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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Podcast: BEARS WIN! White Sox making moves, Bulls struggling

BEARS WIN BEARS WIN!  Christmas Miracle!  Bulls struggling to find their identity.  White Sox silently making moves.  And the Blackhawks still showing inconsistencies.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Which current Bears free agents will be back?

The dreaded day is upon us.  The Bears are eliminated from the playoffs.  So we borrow a page from the Chicago Cubs book and say “next year”.

But who on this 2015 Bears squad has earned the right for a new contract with the Bears and what are the chances we see them back next year.  We go through and give them a rank of 5 of if they earned a new deal and if the Bears will bring them back.  1 means the player is already out the door and 5 means they are a stone-cold lock to bring back.
(notes: if the player is under contract for next year, I did not include them. And I only included 8 players on each side of the ball)
Let’s start on the defensive side:

  1.  Sam Acho, OLB (3/5):   At times, Sam Acho looked like the 2nd best player on the defense for the Bears.  Other times, he was invisible.  He made league veteran minimum in 2015. So he is a low risk move for the Bears.  I think a difference making edge rusher is the Bears #1 priority, so if they bring back Acho, it is for a 1 year deal and he loses a lot of reps.
  2. Chris Prosinkis, S (2/5): He is a tackle-missing machine.  Whether its on special teams or defense, Prosinski is known for his missed tackles.  Sure, he caused the fumble against the Packers, but does that make up for all the big gains he’s allowed with missed tackles?  There is a slim chance he comes back as a special teamer and because he knows Fangio’s defense in a pinch.  But if he starts again next year, this defense will continue to struggle.
  3. Alan Ball, CB (1/5):  Ball was thrust into a starting role in the beginning of the year, replacing Tim Jennings.  But he quickly fell out of favor with bad play and missed assignments.  Things have not gotten better for Ball.  The Bears seem more than ok with Fuller, Porter, and Callahan (well enough to dump Ball).  I don’t see much of a chance for him to come back.
  4. Ryan Mundy, S (1/5):  Mundy was slated to be the starting safety along side his former teammate Antrel Rolle.  But father time and the injury bug bit both players.  I honestly thought Mundy would have been decent for the Bears this year.  But coming off a serious injury, being an Emery free agent, and the rise of Adrian Amos, I don’t see much chance of Mundy’s return next year.
  5. Sherrick McManis, CB (1/5):  McManis started the season as the Bears nickel corner.  In previous years, he has played decently in spot roles.  But this season, he has been absolutely horrible.  I am beyond shocked he wasn’t cut mid-season.  As with Ball, with the rise of Porter, Fuller, and Callahan as their top 3 corners, I think they part ways with McManis and try to develop young corners.
  6. Jarvis Jenkins, 34DE (4/5):  When the Bears brought Jenkins in, I thought it was only for depth and because he had experience playing this position.  But he quickly won the starting role and has been a pleasant surprise ever since.  In 2015, he only make $750,000.  I look for the bears to sign him for another 1 year deal for about double the money.  Even if they draft another DE, having Jenkins play backup reps still makes the Bears defense better.
  7. Shea McClellin, ILB (3/5):   I was torn on my grade here.  On the one hand, you’ve paid this guy millions of dollars to be a wasted first round pick.  Plus he is another Phil Emery guy, and we all know what Ryan Pace thinks of Phil Emery signees and draft picks.  With that in mind, I think he’s 100% gone.  On the flip side, Vic Fangio likes him.  He has done a good job of calling plays.  He’s gotten better as an ILB during the year.  But still, you need an impact player at your ILB spot to be a great defense and I don’t think Shea can be that.  With that in mind, if they can sign him for a team-friendly deal, I think he’s liked enough by the coaching staff to be brought back for a backup role (and spot starter during injury), but he can’t be brought back to be a starter on this team. 
  8. Tracy Porter, CB (5/5):  Porter was a journeyman corner in this league and he really found his calling under this Vic Fangio defense.  At best this season, he was a legit shutdown corner.  At worst, he was still an average to above average corner.  Either way, he was the best corner on this team.  Barring some team throwing him a ridiculous offer, I don’t see any way he is not brought back.  He made less than $1M last year.  I think the Bears re-sign him for 3 years for roughly $2.5-3M per season. 

