skille.  Discouraged, I simply had to carry on about my business of making wrestling pictures.

The one element that really stuck with me last Friday was how many matches ended in tears.  Actual tears.  Granted, some of these kids were as young as 7 years.  But please.  Maybe sportsmanship should be more important than teaching a proper Boston Crab or Figure Four leg-lock at this level.  It was as if nobody at this tournament had ever lost a match before.  The wailing and carrying-on was epic.  The astounding part was that the kids were the least of it.  The hierarchy of craziness was topped by the parents, with the coaches falling somewhere between the two.  It was a fascinating event to watch and judge people- things I excel at.

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Well alright!

The world number one is healed and ready to shift his focus back to making golf look easy.  He’s put two months of hard work into psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, humanistic, systemic, group, marriage, transpersonal, expressive, behavioral, narrative, electroshock and hypno-type therapies to treat his insatiable desire to “Get out there and get some strange a–.”  It’s assumed that these therapies were designed to change the behavior and extinguish the desire.  I would also think that the marriage vows and maybe a social etiquette graph were presented in PowerPoint.

Now that that’s settled, let’s watch some golf!

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Alex Ovechkin can suck it.

Along with being the most exciting (and recently the most successful) goal scorer in the NHL, he’s also one of the biggest goons.  This is his second suspension and third game misconduct in the last three months.  Worse than being a goon is being an a-hole, which he firmly is too.  He makes no apology for his impressive portfolio of boarding and kneeing penalties that resulted in injury.  He’s said it before, and he said it again this time: “that’s hockey.”  Yeah.  In the Prison League, maybe.  His own teammates have suggested that the guy needs to reel it in, for the good of everybody.  The Washington Post reported he found the time at the Vancouver Games to behave badly off-ice as well when he shoved a woman’s camera into her face and smashed another (big-screen actor style).  The problem here is that they weren’t paparazzi, they were fans…and he isn’t Woody Harrelson, he’s a foreign hockey player.  Somehow that nuance was missed while the Russian was studying North American VIP culture.  Fans- good; professional photographers- bad.

Even though I have heart palpitations when Campbell touches the puck, I’m sorry to see him out.

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Love those long exposures.

This is an outbound Metra train from Union Station near Lake and Canal.  A Green Line train was also passing over the river at the time, and is represented by the white-colored streak of nothing.

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Immediate impact.

It took A Burish 21 seconds to earn a point and get into a fistfight in his first game of the season.  Now, healthy-scratch T Kopecky is going to find himself in the front office trying to explain exactly what it is that he does.  If the rest of the squad stays fit, Kopecky, C Fraser and B Eager are going to find that there aren’t enough chairs at the table from this point on.  The battle for the last position on the bench is going to heat up, which should make for some decent theater in practice.

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