Erin Andrews, ESPN College Gameday, Coming to Chicago’s Wrigleyville Classic


I heard a rumor last night. Then this morning, I saw this published on the blog of our good friend and Chicago Now brother Spread Far the Fame (also the creator of that lovely graphic above)

ESPN’s College Gameday will be coming to our city for the Northwestern vs. Ill-ANNOY game at Wrigley this Saturday. It marks the first time since November of 1995 the preeminent college pregame show will originate from a Northwestern home game. This is big.  This is huge.  This is our chance to show the world that Northwestern is Chicago’s Big Ten team.

I’ll let your slam at my alma mater slide for now, because I agree this is ginormous news! (And I’ll retort your dig later)

Big news for the Big Ten, big news for the Illini, big news for college football (sort of), big news for the Cubs (I guess). Erin Pageviews, the Queen of All Sports Media is going to be in my neighborhood! Yes, I must repeat that. Erin Andrews in going to be in “Wildcat Alley” to cover the Wrigleyville classic.

It looks like your graphic has come true. Well, kind of.

Fairly close anyway.

erin andrews

Happy 3rd Birthday The Sports Bank!!!

By Paul M. Banks

This weekend, it became 3 total years since The Sports Bank went live online. And today TSB is stronger than ever. January’s daily traffic average is well ahead of December’s pace; which itself was about 3x the previous month’s high. In fact, we’ve seen steady consistent growth in readership each of the past five months. We’re just half a month into 2010, but our annual daily page views for this year is 4x that of 2009. Which itself was double that of 2008.

Mostly, it’s been our twin mock drafts: the NFL Mock Draft and NBA mock Draft, produced by TSB President Paul M. Banks and Vice President David Kay respectively that have spurred this growth. And we couldn’t have done it without all the mock draft databases out there. You guys truly are the wind beneath our wings. But let’s also give an assist where it’s due: to Erin Pageviews. I mean Erin Andrews, and Jenn Sterger.

Well, to be more accurate- Jenn’s big fake chest, and Erin’s naturally bangin’ body. This just helps “bringing ’em in” and “pack the house” over here. But whatever the reason, business is booming, times are good and for that we thank you! You the reader, you’re the one who makes this all possible, we are eternally grateful and we have a special treat for you on this occasion.

[Read more…]

What’s the Next Step Up for Erin Andrews?


By Paul M. Banks

ESPN sideline princess Erin Andrews is a huge star in the internet and sports nerd worlds, but now she has the proper card to play in order to go more mainstream. And it’s not the “sex sells” card. To find out what new asset EA has going for her, continue reading after the jump.

[Read more…]

Links, Contests and Other stuff

Who knows The Sports Bank better? Championship Faceoff


By Rikki Greenberg

I’ve known Banks for a little over 2 years now and it’s has been quite the experience. We’ve sat together at press conferences and basketball games and mingled with fellow NBC street teamers at various clubs/bars in the city.

With all this time put in, I think I know a great deal about Mr. Banks, but when it came time to decide the “Who knows Banks better?” Championship Faceoff, I thought of two people who are special in his life.

Let’s meet the contestants.

First we have Lisa, Paul’s long time girlfriend. They have been dating for close to a year and lived together for much of that time, so Lisa should have an edge with ample time spent in close proximity to Banks. lisandmesoxgame

Let’s give a big round of applause for the second contestant, Soxman. He and Banks have an undeniable bromance that has blossomed since they met in 2007.

So who is it going to be? The best friend or the significant other?

Let’s find out!

1. First thing Banks does in the morning…

Soxman: Checks the number of hits the sportsbank had over night and the comments his story received.

Lisa:  This is a toss up depending on the day. Checks his email comes to mind, but so does drinking caffeine (coffee, red bull, or the like), grunting at me for waking him up, or going poop. Pretty much sums up his morning ritual.

What does Banks really do?
I go online, check/update the site/email, etc.

And the Winner is…

2. Best interview with a celebrity/athlete/politician…

Soxman:  Soxman of course.  Just kidding.  The best write-up of an interview Banks did was with former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale, who won an NFL roster spot through an open audition the team once held. He would likely answer Steve Stone or one of his United Nations Environmentalist peeps.

Lisa: Juice Williams, Howard Zinn, or Dan Bernstein

Who really was Banks best interview?guillen
Ozzie Guillen

And the winner is…

3. Athlete/celebrity/politician Banks was most impressed by…

Soxman: Bill Belichick, Al Gore, Erin Andrews and Elizabeth Banks

Lisa:  Paul is so fickle. This one is hard. It changes daily. I would guess Natalie Maines, Tara Reid, or Michael Moore.

Who was Banks really impressed by?
Ask me again next week, I’ll probably have a different answer, so “next question” as Bill. Belichick would say

And the winner is…
Lisa, although we should give Soxman at least half a pt. there.

4. Favorite television show…

Soxman: Lost
Lisa: Family Guy, Bill Maher, the Simpsons, Big 10 College Gameday

What really is Bank’s favorite television show?
Family Guy

And the winner is…

5. Brand of toothpaste Banks brushes with…

Soxman: Whatever he could get at the dollar store.
Lisa: Crest – or whatever I buy for him when he’s out

Which brand really captures Banks attention in the morning?
Anything Whitening

And the winner is…

6. If Banks wasn’t a web content creator/manager he would be….

Soxman: An environmental lobbyist

Lisa: A house husband. J/K. He’s tried a lot of stuff, but I think he’d get an office job or be a teacher. He’d be a really good teacher.

What would Banks really be doing?
Small Business Owner

And the winner is…
Nobody ?

7. Banks biggest pet peeve…

Soxman: PR departments that don’t know the “relations” part of the job.