Now onto our offense:
  1.  Marc Mariani, WR/PR (2/5):  If you listen to the show, you know I rail on Mariani a lot as a KR/PR.  And rightfully so.  He lacks the speed to scare the other team and he’s had enough trouble catching the ball that I would replace him in a heartbeat as the returner (already lost his job to a superior KR in Thompson).  But with I injuries piling up at the receiver position for the Bears, Mariani stepped up as a slot receiver.  At times he really impressed me.  Sure, he was no Wes Welker, but he got open and he caught the ball and he took the hit.  With that in mind, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears brought him back on a veteran minimum deal and let him compete in training camp for a spot.  But if the Bears bring back Alshon and Wilson, is there room for Mariani?
  2. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB (2/5):  Rodgers was going to be an important piece for the Bears offense this year.  He was going to be a change of pace from Forte and a bridge to Jeremy Langford.  But injury altered that a lot.  With the emergence of Jeremy Langford as a legit starting running back, Rodgers need is brought into question.   If you bring Forte back, it’s a pretty crowded backfield with Forte, Langford, Carey, and Perry.  If you decide not to bring back Matt Forte, it’s still going to be a crowded backfield.  I think if Forte returns, you will not see Rodgers offered a deal.  If Forte leaves, I think there is a 50% chance you see Rodgers come back and offered a chance to win a job during training camp.
  3. Josh Bellamy, WR (2/5):  Josh Bellamy is a guy that tests whether you’re thinking with your head or your heart.  He played well on special teams and whenever he was asked to fill a WR role on this team, he played hard.  We’re Chicago fans.  We love try-hard guys more than anyone.  Remember Chris Zorich?  Tommy Waddle?  If the Bears keep Alshon and bring back Wilson (and everyone is healthy), this is a pretty crowded WR group.  Kevin White, Alshon, Royal, Wilson and you have young Cam Meredith under contract.  Maybe they bring him back and let him compete for that 6th WR spot.  But I doubt they bring back both Bellamy and Mariani.
  4. Patrick Omameh, G (4/5):  Patrick Omameh has filled in really well and certainly won the right guard spot vacated when Kyle Long moved to right tackle.  Is he a stud?  Obviously not.  Did he do well enough?  Absolutely.  If the Bears move into 2016 with the same starting 5 offensive linemen, they will be OK.  Is there room for improvement?  Absolutely.  But o-line is not the most pressing need for this team.  You’ve already invested time and a 3rd round draft pick on Grasu, Long is a pro bowler, and Slauson is your best o-lineman.  So if the Bears do address the o-line in the draft or free agency, it will be either right guard (Omameh) or left tackle (Leno).  Pro Football Focus, in multiple games, has graded Omameh as the best o-lineman for that particular game.  So I’m hard pressed to think the Bears will be eager to move away from Omameh.  So there is a really good chance they try to lock him up or at least tender him as a restricted free agent.
  5. Marquess Wilson, WR (3/5):   Just as with Josh Bellamy, it’s hard for me to objectively look at Marquess Wilson.  I think he has a world of talent and it’s been bad luck that has prevented him from showcasing it.  Does that mean I think he’s a #1 in this league?  Oh hell no.  Not even a #2.  But if you bring him back on a low deal and he’s your #4 behind White, Alshon, and Royal (all healthy), then he could really be an impact player.  The issue has been he has been injured a lot.  And this year, he was forced to be a #2 because of so many WR injuries for the Bears.  Assuming they bring everyone back and health issues are resolved, he could be an x-factor for the Bears.
  6. Zach Miller, TE (5/5):  Barring some team throwing him stupid money, there is no way he doesn’t return.  Even with a healthy Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller is the Bears most dynamic pass-catching TE.  Sure, the Black Unicorn is a bigger target and stronger and harder to bring down and blocks better.  But Miller is too big for a corner and way too fast for most linebackers.  He’s a matchup problem.  He’s a really poor man’s Gronk.  While Marty Bennett is a headache for Pace and Fox and Gase, Miller is a great teammate.  Considering I don’t think Bennett returns for the Bears, Miller will be brought back.
  7. Alshon Jeffery, WR (5/5):  You watch the games.  You see the difference in what the offense looks like with Alshon and without Alshon.  Even when he’s at 70%, he changes the way the Bears play.  I think Kevin White will be an absolute special WR, but you are silly if you don’t bring back Alshon to be complimentary to White.  If the Bears can’t agree on a long term deal, they will franchise tag him.  One way or another, Alshon will be a Bear next year.
  8. Matt Forte, RB (3/5):  This was by far the toughest evaluation.  If you look at sheer production and what he means to this team, as a player, as a leader, as a good man…you 100% bring him back.  BUT.  That is a big but, he was easily one of the highest paid running backs in the league (#6 to be exact with $7.6M per year).  If you look at running back numbers, there are a handful of guys that get paid and a lot of guys not.  Out of the 146 running backs in the NFL, only 9 make more than $4M per year.  If you add the salary of the Bears other 2 running backs (Carey and Langford), Forte makes over 5.5 times their combined salary this year.  So do you want to bring him back?  Of course you do.  But it’s ultimately going to come down to a number that makes sense.  You can’t pay Forte nearly $8M next year.  I think $4.1M is a number that keeps him in the top 10 salaries at RB and is still affordable with what you’re trying to do with the salary cap.  If you are the Bears, you have to tread lightly here.  As much as being a Bear means to Forte, being paid and respected are more important.  The franchise and transition tags aren’t really viable here (A) because you likely use the franchise tag on Alshon, and B) the franchise and transition tags are around $11M and $9M for 2016). 


