WBEZ | Sports http://www.wbez.org/news/sports Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en After championship hat trick, Chicago celebrates Blackhawks http://www.wbez.org/news/after-championship-hat-trick-chicago-celebrates-blackhawks-112215 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP788338193679.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title=" (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" /></div><p>Thousands of fans turned out Thursday to cheer the Chicago Blackhawks as they celebrated their third Stanley Cup championship in the past six years with a downtown parade and a rally at Soldier Field.</p><p>Goalie Corey Crawford told the fans &quot;you guys made this unbelievable.&quot; Duncan Keith, the defenseman who won the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoffs MVP, hinted at another win saying, &quot;four sounds better than three.&quot; Earlier, the crowd cheered for Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull, Denis Savard and Tony Esposito.</p><p>Former Blackhawks star Stan Mikita, who suffers from a progressive brain disorder, wasn&#39;t left out.</p><p>&quot;Stan ... we&#39;re thinking of you,&quot; the announcer said.</p><p>The Blackhawks captured their third championship with their victory over Tampa Bay in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup at the United Center on Monday night, and they haven&#39;t stopped celebrating since.</p><p>The Cup has been spotted all over town, at restaurants and nightclubs. It made an appearance at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, with Cubs manager Joe Maddon hoisting it above his head and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.</p><p>On Wednesday, President Barack Obama called coach Joel Quenneville, Toews and chairman Rocky Wirtz to congratulate the Blackhawks and added that he looks forward to hosting the team again at the White House.</p><p>And on Thursday, the team and the city let loose once again.</p><p>Players, coaches and team executives rode to the rally in double-decker buses, passing screaming fans of all ages decked out in red and black, as they wound their way from the United Center downtown to Michigan Avenue and the rally at Soldier Field.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP306666327069.jpg" style="height: 408px; width: 620px;" title="Chicago Blackhawks fans pack downtown streets after the Blackhawks players rode on double-decker buses in a parade to celebrate the NHL hockey club's Stanley Cup championship,Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)" /></div><p>It was a familiar scene for this Original Six franchise, and another reminder just how far it has come in recent seasons, with Toews and Patrick Kane leading the way.</p><p>The Blackhawks won it all in 2010, ending a 49-year championship drought, and captured the Cup again in 2013. But this year&#39;s run was different. The Blackhawks endured, the suicide of their longtime equipment manager, the death of former teammate Steve Montador and a Kane&#39;s broken collarbone.</p><p>Yet there they were on Thursday, celebrating the franchise&#39;s sixth championship. Chicago is the first NHL team to win three titles in a six-year span since Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002.</p><p>It&#39;s hard to believe that this organization was little more than an afterthought in Chicago or that the &quot;Madhouse on Madison&quot; felt more like a library, with sparse crowds at the United Center. The late Bill Wirtz refused to televise home games and drove away franchise icons such as Hull and Mikita.</p><p>Those two now have statues outside the arena, and the Blackhawks have a vice-like grip on the city.</p></p> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-championship-hat-trick-chicago-celebrates-blackhawks-112215 Chicago Blackhawks take home 3rd Stanley Cup in 6 years with 2-0 win http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blackhawks-take-home-3rd-stanley-cup-6-years-2-0-win-112196 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/hockey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup. Their 2-0 victory Monday night over the Tampa Bay Lightning even offered an opportunity the team didn&#39;t have the two previous times &mdash; the chance to celebrate the title on its home ice.</p><p>It&#39;s Chicago&#39;s sixth Stanley Cup overall, having previously also won in 1934, 1938 and 1961, as well as the two recent titles in 2010 and 2013.</p><p>Defender Duncan Keith scored the first goal, putting in his own rebound in the second period. It was only his third goal of the playoffs and his 13th of the season. After the game, he was named the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the first defender given the honor since the Anaheim Ducks&#39; Scott Niedermayer in 2007.</p><p>Star winger Patrick Kane added a wide-open insurance goal late in the third period off a Brad Richards pass. Center Jonathan Toews, who captained all three of the Blackhawks&#39; recent title winners and who was named most valuable player of the 2010 playoffs, was the first to hoist the cup.</p><p>The Lightning offense struggled in the game, getting off just 24 shots on goal against Corey Crawford, the fewest the Blackhawks goalie had faced in a game since first-round games against the Nashville Predators. Even playing six-on-four for a minute as the game wound down, Tampa Bay got few good opportunities.</p><p>The Blackhawks won more than twice as many faceoffs as the Lightning, and had two penalty minutes to Tampa Bay&#39;s six.