Lisa: Traffic, driving, incompetence, stupidity

What really gets Banks annoyed?
The horrible Chicago traffic, the fact that I can’t go on I-55 to hometown unless its at hours other 2-8pm, because soutbbound traffic is ALWAYS RIDICULOUSLY BADbelichickhalloweencostume

And the winner is…

8. Weirdest habit…

Soxman: Always referring to himself as Paul “M” Banks
Lisa:  Paul loves to pull on his shirts. It stretches out the necks and it really bugs me.

What really is Banks weirdest habit?
Running the hair dryer over my body to get warm before I go to sleep. I think it works to  relax myself. I learned the process from my Dad, who referred to it as “going to Florida.”

And the winner is…
Nobody ? Oy gavult! You guys are killing me over here!

9. Song he most frequently quotes lines from:

Soxman: Anything from Kanye West…although maybe not so much anymore.

Lisa: This one is hard, he doesn’t really quote songs. Movies, literature, Family Guy…those are all in his wheel house. I am going to venture a guess, it would be some rap/hip hop lyric about getting ass and being bling or something from Smashing Pumpkins or Blur.

Which song is it really?
Something hip-hop or DMB.


And the winner is…
Tie! Extra point to Lisa for being extra specific.

10. Team he is the biggest supporter of…

Soxman: Chicago White Sox and New England Patriots.

Lisa: This is another one of those that it really depends on the day. He’s passionate and abundant with his love and hatred of teams. Among his top 5: Illinois, Northwestern, Blackhawks, the Bulls, and the White Sox. At least he’s got passion.

Which team really sends Paul’s heart racing?



And the winner is…


LISA! (7-2.5)

Sorry Soxman. It looks like you’re going to have spend some more quality time with your bromance partner Mr. Paul M Banks.


Take It To the Bank! Week 7 CFB

By Paul Schmidt

Ahhh…4-0.  That sounds really nice.  I finally showed what I can do last week with a 4-0 week, and some easy-money lines in C-USA and the WAC.  Given my reliance on Central Michigan this season it was really nice to get a boost from some of the other smaller conferences…

This week’s lines are a smattering of weird…a little bit because of some rivalry games, like Texas-Oklahoma, and a little bit because teams like Michigan chose this week to take on an FCS school (Delaware State in the middle of the season??).  The latter might be because of the Big Ten season starting earlier, I know, but find an FBS opponent, guys, seriously. Failing that…I guess the Blessed Sisters of the Poor might be available…

As always, this week’s four games are below, with the lines being the ones featured at the Harrah’s Casinos in beautiful, sunny Las Vegas.  Which I miss.  Sniff.

Oklahoma (+3) at Texas (neutral site game)
So this game gets played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas…which is in Texas…which leads me to wonder just how this could be viewed as a neutral site game.  I guess it is somewhere near equidistant from both campuses…but it is in Texas.  That’s like when Illinois plays in Chicago at the United Center and has the audacity to call it a neutral site game…it isn’t.  They’ve only lost twice there.  That sounds like hoomecourt advantage to me…

Either way, Texas is better than their ranking at this point.  The defense has been really impressive this season, even if Colt McCoy has looked a little…off.  He’s not playing BADLY…but he isn’t looking all that good either.  It’s pretty insulting, if you’re a Longhorn, that this line is on,y three points, because it isn’t like Sam Bradford looked great last week against Baylor…so what does all that mean??

It means Texas should be favored by way more than this…and they prove it on Saturday. Pick: Texas -3

Northwestern (+14.5) at Michigan State
Wait….what??  This is the same Michigan State team that dominated Illinois last week, sure…but EVERYONE has dominated Illinois.  That’s not unusual! 

What is known is that EVERYONE at skill positions for the  Spartans is at least dinged up. They’ll have at least two RB’s not playing with a third that will play injured…their backup QB hurt his throwing arm last week…and yet they are laying more than two TD’s??? 

The cavaet here, I suppose, is that Northwestern looked awful against Miami (OH) last week, but I really don’t think that will be an issue here.  Even if Willy and the Wildcats don’t win, they will keep it close. Pick: Northwestern +14.5

Miami (-14) at Central Florida
I’m a believer in Jacory Harris, and you should be too!  I also believe in Randy Shannon’s ability to coach, and get teams ready for games where they might get caught looking ahead.  This is a perfect example of a game like that for the ‘Canes.  Central Florida really isn’t any good, but they could keep it close if Miami plays with disinterest.

However, the ‘Canes haven’t done that yet this year. Though the win against Florida State looks less impressive, the Oklahoma win remains really legit.  The Georgia Tech win is looking better and better, and getting blown out in Blacksburg by Va. Tech isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you. More and more, they are looking like a team that could steal a BCS Title Game berth. 

Either way, I think this is a Miami team that remains focused on their goal of getting a BCS game themselves…that quest continues with a blowout on the road this week. Pick: Miami -14

Kansas -9 at Colorado
If the Northwestern line was the most perplexing of the week, this one, weirdly enough, made the most sense.  I knew that people would give Colorado too much love this week after playing Texas close. It’s like clockwork, this happens EVERY week — one bad team shows up for a week and then the next week gets a ton of action.

And make no mistake, Colorado is a really, really bad team.  They just might be the class of the crap in the Big 12. Now, Kansas may not be world beaters, but they are playing good solid football, and the offense is led by a QB in Todd Reesing that, though he doesn’t wow you with his arm, just doesn’t make mistakes.  That in itself should be enough to blow the Buffs out of the water, even on the road.  My, how the coaching stock of Dan Hawkins has fallen…Pick: Kansas -9

Last Week: 4-0
Season Record: 13-10-1

Online Obsession with Erin Andrews gone way too far