Yes Network reporter Sarah Kustok
is back in her hometown of Orland Park, Illinois today. She will be at the courthouse in Bridgeview Thursday morning as the state of Illinois' case against her father, Allan Kustok
continues. He is on trial for murdering his wife Jeanie Kustok; Sarah's mother
Sarah Kustok is a current Brooklyn Nets television presenter formerly of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. She has been subpoenaed by the court and will testify
on behalf of her father's defense. Sarah was back in Chicago when jury selection began in the murder case against her father, but in between the start of the trial and her testimony, she flew back to New York and resumed her duties with the Brooklyn NBA team.
This past Saturday, Sarah Kustok even called the women's game between DePaul and Marquette on Fox Sports 1. It's amazing and extremely commendable that she can focus on work at an extremely trying time such as this...
Stadium Series is here.
The Chicago Blackhawks versus the Pittsburgh Penguins at the home of the Chicago Bears. It's a hockey game that's both local and national in it's magnitude. So it's fitting that we have two local Hawks icons involved in calling/previewing the game. Also, the NHL's primary broadcast partner, NBC, is parent company to the Blackhawks primary local broadcast partner, Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
It's the first outdoor NHL hockey game to be ever broadcast in prime time. So I enlisted the help of some Blackhawks and hockey experts to preview the Stadium Series. Throughout this preview, you'll be hearing from:
Blackhawks legend and NBC hockey Analyst Jeremy Roenick
, NBC NHL Analyst Mike Milbury, Scott King
, Contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal, RedEye Chicago
(Facebook Hawk Crazy)
Penguins star Sidney Crosby
, icon of the NHL and Team Canada, His Olympic teammate and Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp,
and Kevin Cross
Comcast SportsNet Chicago News Director...
Northwestern basketball won at Indiana 54-47 back on January 18th, but the Hoosiers came into Welsh-Ryan Arena tonight and avenged that loss by winning at NU by a score of 61-56. Northwestern basketball was missing it's second leading scorer Jershon Cobb, who might return this season. Or he might not be back this year.
He's out indefinitely, and he's been dealing with a knee issue as well.
"Certainly it's a huge blow to take anybody's second leading scorer off your team," said Chris Collins in the postgame press conference. "Certainly no one wants to be out there more than Jershon."
It's the fifth straight loss for NU, who's postseason hopes are fading fast. The Hoosiers boast a likely top ten NBA Draft pick in Noah Vonleh and a potential first rounder in 2015 in Troy Williams. The Wildcats were short-handed and IU just had too much talent for them to overcome. The 'Cats were missing their back-up center Nikola Cerina who was suspended for throwing a punch on Ohio State's Amir Williams on Wednesday. And their starting center, Alex Olah was playing on two sprained ankles. So they really went in to this one short-handed.
Collins' team played great team defense, and were able to stop some of Indiana's weapons. However, you can't stop everybody. And they fell to Tom Crean a.k.a. basketball Ron Zook.
"When you're under-manned you gotta live with something," Collins said.
So that's the Northwestern basketball side of Northwestern basketball social media night. Let's get to the social media side of Northwestern basketball social media night...
Chicago Blackhawks icon Jeremy Roenick made a funny joke/reference while calling Team Canada's preliminary round victory Norway today. Roenick made an allusion to the 1977 film "Slap Shot" which is widely regarded as the most famous hockey film of all time. It's been 36 years since the movie was released, and we've had Hanson brothers inspired Halloween outfits and Chiefs jerseys at NHL arenas ever since.
People think Team Canada didn't live up to the hype today, the first day of men's hockey action. But that's only because Team USA was so utterly dominant
by comparison versus Slovakia.
So what did Jeremy Roenick say...
Chicago Bears Tight End Martellus Bennett
was awarded the "Bear of the Year" Award at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards
last night. He should get "Soundbite of the Year" as well. Bennett is the best sports soundbite in the city right now and probably the best Chicago sports interview since Adam Burish.
He's also the best Bears interview subject since Jim McMahon and he owned the room during his acceptance speech last night at the Hilton Chicago International Ballroom. The "Orange Dino" (one of his many nicknames) was hilarious, insightful and inspirational during his time on stage at the live awards ceremony hosted by David Kaplan.
The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago’s professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. Over $400,000 was raised benefiting the March of Dimes.
"The real reason we're here is for the kids," said Martellus Bennett encouraging children to be creative "because imagination is how children will come up with solutions to the problems that we have."
"I wanna lead by example, to be creative," continued Martysaurus Rex (I told you Martellus Bennett has like 40 nicknames).
"Where I'm from, you feel like you have to dribble a ball or catch a football to get out of the hood, but I want kids to know that you can get scholarships for creative writing, band, film, you can do all kinds of things."
As Martellus said, "it's frowned upon to be a creative guy and play sports," and "Everybody's BFF" is doing everything he can to change that...
broadcaster Bill Walton
granted me an exclusive this week. The video of the entire Q&A is linked here.
