It’s hard to write with mittens on and your teeth chattering, but you count your blessings if you don’t have to work outdoors during another polar vortex.
Thinking warm thoughts during this current stretch of frigid weather is the only way to survive, and fortunately there’s been enough going on in the sports world to keep us occupied, from the NFL playoffs to the Cubs Convention to the White Sox equipment truck leaving for Arizona.
Here are 10 takeaways from a wild week.
A “Just One Before I Die” sign was spotted by the CBS cameras in Buffalo during the Bills wild card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. This used to be the mantra of Cubs fans, who swore they’d be happy with only one championship in their lifetime.
They lied of course. Once is never enough.
But if anyone deserves at least one, it would be Buffalo. Or Detroit.
Cubs President Jed Hoyer prefaced his remarks about Christopher Morel at the Cubs Convention by going off on the rumor mill. Someone apparently wrote Morel wasn’t at the convention because he was being traded, instead of the real reason — he had a visa issue.
“The rumors sometimes have zero basis in truth and it happens all the time,” Hoyer said. “Read stuff with a pound of salt, because so often times something that has not a little bearing in truth, but zero basis in truth. And there’ve been a lot of those this winter (where) Morel is linked to this team or linked to this player.
“We’ve been linked to a number of free agents we’ve never actually spoken to this winter, and I think the agent just puts out that we’re interested because we’re a big-market team. … So I think sometimes the rumors get going and it’s a freight train. Be aware of how often these things have no bearing in truth. It’s kind of an alternate universe I would say.”
Hoyer didn’t seem too bothered by the rumors that linked Shohei Ohtani to the Cubs, which made it seem like they had a realistic shot at signing the best player in baseball. Sometimes an alternative universe helps keep a team in the news.
If dealing with a polar vortex builds character, we should have enough in Chicago to last a couple lifetimes by now. Maybe we’re better off having no character and some feeling in your toes.
Watching that Detroit fan cry Sunday during the end of the Lions’ wild-card win over the Los Angeles Rams in a climate-controlled, indoor stadium was the polar opposite of Bears fans crying after the Double Doink loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 wild-card game at frigid Soldier Field.
The White Sox invited the media to come out to Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday with a subzero wind chill factor. It was not for a free-agent signing or trade, but to report on the equipment truck leaving for spring training in Glendale, Ariz.
The truck leaving town event is a time-honored ritual for teams that have done little over the winter to improve their chances of winning but could use some publicity. The Cubs even used to have a sponsor for the equipment truck videos that would air on newscasts to remind fans it’s “almost spring.”
In a normal world, the Sox would be touting the arrival of SoxFest next weekend. But for reasons that have never been explained, SoxFest is kaput once again, and an event for season ticket holders is currently on the schedule as a replacement.
At least the Kansas City Royals are having a fan fest on Feb. 3 at Kauffman Stadium. Sox fans seeking autographs from future Sox players might be interested in driving down to K.C.
The best part of the NFL wild-card weekend was the fourth-quarter speculation by broadcasters about the losing coach possibly losing his job, whether it was Mike McCarthy, Nick Sirianni or Mike Tomlin. The next best thing was Fox Sports talking head Skip Bayless losing his mind on social media over the Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. Bayless tossing his Cowboys’ gear in the trash after a playoff loss is the human equivalent of Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on Groundhog Day.
President/CEO Kevin Warren, speaking generally about a new stadium, said last week that “very rarely do you get an opportunity to have such a beautiful downtown with a vibrant business community, with an absolutely beautiful lake and the energy that goes along.”
Maybe it looks good on TV, but Warren seemingly doesn’t understand that getting in and out of an area bounded by Lake Shore Drive and the lakefront is one of the reasons fans don’t like Soldier Field in the first place.
A Lions-Chiefs Super Bowl would present the ultimate pop culture showdown between Eminem and Taylor Swift. There might be more cutaways to those two by CBS than Mahomes’ commercials.
Lost in the kerfuffle over Bulls fans making Thelma Krause cry during the Ring of Honor ceremony was the terrible decision by management to not announce the names of the 1995-96 team that was being inducted. It would have been nice to see Luc Longley, Ron Harper, Bill Wennington and the rest of the players and coaches get their well-deserved applause for their contributions to the championship season.