2016 is going to be an interesting year for the Chicago Bears with a lot of new faces and a lot of decisions to be made.  We shall see where Ryan Pace takes us.  But based on the improvement of attitude and play from 2014, I think the arrow is pointing way up.
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Podcast: Bears suffer another division loss to the Vikings, Bulls humiliated by Brooklyn, Blackhawks starting to catch fire

Our Chicago Bears are stumbling mightily at the end of the season, falling to the Vikings.  The Chicago Bulls train has completely derailed with humiliating losses to Detroit and Brooklyn.  But the Blackhawks have started to figure things out and are in cruise control.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Podcast: Bears give the game to the Redskins and the Cubs making huge off-season moves

Bears give another home game away and another crucial Robbie Gould missed field goal in the loss to the Washington Redskins.  But the Cubs are making a splash and trying to turn their cinderella season in a juggernaut season with their recent moves.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Podcast: Bears suffer tough loss to 49ers, Bulls falling apart, Kane is en fuego!

The Bears and Bulls are celebrating Christmas early by giving away games.  Meanwhile, a red-hot Patrick Kane is carrying the Blackhawks all by himself.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Podcast: Bears stun the Packers on Thanksgiving, Bulls and Blackhawks come home after Circus trip

The Bears ruin the Favre number retirement by beating the Packers on Thanksgiving night.  The Blackhawks starting to find their groove on the Circus trip.  And the Bulls still have no identity.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Podcast: Bears suffer tough loss to Denver, Cubs sweep awards, Blackhawks struggle

The Bears take a step backward in a close loss to Denver.  The Blackhawks start rough in the annual circus trip.  The Cubs sweep the offseason awards.  DRose gives up on playing for the Bulls.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Blog: Bears beat an awful Rams team in dominating fashion!