</p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/06/15/414725803/chicago-hopes-to-clinch-the-stanley-cup-on-home-ice-for-first-time-in-decades">via NPR&#39;s The Two-Way</a></em></p></p> Tue, 16 Jun 2015 00:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blackhawks-take-home-3rd-stanley-cup-6-years-2-0-win-112196 In Englewood, kids and cops find common ground on baseball diamond http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/englewood-kids-and-cops-find-common-ground-baseball-diamond-112155 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Image4.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Strained relationships between the police and the community are unfortunately common in many cities, and Chicago is no different. From the acquittal of Chicago police officer Dante Servin for killing Rekia Boyd, to the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by two Chicago officers, the trust in law enforcement remains shaky.</p><p>One South Side community group aims to help mend the fences by getting Chicago cops and kids from Englewood playing baseball together. Teamwork Englewood organized the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League earlier this year to get cops in a coaching and mentoring role. The co-ed league is housed at Hamilton Park and the teams are almost ready for opening day on June 24.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/209374756&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 08 Jun 2015 11:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/englewood-kids-and-cops-find-common-ground-baseball-diamond-112155 Veteran Blackhawks, young Lightning open Stanley Cup Final http://www.wbez.org/news/veteran-blackhawks-young-lightning-open-stanley-cup-final-112135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/blackhawks_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Blackhawks headed south this week to secure a dynasty, and the Tampa Bay Lightning are the only obstacle left.</p><p>Jonathan Toews and his Blackhawks teammates have already raised the Stanley Cup twice in the past five seasons. They&#39;re just four wins away from a third NHL title that would establish them as the most accomplished club of their era.</p><p>The opener of the Stanley Cup Final is Wednesday night in Tampa Bay. Here are two matchups to watch for:</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The Teams</span></p><p>NPR&#39;s David Greene talks to Greg Wyshynski, editor of Yahoo&#39;s Puck Daddy blog, for a preview of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/411660189/411660190" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The National Anthem Singers</span></p><p>In hockey, the competition often begins before the puck is dropped &mdash; with the national anthem.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/411406397/411406398" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/veteran-blackhawks-young-lightning-open-stanley-cup-final-112135 FIFA officials arrested on charges of bribery and corruption http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/fifa-officials-arrested-charges-bribery-and-corruption-112096 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/0527_fifa-headquarters-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Seven top FIFA officials were arrested this morning at a luxury hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, where soccer&rsquo;s international governing body was gathering for its annual meeting.</p><p>The arrests, on charges of accepting bribes and kickbacks dating back many years, were made at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.</p><p>Also today, Swiss federal prosecutors announced that they have opened an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which went to Russia and Qatar respectively.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now</em>&rsquo;s Robin Young gets the latest on the charges, and how they&rsquo;re rippling through the soccer world, from WBUR reporter Curt Nickish, who is in Switzerland.</p><ul><li><em><a href="http://www.wbur.org/about/people/curt-nickisch" target="_blank">Curt Nickisch</a>, business and technology reporter for WBUR. He tweets&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/CurtNickisch" target="_blank">@CurtNickisch</a>.</em></li></ul></p> Wed, 27 May 2015 16:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/fifa-officials-arrested-charges-bribery-and-corruption-112096 For Bears chairman, plenty to second guess in McDonald case http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bears-chairman-plenty-second-guess-mcdonald-case-112095 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP720335860662 Small_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>LAKE FOREST, Ill. &mdash; Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey said Wednesday he has repeatedly second-guessed his decision to approve the Ray McDonald signing and asked himself what he could have done differently.</p><p>McDonald was released Monday following a domestic violence arrest in Northern California that police say stemmed from an assault on a woman who was holding a baby. McCaskey said he thought the Bears were thorough before signing the defensive end to a one-year deal in March and had the safeguards in place to make the move work.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve asked myself that question a lot. What more could I have done?&quot; McCaskey said. &quot;Is there somebody else we could have consulted with? Should I have taken more time to make a decision? I don&#39;t know. We thought we had a good structure, a good support system. We thought we had safeguards in place in case something like this happened.