WBEZ | Michael Jordan http://www.wbez.org/tags/michael-jordan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The legacy of Michael Jordan in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/legacy-michael-jordan-chicago-111803 <p><p>Everyone from superfans to the casual office bracket pool participant follows NCAA March Madness. We rally around underdogs. We&rsquo;re suckers for Cinderella stories. It&rsquo;s as much about these journeys as the sport itself. So as teams compete for the championship title, let&rsquo;s look at Chicago&rsquo;s biggest basketball legend. Our tall tale. Michael Jordan.</p><p>Jordan came to Chicago in the 1980s, and went on to have one of the most memorable careers in basketball. Briefly, Chicago had the best sports team in the country. <a href="http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1998/06/22/244166/index.htm" target="_blank">We were known around the world</a> as the home of Michael Jordan and the Bulls. He brought home six NBA championship trophies in the &lsquo;90s.</p><p>Jordan&rsquo;s lasting fame in Chicago is what prompted a seventh-grader working on a history project to ask this question about him. (The student chose to remain anonymous.)</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>What was Michael Jordan&rsquo;s impact on Chicago?</em></p><p>Jordan wondered about his local legacy too. In 1993, he said this to a crowd at the opening of the Michael Jordan Restaurant:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;I want to say to the Chicago people, thank you for your support. Ever since I came to this city in 1984, you have taken me in like one of your own, and I&rsquo;ve tried to reciprocate that in my talents and playing the game of basketball. Hopefully the two is going to be a relationship that&rsquo;s going to last a lot longer than me just playing basketball.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>MJ did indeed leave the Bulls and the city in 1999. So, what did MJ leave behind? We consider possible economic impacts as well as his cultural &mdash; even spiritual &mdash; contributions, too.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Timeline: A brief history of Jordan</span></p><p>If you&rsquo;ve never been a Jordan fan, just need a refresher, or are too young to remember, here&rsquo;s a timeline of how Jordan&rsquo;s career intersects with Chicago history.<a name="timeline"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="650" scrolling="no" src="http://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0Ai7E2pZ6aCZtdEczczVJNzlKNFlUakM0bW1MQlZvOEE&amp;font=Bevan-PotanoSans&amp;maptype=toner&amp;lang=en&amp;height=650" width="95%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Jordan&rsquo;s economic impact: A windfall for the Windy City?</span></p><p>In the 1990s, the Bulls were on fire. They won championships. More people bought tickets to games and wanted Bulls memorabilia. However, according to sports economists we talked to, it&rsquo;s difficult to find measurable economic impact on the city.</p><p>Allen Sanderson, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and editorial board member of the <a href="http://jse.sagepub.com/" target="_blank">Journal for Sports Economics</a>, says pro sports teams typically draw in-person audiences within a 25-mile radius. He argues that when all those Chicagoans and suburbanites bought tickets to basketball games, that very same ticket cash likely would have just gone elsewhere &mdash; say, to Chicago restaurants, malls, etc.</p><p>Economics and Business Professor Rob Baade of Lake Forest University agrees that during Jordan&rsquo;s time in Chicago, it was likely that local fans just shifted some of their spending from one entertainment choice to another. Bulls are on a hot streak? Spend Saturday night in the arena. Lackluster season? Go out to dinner instead.</p><p>These kinds of arguments, he says, continue beyond Chicago and Michael Jordan. Consider a more <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/17/lebron-james-economic-impact-cleveland-we-expect-too-much" target="_blank">contemporary debate about economic influence and famous athletes: LeBron James and the city of Cleveland, Ohio</a>. Sports celebrities have some effect, Baade says, but it&rsquo;s often modest.</p><p>&ldquo;If you make the argument that Cleveland&rsquo;s economy has ramped up during LeBron&rsquo;s return, you&rsquo;d have to look at the entire Ohio economy,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Whatever modest effect Jordan did have, though, likely got a bump from the fact that he got the Bulls into the playoffs, effectively lengthening the local playing season, and creating several more games.</p><p>&ldquo;You can make the argument that more people are coming in to watch playoffs. But that&rsquo;s not lasting,&rdquo; Baade said.</p><p>But what about Jordan&rsquo;s own spending? After all, by the mid-90s he was one of the world&rsquo;s highest-paid athletes.</p><p>Sanderson says the success didn&rsquo;t put money back into Chicago because that money was spent elsewhere. Jordan went on trips to Jamaica and other places that took him &mdash; and his wallet &mdash; outside of the city.