The Bears headed to St Louis to face a tough Rams defense and great running back in Todd Gurley.  They walked out with a dominating win and aspirations of the playoffs still alive.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Podcast: BEARS WIN! BEARS WIN! Blackhawks and Bulls struggle. Cubs in Free Agency

The Bears lose a heartbreaker to Minnesota Vikings.  The Blackhawks are struggling with the loss of Duncan Keith.  And we finally discuss our reflections on the Cubs season.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, November 2, 2015

podcast: Bears blow a lead vs Minnesota, Blackhawks troubles, and Cubs reflections

The Bears lose a heartbreaker to Minnesota Vikings.  The Blackhawks are struggling with the loss of Duncan Keith.  And we finally discuss our reflections on the Cubs season.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Podcast: We break down the Bears at the Bye Week and Talk Chicago Bulls with BullsBeatBlog

We break down the Bears season at the bye week. We also talk Chicago Bulls with Michael Whitlow of @BullsBeatBlog and Pippenainteasy.com.  All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Podcast: Bears/Lions play an awful game, Cubs in the NLCS, and Blackhawks growing pains

We go on a rant about the quality of NFL officiating (as a whole), we discuss the Bears play in the Lions loss, we breakdown what the Cubs need to do to get to the World Series, and we look at the first couple of weeks of the NHL season for the Blackhawks. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Podcast: Back to Back Bears wins!!!! Cubs and Cardinals series.

Back to Back wins for the Bears coming with late-game heroics by Jay Cutler.  Blackhawks starting off right where they left off!  And the Cubs have taken home field advantage from the Cardinals in their best of 5 NLDS. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Podcast: BEARS WIN!!!! Cubs are in the post season and hockey season begins!!

The Bears get their first win of the season!!!  DRose still has diarrhea of the mouth.  NHL season is about to begin.  The Cubs are about to have their first post season game.  The White Sox season misery is over. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Podcast: The horror that is Clausen at QB, Cubs make the playoff, Dunleavy injured

The Bears looked awful against Seattle with Jimmy Clausen at QB.  The Cubs made the Playoffs for the first time since 2008.  Arrieta is the cubs first 20 game winner in a decade and a half.  And Mike Dunleavy will be out of commission for 10 weeks. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Podcast: Cutler "injured", Bears lose big, Cubs magic # is 5, and we speak about Kaner.

I've never been so fired up during a show.  The Bears stink in every phase of play and lose big to Arizona.  Cutler is "injured" in the loss.  We finally break our silence about Patrick Kane.  And luckily the Cubs magic number is down to 5. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Podcast: Bears open the season with a tough loss to Packers, Cubs holding tight in wildcard

New regime, but same result against the Green Bay Packers, the Cubs are trying to hold on against the Giants, and the Blackhawks move more familiar faces. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, September 7, 2015

Podcast: Why you're wrong about Jay Cutler, Cubs romping towards the playoffs, and Bears 53 man roster

After a 9-0 win IN St Louis over the Cardinals (with Dan Haren pitching!!) and fresh off a sweep of Arizona, the Cubs are on a roll with about 25 games left to play.  The Bears make a few surprise moves to cut their roster to 53 players before the start of the season.  And we talk about Jay Cutler and why you are absolutely wrong about him. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Podcast: World Series here we come, Cubbies! and Bears woes starting the season

This is a Bears and Cubs episode.  The story of two teams going two different directions.  The Cubs have had a brief stumble, but are on the road to the playoffs.  The Bears are a penalty machine with no ability to play right tackle. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Podcast: Bears looking much better, Cubs rolling, White Sox fans off the reservation.

Bears improve to 2-0 in preseason, Cubs inching closer to clinching the playoffs, White Sox fans are getting delusional. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Podcast: Cubs streak over, Bears fired up in camp

We talk about the Bears developing an identity, Chris Sale solving the Cubs winning streak.  But this is a shortened show because I'm stuck in Minneapolis for work. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Podcast: Talking Bears training camp, Cubs sweep of the Giants, and the guys from BAWL!

Big episode for you today!  We have Chris and Big Dave from BAWL on the show talking Bulls.  We start getting into the meat and potatoes of the Bears training camp.  And we talk about the Cubs big sweep of the Giants and the bomb threat at Wrigley. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Podcast: Bears predicted last in NFL, Cubs back in the drivers seat

USA Today thinks the Bears will be last in the NFL and the Packers win it all?  The Cubs and White Sox continue in opposite directions. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Podcast: The trade deadline is here! Are the Cubs and White Sox buyers or sellers?