&quot;</p><p>Did the move affect the chairman&#39;s confidence in new general manager Ryan Pace.</p><p>&quot;We have complete confidence in Ryan,&quot; McCaskey said.</p><p>He said he was not involved in the decision to release McDonald because &quot;I didn&#39;t need to be. They knew what needed to be done and did it.&quot;</p><p>McCaskey said his reaction to the arrest was, &quot;Sadness for the child, for the child&#39;s mother and the entire situation.&quot;</p><p>As for McDonald&#39;s release, running back Matt Forte had a different reaction.</p><p>&quot;My first initial thought was, &#39;Man, we could have used him on defense,&#39;&quot; he said.</p><p>The Bears knew they were taking a risk when they signed McDonald. The San Francisco 49ers released him in December citing a &quot;pattern of poor decision-making.&quot;</p><p>That move came just a month after Santa Clara County prosecutors declined to file charges against McDonald in a separate domestic violence investigation stemming from an arrest on Aug. 31 while celebrating his 30th birthday at his Northern California home. Prosecutors cited conflicting versions of what happened, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a lack of cooperation by the alleged victim, McDonald&#39;s fiancee, in explaining their decision.</p><p>But his trouble continued.</p><p>In March, McDonald filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who had accused him of rape.</p><p>McDonald says security camera footage will show a consensual sexual encounter occurred in his hot tub. Police say the woman doesn&#39;t recall any sexual encounters and reported blacking out after drinking alcohol and falling at McDonald&#39;s home.</p><p>She said she went to police after waking up naked next to McDonald. The Santa Clara County district attorney is looking at the case.</p><p>McCaskey initially balked at signing McDonald but changed his mind after the player paid his way to Chicago for a face-to-face meeting. He spoke to McDonald&#39;s parents. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who came from the 49ers, put in a good word for him, too.</p><p>But McCaskey said he did not reach out to the accusers or any of the lawyers involved in the cases because he did not want to interfere in any criminal or league investigations.</p><p>&quot;I thought a lot about that, too,&quot; McCaskey said. &quot;Not just before signing him but since. One of my concerns was the bias anybody has in that situation. An alleged victim wants to make sure that charges are filed. An alleged perpetrator is doing everything he can to make sure that charges aren&#39;t filed. So that was part of it. But a larger concern to me was that I didn&#39;t want to interfere with any criminal investigation or with any league investigation by talking to the child&#39;s mother.&quot;</p><p>McCaskey said the Bears had a &quot;good dialogue&quot; with anti-domestic violence agencies before the McDonald signing and afterward. But he insisted it was the Bears&#39; decision to release him.</p><p>The decision to sign McDonald raised all sorts of questions, particularly since they are coming off a five-win season and not widely considered contenders. Plus, domestic violence became a major topic of conversation in the NFL last year because of a series of high-profile cases involving players, most notably Ray Rice.</p><p>McCaskey was asked about the possibility of the NFL punishing teams that sign players who get arrested. He said the league is not considering that, as far as he knows.</p><p>&quot;I haven&#39;t heard any discussion about that, either on the committee or among the membership,&quot; said McCaskey, a member of the NFL&#39;s conduct committee. &quot;It might be something that would be worth the discussion (but) I don&#39;t know that there was any consensus on that issue at all.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 27 May 2015 16:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bears-chairman-plenty-second-guess-mcdonald-case-112095 Bears release Ray McDonald after domestic violence arrest in California http://www.wbez.org/news/bears-release-ray-mcdonald-after-domestic-violence-arrest-california-112084 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP720335860662 Small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SAN FRANCISCO (AP) &mdash; The Chicago Bears released defensive end&nbsp;Ray&nbsp;McDonald&nbsp;following a domestic violence arrest in Northern California that police say stemmed from an assault on a woman who was holding a baby.</p><p>McDonald&nbsp;was taken into custody at 7 a.m. Monday on suspicion of domestic violence and child endangerment, Santa Clara police Lt. Kurt Clarke said.</p><p>Police say the assault happened at his home in Santa Clara. He was found about three hours later at a home in San Jose and arrested.</p><p>Police did not disclose if the woman or the baby were injured.</p><p>The Chicago Bears released a statement Monday afternoon about the decision to letMcDonald&nbsp;go.</p><p>&quot;We believe in second chances, but when we signed&nbsp;Ray&nbsp;we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear,&quot; General Manager Ryan Pace said in the statement. &quot;He was not able to meet the standard, and the decision was made to release him.&quot;</p><p>Bears guard Kyle Long quickly reacted to the move by tweeting &quot;Good riddance.&quot;</p><p>Chicago signed&nbsp;McDonald&nbsp;to a one-year contract in late March knowing it was a gamble given his history of legal issues.