Findley — Hyde Park Catson February 24, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Pets in need of homes

Findley — Hyde Park Cats

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Forest — Hyde Park Catson February 24, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Pets in need of homes

Forest — Hyde Park Cats

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Gracie — Hyde Park Catson February 24, 2020 at 7:39 pm

Pets in need of homes

Gracie — Hyde Park Cats

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‘Kindness and Wonder’ – Always see the best in people, like Mister Rogers didon February 24, 2020 at 10:00 pm

Margaret Serious

‘Kindness and Wonder’ – Always see the best in people, like Mister Rogers did

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Pub Royale — come for the food, stay for the beeron February 24, 2020 at 10:16 pm

Chicago’s Art and Beer Scene

Pub Royale — come for the food, stay for the beer

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Chicago Bears Free Agency: 3 more candidates to be cuton February 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy

Chicago Bears (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Before the Chicago Bears enter free agency, they will continue to make business decisions.

The time is near, folks. March 18 cannot come soon enough for football fans. It’s the start of free agency; the beginning to all of the madness. For the Chicago Bears, the madness may not be as eventful in 2020 as the past couple of years. But, general manager Ryan Pace might still have some tricks up his sleeve.

Just a few days ago, the Bears had an estimated $13 million in cap space with some of their own they will likely bring back and also having to plan for paying this year’s rookie class. Of course, at the same time, Pace will decide to cut ties with some veterans in order to open up more cap room.

Already, he has done so with two notable names. Just a couple of days ago, veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara was informed he will be released along with wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. In doing so, the Bears save another $13.5 million.

Whatever Pace’s plan may be in terms of using that cap space, there are a couple of areas which most fans are certain to be addressed. Both the offensive line and tight end position need major upgrades, and I have no doubt Pace will look to the draft and free agency to take care of those spots.

However, we could also be surprised by a move like, say, trading for a quarterback. If Pace tried to bring in a guy like Derek Carr, Cam Newton or Andy Dalton, he’d need a little cash to do so.

The team is probably not done cutting players at this point, so which guys could also be on their way out? I see three fairly obvious ones.

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Chicago Bulls News: Zach LaVine questioning Jim Boylen proves the obviouson February 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm

To no one’s surprise, Jim Boylen continues to frustrate Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine.

On Saturday night, the Chicago Bulls took on the Phoenix Suns and were at one point up double digits. In the least shocking news of the weekend, the Bulls wound up blowing that lead and losing the game 112-104.

As he has done on several occasions this season, Bulls head coach Jim Boylen decided to call a timeout late in the game when the Bulls were down by 10 and it was all but out of reach.

Like most fans, guard Zach LaVine was left scratching his head and wondering why his head coach would take a timeout at that stage.

It wasn’t the craziest thing we’ve seen from Boylen, but one of many ludicrous decisions during his puzzling tenure with the team. After the game, LaVine was asked about the late timeout in the locker room.

LaVine has been visibly frustrated with Boylen countless times by now. But, the frustration appears to be boiling over. The tone and attitude in which LaVine responds in the above clip proves one thing above all else:

This team trusts Boylen as much as the general public does Jose Altuve at this very second.

LaVine is the clear-cut leader of this team. He has said time and time again that he is “all about the team.” This year, he has proven to be more than capable of leading the troops in crunch time. LaVine has fully broken out this season, and it’s a shame, because the team still stinks.

The team stinks because of the inconsistencies at the top. It all starts with John Paxson, who will still likely have control once the organization replaces Gar Forman. Paxson’s blind trust in Boylen is beyond silly and, if he has any semblance of an IQ, he’d take a hint from his star guard and fire the guy immediately.

The Bulls are a team which is headed nowhere fast under Boylen. They’ve been heading in a downward spiral since Boylen took over the team last season. It has not gotten better; worse, in fact.

For some reason, Boylen’s ridiculous coaching style and decision-making continue to take his team out of games. One of the most mind-numbingly foolish decisions is the continuing inability to make Coby White a starter. In his last two games, White has scored 33-plus points off the bench.

Yet, Boylen puts his trust in Ryan Arcidiacono as his starting point guard. It is clear to anybody with a decent set of eyes that White must be starting. The kid deserves it. Why not develop your future while you’re headed for another lottery pick?

Next: Bulls News: Jimmy Butler hilariously open to a return

LaVine is justified in his displeasure and sarcasm when it comes to his head coach. Boylen has no business coaching in the NBA. It’s time to get this guy a ticket out of town, and LaVine knows it.

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Chicago Blackhawks: Erik Gustafsson traded to Calgary Flameson February 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks have been keeping Erik Gustafsson out of the lineup and now he has finally been traded to the Calgary Flames.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been keeping Erik Gustafsson out of the lineup for the past few games for precautionary reasons. That usually implies that a trade is imminent. They have finally pulled the trigger on the trade as he was traded about an hour before the official Trade Deadline. He is off to the Calgary Flames in exchange for conditional draft picks.

The Flames are good. They now have one of the better defense cores in the National Hockey League. They are fighting in a very tight Pacific Division. The additions they have made at the deadline could be exactly what they needed in order to get over the hump. They didn’t have an ideal first half based on their expectations but that could all change.

