X-Factors for the Packers and Vikings playoff game at Lambeau

dujuan harris

There’s a lot of bad blood between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings who took part in two of the better regular season match-ups this year.

Green Bay won the first round back in early December and this past week the Vikings took round two to earn a shot at a third and final round.

With elimination on the table it would be easy to say superstars Adrian Peterson or Aaron Rodgers will be the difference, but that’s a bit too easy.

Here are some of the lesser known players who will be the x-factors in Saturday night’s rumble in Green Bay. [Read more…]

The Chicago Cubs Brass is on the California Grass … Golf Grass!!

kimberly dejesus

A bunch of the boys are whoopin’ it up in the desert made famous by Frank and his friends. A rollicking happy place where the scotch flows and the golf courses never end. A land of breathtaking mornings and gorgeous nights. A world where the stars shine brighter than spotlights.

And finally, and most impactful for many … a town where the women are so eager because most of the other men are “gay, gray or leaving on Tuesday.”

Yes, welcome to the California desert. It’s nice to be there.

Oh, wait. They went to Palm Springs to talk about baseball. Riiiigggghhhhttt.

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Minnesota Vikings take Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith

harrison-smith

The Minnesota Vikings traded down, but then later traded back up in order to select Harrison Smith from Notre Dame. So in a busy NFL Draft night filled with trades, the Vikings were as busy as anybody

It’s rare for safeties to go very high overall, but Smith was the second safety taken in this draft. Mark Barron, from the Alabama Crimson Tide is the only one who might go ahead of him.

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2012 NFL Draft – Top Defensive Backs

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#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: College Football 77 in 77

Here it is- THE BIG ONE! Of all my 77 in 77s, this is my piece de resistance. The team I cover the most, Chicago’s home college football team, the program covered in the media unlike any other. Yes, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the most storied and well-documented team in the history of the game. This preview will be longer than the others, so let’s get right to it.

Storyline #1 QB controversy: Crist has risen, announced two days ago. (For more on that go here)

Coach Brian Kelly on the situation: “Dayne (Crist) overcame a serious knee injury just to be able to start the season (in 2010). He had another serious knee injury. He got himself ready for the spring and fought through the uncertainty of that as well. Then, the work in the summer and preseason , and it puts it in perspective. He is a much better quarterback. He’s the kind of guy I want to coach.”

Go here for a podcast previewing the 2011 Notre Dame season

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Notre Dame Defense: Too Early 2011 Season Preview

manti-te'o

In 2010, the Notre Dame defense improved dramatically over its 2009 output, making big leaps in scoring defense (63rd nationally to 23rd), interceptions (50th to 19th) and sacks (89th to 54th). Those numbers come mostly from the final four games, when they seem to just “get it,” a stark contrast from the first nine games where they showed potential but were also very inconsistent.  In the final four, including the Sun Bowl win over Miami, the d held opponents to less than 10 ppg. Limiting Army and Utah to just 3 apiece.

The Fighting Irish D return eight players who started at least eight games last season, including junior linebacker and All-America candidate Manti Te’o, who led the team with 133 tackles. He’s a Butkus Award front-runner and a likely first round pick in the next NFL draft.

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND offense (passing game)

Go here for our season preview of the 2011 ND offense (running game)

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Notre Dame’s Smith, Northwestern’s Peters Named to Thorpe Award List

The Jim Thorpe Award 2011 watch list announced today includes 37 of the nation’s best defensive backs, representing eight conferences and one independent. Stud senior safety Harrison Smith of Notre Dame made the cut, so did Northwestern senior Brian Peters. And don’t forget Wisconsin Badgers corner Antonio Fenelus, more on him here.

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