</p><p>Chairman George McCaskey even acknowledged at the time that he initially told Pace not to go after him. But McCaskey came away impressed from a face-to-face conversation that he described as &quot;very candid, very forthright&quot; and &quot;difficult&quot; afterMcDonald&nbsp;paid his way to Chicago.</p><p>McCaskey talked to&nbsp;McDonald&#39;s&nbsp;parents but didn&#39;t talk to any lawyers involved inMcDonald&#39;s&nbsp;cases or the accusers.</p><p>He cited a league investigation and said: &quot;An alleged victim I think much like anybody else who has a bias in a situation there&#39;s a certain amount of discounting what they have to say. But our personnel department had done its work looking into his background and the incidents and we had the benefit of two coaches who had been with him with the 49ers.</p><p>&quot;I spoke with Vic Fangio and came away very impressed with what Vic had to say about him, that he&#39;s well-liked by his teammates, by his coaches, his strong work ethic. That he&#39;s considered a leader on the field and speaking to Vic and&nbsp;Rayespecially I was convinced that he&#39;s sufficiently motivated to make this work.&quot;</p><p>McDonald&#39;s&nbsp;agent, Tom Condon, did not immediately return calls for comment Monday afternoon.</p><p>In December, the San Francisco 49ers released the 30-year-old, citing a &quot;pattern of poor decision-making.&quot;</p><p>In letting him go late in the season, 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said, &quot;Ray&#39;s&nbsp;demonstrated a pattern of poor decision-making that has led to multiple distractions to this organization and this football team that really can no longer be tolerated.&quot;</p><p>His release from San Francisco came just a month after the Santa Clara County district attorney&#39;s office announced it had declined to file charges against&nbsp;McDonaldin a separate domestic violence investigation stemming from an arrest on Aug. 31 while celebrating his 30th birthday at his Northern California home.</p><p>Prosecutors cited conflicting versions of what happened, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a lack of cooperation by the alleged victim,&nbsp;McDonald&#39;s&nbsp;fiancee, in explaining their decision not to pursue charges in the domestic violence investigation.</p><p>But his trouble continued.</p><p>In March,&nbsp;McDonald&nbsp;filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who had accused him of rape.</p><p>McDonald&nbsp;says security camera footage will show a consensual sexual encounter occurred in his hot tub. Police say the woman doesn&#39;t recall any sexual encounters and reported blacking out after drinking alcohol and falling at&nbsp;McDonald&#39;s&nbsp;home.</p><p>She said she went to police after waking up naked next to&nbsp;McDonald. The Santa Clara County district attorney is considering whether to file criminal charges.</p><p>McDonald&nbsp;had been signed by the 49ers through the 2015 season. He had three sacks in 14 games last year and had 19&nbsp;1/2 sacks in eight seasons with the 49ers.</p></p> Mon, 25 May 2015 14:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/bears-release-ray-mcdonald-after-domestic-violence-arrest-california-112084 In Baltimore, a different historic moment: A fan-less baseball game http://www.wbez.org/news/baltimore-different-historic-moment-fan-less-baseball-game-111962 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ap104892546963_custom-d40167f1b73db77f04a3eb0651cf27e42e8fcd8c-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image ">History was made in Baltimore Wednesday: The Orioles played the Chicago White Sox in what the league says is the first Major League Baseball game to be closed to public.</div><p>So players came on the field to no cheers and a home run was marked by the crack of a bat and only a few isolated claps.</p><p>Here&#39;s video of the first pitch:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Here&#39;s first pitch from White Sox and Orioles <a href="http://t.co/Q3ssanz6tF">pic.twitter.com/Q3ssanz6tF</a></p>&mdash; Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChiTribKane/status/593477271828180994">April 29, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>And video of a three-run home run by Orioles first-baseman Chris Davis:</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="600" src="https://vine.co/v/e7mqZ6zmwtK/embed/simple" width="600"></iframe><script src="https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js"></script></p><p>NPR&#39;s Don Gonyea is at Camden Yards this afternoon and he reports that he saw just a small amount of police presence outside the stadium.</p><p><a href="http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12781465/baltimore-orioles-chicago-white-sox-series-finale-played-wednesday-closed-public">ESPN reports</a>&nbsp;that it is believed that fan-less games have been played in the minor leagues. The network explains:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;The Baseball Hall of Fame and John Thorn, MLB&#39;s official historian, said they did not think there ever had been a closed-doors big league game, although there have been instances in the minor leagues.</p><p>&quot;Thorn said the lowest attendance for a major league game appears to be six when Worcester hosted Troy in a National League matchup on Sept. 28, 1882.&quot;</p></blockquote></p> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/baltimore-different-historic-moment-fan-less-baseball-game-111962 Settlement in NCAA head injury lawsuit gets first hearing http://www.wbez.org/news/settlement-ncaa-head-injury-lawsuit-gets-first-hearing-111896 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/concussion.