With the Cubs and surprisingly White Sox in the tick of the wild card races, what do the teams do at the trade deadline? All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Podcast: White Sox/Cubs start the 2nd half, Patrick Sharp traded, Bears training camp battles.

The 2nd half of the baseball season is underway.  We discuss where the Cubs and White Sox are, where they go from here, and where they end the season.  We discuss the trade of Patrick Sharp from the Blackhawks and the Bears training camp battles. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, July 6, 2015

Podcast: Cubs/Sox talk, Blackhawks re-tooling, and Bulls off-season

Cubbies bouncing back after a rough series against the Cards.  The Blackhawks re-tooling for another Cup run.  The White Sox riding the coattails of Ace Chris Sale.  And the Bulls trying to close the gap with Cleveland. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Podcast: Saad traded, NHL draft, and Blackhawks in free agency

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded fan favorite Brandon Saad.  THE SKY IS FALLING!  We talk over this, the Raanta trade, the draft, and more with Chris Block of TheThirdManIn.com and the Committed Indian. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

LA vs Chicago

Want to see the difference between winning in Chicago versus winning in Los Angeles?  This is the 2014 LA Kings parade vs the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks parade.  That's how Chicago do.

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26 Billion Pixel photo from Stanley Cup game 6

This is absolutely ridiculous.  You can zoom in on anyone's face anywhere in the crowd.

http://gigapixel.panoramas.com/stanleycup/2015/


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Podcast: Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, Bears opening camp, Cubs winning, Sox slumping

The Chicago Blackhawks are the Stanley Cup champions once again.  The Chicago Bears open camp.  The Cubs are looking good.  The White Sox are on a 1-game winning streak! All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Podcast: 1 more win for the Stanley Cup, Bulls new coach, and Cubs White Sox talk

The Chicago Blackhawks are 1 win away from a Stanley Cup trophy, the Chicago Bulls are rounding out a coaching staff, Cubs are playing well and signed a new closer, and the White Sox are off the tracks. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Only 1 more win to go!


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2 wins left! Let's go Hawks!


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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Podcast: Breaking down the Blackhawks Stanley Cup finals series vs Tampa

Hawks are up 1-0 in the best of 7 Stanley Cup Finals series against Tampa.  We break it all down and talk about expectations for the rest of the series. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2-1 win in Tampa. Only 3 more wins to go.


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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hawks win!


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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

podcast: Ray McDonald gone, Blackhawks on the brink, Cubs in the hunt, and White Sox in the tank.

The Anaheim Ducks have the Blackhawks on the verge of elimination, Memorial Day is really D-Day for Ray McDonald, the Cubs are right in the NL Central thick, and the White Sox are in the tank. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Podcast: Blackhawks win, the Bulls lose, and we have 2 real baseball teams in Chicago!

Lebron beats the Bulls again, Blackhawks take on the Ducks to go to the Stanley Cup finals, and the White Sox and Cubs are on fire. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cool Lego compatible Bears figures

I picked up this cool figure at the NFL draft.  Just a day and a half after the Bears selected Kevin White #7 overall, OYO Sports already had a toy of him.  These figures are Lego compatible and they have Cubs, Sox, Bears, and Blackhawks.

http://www.oyosports.com/Hockey/Chicago-Blackhawks






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Monday, May 11, 2015

Podcast: Bulls playoff hopes, Blackhawks vs Anaheim Ducks, and Bears roster

Bulls striking hard on LeBron, Bears roster shaping up, Blackhawks gearing up for Anaheim, and Cubs bullpen arms taxed. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

8 wins to go!


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Monday, May 4, 2015

Breaking down the Bears draft, talking Bulls and Blackhawks up in their round 2 playoff series


We talk with fans at the NFL draft about the Bears draft, we discuss the Bears rookie pickups, Bulls beating Cleveland in game 1, and the Blackhawks up 2-0 on the Wild. All of this and more on this episode of Bill Swerski's Sports Talk Chicago.
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youtube.com/SwerskiSports

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