</p><p>Jordan does still have a home in north suburban Highland Park. The mansion, complete with entrance gates adorned with the number 23, is for sale. Though he left the city more than 10 years ago, the house is still on the market. (Any takers? <a href="http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2700-Point-Dr-Highland-Park-IL-60035/4902463_zpid/" target="_blank">There&rsquo;s a gym and a basketball court (duh), and it&rsquo;s only $16 million.</a>)</p><p>What about the Michael Jordan Restaurant? It&rsquo;s closed (<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-01-14/entertainment/9401150342_1_waiter-plate-iced" target="_blank">possibly because of bad reviews such as this one</a>), but the Michael Jordan Steak House, which opened in 2011, still stands. The restaurant employs about 150 people. According to manager Myron Markewycz, the operation&rsquo;s doing well. Markewycz estimates that during the first few years it was open, Jordan visited the restaurant about 30 times. That was before Jordan divided his time between residences in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Florida. Now, while Markewycz can&rsquo;t give a specific number, he says they see much less of Jordan.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The United Center: The house that Jordan built?</span></p><p>It&rsquo;s tempting for an armchair historian to credit the United Center&rsquo;s construction to Jordan and the Bulls&rsquo; success. After all, you can&rsquo;t miss the statue of Jordan that dominates one of the center&rsquo;s main entrances. And, a surface reading of the timeline lends some evidence: Jordan arrived in 1984 and the United Center opened for business in 1994, replacing the Chicago Stadium.</p><p>But actually, the United Center was a joint venture designed to house both the Bulls and the Blackhawks hockey team. And it was first planned in 1988, years before the Bulls&rsquo; first championship in 1991.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/UnitedCenter.jpg" style="height: 338px; width: 450px;" title="Chicago's United Center was opened in 1994. (Flickr/Esparta)" /></div><p>Sanderson says it&rsquo;s likely Jordan was just in the right place at the right time. Yes, Jordan excelled at the United Center, but basketball&rsquo;s popularity was the draw, not Jordan.</p><p>Jordan&rsquo;s rookie season was 1984, just as the NBA&rsquo;s popularity began to snowball. Until then, not many Americans watched basketball at the stadium or on TV. According to Sanderson, the playoffs were taped and aired later because not enough people wanted to watch them live. The sport gained momentum throughout the &lsquo;80s. Jordan and the Bulls, he says, rode the wave.</p><p>Sam Smith, a sports reporter who covered Jordan for the Chicago Tribune and authored two books about the star, says this rising tide compelled the NBA to push all teams &mdash; including the Bulls &mdash; to build new stadiums, fill seats and boost revenue.</p><p>&ldquo;They committed all of the franchises to have to get new buildings,&rdquo; he said, adding that if teams couldn&rsquo;t pull it off financially or politically, they were pressured to look for new cities to play in.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MJ%20united%20center%20statue%20for%20united%20center%20section_0.jpg" style="float: left; height: 361px; width: 250px; margin: 5px;" title="Chicago Bulls' star Michael Jordan stands next to a 12-foot bronze statue of himself unveiled outside the United Center in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 1, 1994, during a salute to Jordan by the Bulls. At left is Jordan's mother Deloris. (AP Photo/John Zich)" /></p><p>&ldquo;Everybody was put onto this,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why Seattle&rsquo;s team moved to Oklahoma City, as an example.&rdquo;</p><p>But Charles Johnson, the CEO of Johnson Consulting (a firm that works on stadium projects, among other things) gives Jordan more credit.</p><p>Johnson helped supervise the development of the United Center for Stein and Company. He says the previous venue, the Chicago Stadium, had become obsolete and that there &ldquo;was no doubt&rdquo; that the United Center would have been built at some point. Still, he says, Jordan &ldquo;absolutely&rdquo; drove the timing.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it is safe to say that this is the building that Michael built,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I do not think this can be said anywhere else, so emphatically.&rdquo;</p><p>Johnson, Sanderson and Smith agree that Jordan had a definite impact on the new stadium&rsquo;s capacity and other amenities &mdash; in particular, the high number of suites.</p><p>&ldquo;If MJ was not in the picture, that many suites would never have happened,&rdquo; Johnson said, adding that the decision to create additional luxury seating turned into an excellent revenue stream for the construction project.</p><p>Smith goes further, saying that the NBA pointed to Jordan&rsquo;s track record and crowd appeal as an argument to expand suites and other accommodations. He says the franchises listened.</p><p>&ldquo;You can make a case with Michael that he influenced all of these buildings everywhere,&rdquo; Smith said.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Charitable impact</span></p><p>Throughout the 1990s, Michael Jordan was the richest athlete in the world, raking in $78.3 million in 1997 alone. Even if Chicago felt little economic impact from the Bulls&rsquo; success, you might suspect that Jordan&rsquo;s personal wealth &mdash; and fundraising in his name &mdash; had potential to leave a more measurable mark on the city.