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO &mdash; A U.S judge will soon get his first chance to scrutinize a reworked deal in a class-action, head-injury lawsuit against the NCAA.</p><p>A Friday hearing in Chicago follows Judge John Lee&#39;s December rejection of the first proposed settlement.</p><p>The second isn&#39;t dramatically different.</p><p>It also requires the NCAA to create a $70 million medical fund to test current and former athletes in contact and noncontact sports for brain trauma. And like the first, it would toughen return-to-play rules after a concussion.</p><p>Lee complained the first agreement was murky in places, and the new settlement seeks to provide clarity. That includes new evidence to address Lee&#39;s concern that the $70 million for testing won&#39;t be enough.</p><p>He may take several weeks before giving a thumbs-up or down to the new proposal.</p></p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/settlement-ncaa-head-injury-lawsuit-gets-first-hearing-111896 Can embracing March Madness make your office more productive? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-embracing-march-madness-make-your-office-more-productive-111742 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bball cropped.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>The snow is melting. The potholes crackling. The sun shining. And yes, it&#39;s <a href="https://youtu.be/8q6X-N4sJ1o">March Madness</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s thrilling, it&rsquo;s exciting, it&rsquo;s quintessentially American. Some 77 million people across the country are expected to come down with some form of March Madness this year. Pete Kadens is one of those people.</p><p>&ldquo;For a couple years out of college, I worked for a big company out of New York. I hated every minute of it, frankly&mdash;but there were two days I hated more than any other,&rdquo; Kadens said.</p><p>Those two days were the Thursday and the Friday of March Madness.</p><p>&ldquo;I saw that actually no one was working. There weren&rsquo;t smart phones but people brought in mini televisions, had them under their desks,&rdquo; Kadens explained.</p><p>Firms like Challenger, Gray &amp; Christmas <a href="http://www.challengergray.com/press/press-releases/its-march-madness-years-madness-could-cost-19b" target="_blank">calculate</a> the cost of such antics. They estimate a $1.9 billion loss in productivity---when workers like Kadens spend time researching picks, filling out brackets and watching games on their computer...they&rsquo;re not working.</p><p>But Kadens made a commitment to his post-college, cubicle-confined self: If he ever started his own company, he was going to be different.</p><p>&ldquo;My company would have vacation days. And together, instead of working, we would celebrate and watch March Madness,&rdquo; Kadens said.</p><p>And that&rsquo;s exactly what he did. Every year, his company, SoCore Energy, cancels work on the first Friday of the tournament. He invites employees, clients and vendors to come meet at a bar to enjoy some drinks, some games and some outside-of-the-office time with coworkers.</p><p>The rationale, Kadens said, is much bigger than his love of college basketball.</p><p>&ldquo;The NCAA Tournament is all about David vs. Goliath. And everyone, I don&rsquo;t care who you root for, everyone wants to see the underdog win,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Kadens said seeing employees with their family and friends helps him understand the biases they bring to the table.</p><p>&ldquo;This event gives us a forum to meet those people and understand someone&rsquo;s underlying bias--why John acts this way--that gives you more context...there&rsquo;s a rationale to it, it&rsquo;s not just, let&rsquo;s go have fun,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But, as it turns out, there may be some merit to the party plan. NYU Professor <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/leeigel/2015/03/17/stop-the-insanity-about-ncaa-march-madness-ruining-workplace-productivity/" target="_blank">Lee Igel</a> seems to think so&mdash;he&rsquo;s an expert in decision making and behaviors at work in the sports business.</p><p>&ldquo;We would&#39;ve thought it completely insane to let people take the time, away from their work on company dime, to go off and do something like watch basketball games or fill out brackets,&rdquo; Igel said.</p><p>But he says that type of thinking is outdated.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>According to Igel, the nature of &ldquo;work&rdquo; in America has changed. 100 years ago, most people worked with their hands. In the 21st Century, we&rsquo;re working with our minds. It&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s called &ldquo;knowledge work.&rdquo;</p><p>He added there&rsquo;s no need for fake spreadsheets or secret live streams--it will ultimately hurt companies in the long run. And further, Igel argues, today&rsquo;s workforce needs these periodic distractions.</p><p>&ldquo;We need people to actually get away from the same thing, over and over and over again,&rdquo; Igel said. &ldquo;This idea of indulging in March Madness with cloak and dagger, we don&rsquo;t need that anymore, we don&rsquo;t live in that world, we don&rsquo;t work in that world...stop the insanity over March Madness.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-embracing-march-madness-make-your-office-more-productive-111742