Gustafsson was a good player for the Hawks but he had many flaws. He was solid offensively at times but there were also times where he was a complete mess in his own zone. Defending wasn’t his thing so if he wasn’t killing it offensively, he appeared to be a struggling player. He currently has six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 59 games played for Chicago which isn’t terrible, but he is far off his 60 point total from last year.

With Calgary, Gustafsson should be put in more of a position to succeed. When healthy, they have a really solid group. They are a team that should see themselves as a contender. If it all comes together in the end, it remains to be seen. These moves they made, however, could make that much easier for them.

Related Story: Toews and Kane deserve no blame for Chicago’s struggles

As for Chicago, they will just have another spot on the blue line to keep giving guys a chance. With Duncan Keith leading the way, this will give guys like Adam Boqvist and Connor Murphy chances to continue growing their game. There are a few guys in the system who are candidates to be there next year as well. This is a trade that could work out for the Flames if Gustafsson thrives in the proper role. For the Hawks, it feels like a situation that the Blackhawks messed up.

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Chicago Blackhawks Trade: Robin Lehner is headed to Vegason February 24, 2020 at 8:54 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Robin Lehner to the Vegas Golden Knights. This leaves Corey Crawford as the main guy for the rest of the season.

The Chicago Blackhawks have had an up and down year. It has been more down than up since the All-Star break so they went into full sell mode this Trade Deadline. First, they sent Erik Gustafsson to the Calgary Flames. Now, they have traded Robin Lehner to the Vegas Golden Knights. In the trade, they acquired goaltender Malcolm Subban, a prospect and a pick.

Lehner is now going to go to a stacked Vegas Golden Knights team. They play a solid defensive game from their forwards to their defense so he should absolutely thrive in that system. For the rest of the regular season, he is going to share the net with Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury probably gets the nod for the playoffs but they probably won’t hesitate to go to Lehner if Fleury struggles at any point. This is a loaded team that is ready to challenge for the Stanley Cup.

This could also really help Lehner’s cause to get paid. He is going to a defensively sound team that is going to be a threat to make a deep playoff run. He already had good numbers in Chicago, where the team in front of him allowed so much rubber to be put on the net. In Vegas, they are better at keeping the opposition’s high danger scoring chances down so Lehner should be perfect.

Related Story: Toews and Kane deserve no blame for this bad season

As for Chicago, Corey Crawford should resume the role of a full time starting goalie. He is also on an expiring contract so you might see the team look to give him a little extension. Subban should take over the role as the team’s backup goalie. It is a little sad that this season had to come to trading one of their two very good goalies but here we are. Hopefully, things work out for Lehner in Vegas and beyond as he pursues a new full-time home.

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Going, going, gone: Most local sports teams disappear from free TVon February 24, 2020 at 9:22 pm

I remember watching the Bulls with my grandmother on Stafford Street in Dubuque, Iowa, on WGN-TV in 1976.

It was a Bulls team that still had Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier and Tom Boerwinkle, joined by Scott May, Mickey Johnson, Artis Gilmore and Cliff Pondexter. For some reason, I remember their point guard, Wilbur Holland.

You would have watched them on WGN-TV.

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My grandmother viewed the game from a hospital bed since she had suffered from multiple sclerosis from a young age. The disease had worsened and took her from a wheelchair to a bed.

Being constantly confined led her to a love of card games, cigarettes and sports.

My grandfather had played organized football in Iowa before it became pro football, and the Chicago Bears were the favorite football team in that section of Iowa. My grandmother would listen on the radio to what she thought was the greatest rivalry in sports, when Iowa played Wisconsin in college football, so there’s no way any self-respecting Iowan would be a Packers fan.

I remember watching the Blackhawks on WGN when I was a child. And the Cubs, heck, you couldn’t keep from being a Cubs fan with the games on WGN, broadcast by Jack Brickhouse from 1948 to 1981. There are Cubs fans all over the nation because of WGN. Eventually WGN brought us North Siders that strange baseball team from the South Side.

Now all that is gone. Although WGN in recent years didn’t broadcast every Bulls or Cubs or Blackhawks or White Sox game, it aired enough games for a viewer to become familiar with hometown teams. Now you can’t watch any of these teams without cable. Families that can’t afford $60 to $100 a month for cable TV will be shut out. The sports you watched as a kid have become elitist. You can’t afford to go to the games and you can’t afford to watch them on TV.

My grandmother would have been stuck with Judge Judy and the “Price is Right.”

A trip to the ballpark with a spouse and two kids can cost $200. At that price how many times a year can you go to the ballpark?

And now TV’s been pulled out from under us.

Mike Ulreich, Bridgeport

Voter suppression

The GOP mantra has been in place for decades, but “low-information” citizens don’t realize this is the only way the GOP can win. Voter suppression, in the form of voter ID and voter purges and gerrymandering, has given the GOP victories as a minority party. The difficulty the Democratic Party faces is getting the majority of our citizens out to vote in order to nullify these shady efforts.

But many of us have become engaged by Indivisible and other movements to get out the vote. We can only hope this will be enough to counter the suppression effort that is expected to be massive in the 2020 election.

Lee Knohl, Evanston

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