</p><p>In 1989 Jordan and his mother, Deloris, created the Michael Jordan Foundation, a Chicago-based charity that focused on improving education on a national scale. It had two offices and twelve people on staff. Student who participated in Jordan&rsquo;s Education Club could earn a weekend trip to Chicago if their grades and school attendance improved.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MJ%20econ%20impact%20AP_1.jpg" style="height: 345px; width: 450px;" title="Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan gestures during a news conference at Bercy stadium in Paris Wednesday Oct. 15, 1997. Michael Jordan is the richest athlete in the world, regaining the top spot on the Forbes magazine list for the fifth time in six years. Jordan will earn dlrs 78.3 million in 1997. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)" /></div><p>But in 1996, seven years after the foundation&rsquo;s start (and shortly after Jordan made his <a href="http://chicago.suntimes.com/basketball/7/71/450458/michael-jordan-proclaimed-im-back-20-years-ago-today" target="_blank">famous Bulls comeback</a>), he<a href="http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1996/Michael-Jordan-Pulls-Plug-on-Charitable-Foundation/id-0c0db7ac6126eb83ad42762939677c11" target="_blank"> pulled the plug</a>. Jordan told the press he wanted to take a &ldquo;more personal and less institutional&rdquo; approach to financial giving, and that he&rsquo;d rather &ldquo;pick and choose to whom I give my donation.&rdquo;</p><p>And, aside from a substantial <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=9999200019825" target="_blank">$5 million donation</a> to Chicago&rsquo;s Hales Franciscan High School in 2007, Jordan doesn&rsquo;t seem to have picked or chosen much else when it comes to local donations.</p><p>One Chicago charity to which MJ does still contribute is the James R. Jordan Foundation, an evolution of the Michael Jordan Foundation named in honor of his father. Deloris Jordan (Michael&rsquo;s mother) is the founder. Michael has little administrative involvement, a fact quickly asserted by the foundation.</p><p>&ldquo;He hasn&rsquo;t been here in how many years?&rdquo; said Samuel Bain, the foundation&rsquo;s director of development. &ldquo;[MJ] hasn&rsquo;t lived here, hasn&rsquo;t played here.&rdquo;</p><p>Bain says it&rsquo;s challenging to quantify the impact of the James R. Jordan Foundation on the city itself, but suspects it&rsquo;s benefited more local children and families than MJ&rsquo;s efforts in the early &lsquo;90s.</p><p>Under Deloris&rsquo; direction, the James R. Jordan Foundation partners with three Chicago K-8 schools, two of which are on either side of the United Center. Every student enrolled in these schools is part of a program called the <a href="http://www.jamesjordanfoundation.com/a-team-scholars.html" target="_blank">A-Team Scholars</a>, which awards scholarship money to students based on the letter improvements of their grades each semester.</p><p>Bain says the program has helped Chicago kids make it to high school and college. Some students have become <a href="https://www.gmsp.org/" target="_blank">Gates Millennium Scholars</a>, and a number of graduates from the James R. Jordan Schools have returned to Chicago as program mentors.</p><p>&ldquo;The impact shows in actual neighborhoods, in kids who are making it,&rdquo; Bain said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the result of making it to college.&rdquo;</p><p>As far as MJ&rsquo;s contributions?</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s a supporter like our other supporters,&rdquo; Bain said. &ldquo;We are not the Michael Jordan Foundation. We don&rsquo;t want the focus to be on Michael.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Second to none</span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MJ%20need%20you%20back%20pride%20section_0.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 5px; height: 381px; width: 250px;" title="(AP Photo) " />For a while, everyone wanted to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0AGiq9j_Ak" target="_blank">&lsquo;Be Like Mike.&rsquo;</a> Which means Chicago&rsquo;s identity got a bit of a makeover, too.</p><p>Before MJ came along &ldquo;if you were traveling and told someone you were from Chicago, people would say, &lsquo;Oh, Chicago. Al Capone!&rsquo; Now, it&rsquo;s &lsquo;Chicago? Michael Jordan!&rdquo; said Sanderson.</p><p>Sam Smith says that the city experienced a sense of pride that it hadn&rsquo;t had before.</p><p>For a long time, he points out, Chicago was the &ldquo;Second City&rdquo; to New York or Los Angeles.</p><p>&ldquo;Here in Chicago, sports teams have traditionally been unsuccessful. They were associated with losing and being made fun of,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>That sentiment turned around. The United Center&rsquo;s Michael Jordan statue, entitled &quot;The Spirit&quot; and completed in 1994, has these words emblazoned on it: &ldquo;The best there ever was. The best there ever will be.&rdquo; It was as if, when Jordan was playing for the Bulls in the &lsquo;90s, everyone was proud to be from Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t be the best forever,&rdquo; Smith said, &ldquo;but for a while we were number one.