I asked Walton his thoughts on Northwestern Coach Chris Collins. Today's devastating home loss to Nebrasketball aside, Collins has some made noise in his first year at the helm, guiding them to .500 in the Big Ten, before the loss to Nebraska today.
The thoughts and opinions of Bill Walton on Chris Collins are transcribed below. Hall of Famer and one of the consensus top 50 players in league history, Walton was joined on the interview by his son, former NBA
player Luke Walton
Together, they are the third father-son duo to win NBA championships. Bill Walton, the #1 overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft has won numerous individual accolades as well. He's such a big national icon of the game that even his Twitter
parody account, @NotBillWalton
(156,000 followers) is an internet star in his own right.
The real Bill Walton, The Big Red, is one of the most colorful and controversial commentators in basketball history...
Yesterday was college football's National Signing Day and with it Illinois Football Coach Tim Beckman unveiled his latest recruiting class. Here to break down it with me is Illini recruiting expert Taylor Rooks of Fox Sports Next. We're going to find the bright side in Illini football recruiting. Yes, Rooks is talented enough to pull of such an accomplishment. Finding the silver lining in an otherwise bleak situation.
During Beckman's Signing Day press conference he said something rather unintelligent about the city of Chicago. It was self-aggrandizing and took a direct shot at Northwestern and Pat Fitzgerald.
This ended up overshadowing the other news on signing day as I received a very high volume of messages (texts, tweets, direct, emails etc) that all said essentially the same thing. Those messages derided the intelligence and vocational competency of Tim Beckman. And most of the messages said very little beyond that.
It's understandable as Beckman's boastful Chicagoland comment deriding NU seems rather non-sensical. Recruiting service 24/7 has Colorado, Purdue, Illinois and Washington State as the lowest-rated 2014 classes from the power five leagues...
Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald formally announced a 15-man recruiting class today that is among the most highly rated in program history. It's possibly Fitzgerald’s highest rated recruiting class ever-
#38 nationally by ESPN, with a composite player rating of 85.37 according to 247Sports--best in recent memory.
Rivals ranks this Northwestern recruiting class 59th overall, Scout says 50th. The press conference was held at Ditka’s restaurant in the Gold Coast, which was great for everyone involved. Much more convenient, especially given the snow, ice and hazardous travel conditions.
An insanely rough winter it has indeed been, and Northwestern
SID Paul Kennedy got the presser rolling with this weather related joke:
"Thanks for coming in the snow. This would have crippled the entire Southeastern Conference."
Recruiting, perhaps more than any topic in all of sports, is very internet driven. Internet media and the outlets that cover recruiting have a very symbiotic relationship. Throughout the press conference, Pat Fitzgerald constantly remarked about how the internet has changed recruiting...
On Monday, February 10th David Kaplan will host as some of Chicago’s current and former professional athletes receiving honors at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards. The Live Awards Ceremony will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet (7:30 PM) from the Hilton Chicago (International Ballroom).
The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago’s professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. The proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes
This year’s honorees include:
(Bear of the Year) Patrick Sharp (Blackhawk of the Year)
Nazr Mohammed (Bull of the Year) Welington Castillo (Cub of the Year)
Nate Jones (White Sox
of the Year) Mike Magee (Fire of the Year)
Stan Mikita (Lifetime Achievement) Alyssa Gialamas (Inspirational Athlete Award)
Tickets are $400 per person. To purchase tickets to the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards, please call Kate Adams at (312) 596-4721 or visit CSNChicago.com/sportsawards26
Now we move on to an exclusive discussion of sports media and sports that David Kaplan and I had by phone recently...
When it comes to Kain Colter, the Northwestern football team supporting him,
and the College Athletes Players Association
with which they stand, there are not "two sides" to this issue. That's one of the biggest fallacies of journalism- that every story needs "both sides" to be "fair and balanced."
Global warming or "climate change" exists, it's man made and it's destroying the Earth. The science is in on this and it's conclusive. Follow this guy on Twitter for more.
There is no "debate."
Regarding college athletes in the revenue producing sports, they are being exploited for their unpaid labor. Period.
The debate begins with what are we going to do to remedy it? A full ride scholarship for basketball and football players was a fair deal in the 1950s, when:
-College football TV contracts, and the revenue that they produced were a miniscule fraction of what they are today
-Coaches and administrators made a mere pittance compared to the exorbitant salaries they receive today
-Most people didn't even go to college, so a bachelor's degree gave you a tremendous competitive advantage in the labor market
-College football, and March Madness in college basketball were nowhere remotely close to the extremely lucrative national past times that they are today
So as the invisible hand of the "free market" has evolved in the last 65 years, why shouldn't compensation of the labor that provides the very backbone of the industry?
If you have any sense of American capitalism, of the ideals of "pure competition" and "free enterprise," there's only one side you can take in this fight. To be against Kain Colter and the NU football players
is to be completely morally and intellectually bankrupt...