&rdquo;</p></p> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/legacy-michael-jordan-chicago-111803 Morning Shift: Ranking the small screen and MJ hits the big screen http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-12/morning-shift-ranking-small-screen-and-mj-hits-big <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/TV and girl-Flickr- Eric Driggers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Entertainment Weekly released their list of the &quot;10 All-Time Greatest TV Shows&quot;. We dissect the list and hear from you about what shows are missing. A new film festival features stories of life in Chicago when the Bulls and Michael Jordan dominated the sport and the city.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-let-us-entertain-you.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-let-us-entertain-you" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Ranking the small screen and MJ hits the big screen" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Fri, 12 Jul 2013 08:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-12/morning-shift-ranking-small-screen-and-mj-hits-big The Cheryl Raye Stout Interview: A chat with one of Chicago's veteran sports reporters http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/cheryl-raye-stout-interview-chat-one-chicagos-veteran-sports-reporters <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/Cheryl.jpg" style="float: right; height: 317px; width: 300px;" title="Veteran sports reporter Cheryl Raye Stout. (Photo by Glenn A. Stout)" />As a veteran female sports reporter, Cheryl Raye Stout has had to prove her chops over the nearly 30 years she&rsquo;s been reporting in this city.&nbsp; We had a delightful phone conversation about breaking through the glass ceiling (which took the form of the Bears locker room door), her rapport with some of the city&#39;s sports legends and her thoughts on head injuries. Go <a href="http://chicagoradiospotlight.blogspot.com/2012/04/cheryl-raye-stout.html">here</a> if you&rsquo;d like to learn a little bit more about her history as a Chicagoan and reporter. We spoke for much longer than your typical blog post, so if you&#39;d like to see the full chat, go <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/2013/05/the_cheryl_raye.php" target="_blank">here</a>.<br />&nbsp;</div><p dir="ltr"><strong>You teach radio sportscasting at Columbia College. &nbsp;What do you have to teach students now about reporting that wasn&rsquo;t relevant 10 years ago?</strong><br />I also taught ethics in broadcasting. I had to bring that into play because a lot of times they take blogs verbatim, they take Tweets verbatim, Facebook... I said, &#39;Whoah! Unless it&rsquo;s a legitimate source, you can&rsquo;t take it at face value.&#39; One of the things I tell my students too is if you&rsquo;re using Twitter or Facebook, you&rsquo;ve got to be very careful. I think players, strangely, think that Twitter is almost personal and private. They don&rsquo;t realize the ramifications when they put things out there.&nbsp; I think there are more pros than cons but there are cons and the negativity&mdash;like what I&rsquo;ve seen this year, about Derrick Rose, that really, really is bothersome.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>I saw <a href="http://deadspin.com/derrick-rose-is-not-willis-reed-neither-was-willis-ree-491140934" target="_blank">a post on Deadspin</a> about how little anyone knows about the kind of injury Rose has, yet everyone feels so qualified to say he&rsquo;s slacking.</strong><br />I find that just appalling. Because those of us around him&mdash;I know the kid, I&rsquo;ve been around him&mdash;we know that he&rsquo;s not the person that they&rsquo;re painting him out to be. And it&rsquo;s hard because people will attack you for saying anything about him positively. Sports talk radio has really become a beast of negativity and of vile spewing things.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong><a href="http://chicagoradiospotlight.blogspot.com/2012/04/cheryl-raye-stout.html" target="_blank">You alluded to some unpleasant situations</a> you encountered when you first started covering sports in Chicago. Can you give an example or two?</strong><br />&nbsp;I&rsquo;ve told the story about the Bears, when I was going up there for practices, the players would be really angry and say, insult me and be mean-spirited, and then they had to sit outside the locker room. But there&rsquo;s been times when I was in a Boston Celtics locker room early in my career and they never had any women covering at that time. I was there in the visiting locker room at the stadium and a player saw me and he&rsquo;s coming out of the shower, dancing and everything, naked. I&rsquo;d never make eye contact, I&rsquo;d walk away. I thought, &#39;What a jerk.&#39; So, he was dressed and I walked past him and said, &#39;You know, there really isn&rsquo;t much to look at.&#39; I just felt that humor was my way of getting back without being mean, and to indicate that I&rsquo;m not going to back down just because you don&rsquo;t want me in here.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>How do you advise female sports reporters on how not to be pushed around, prove they are going to stick around and can roll with the punches?</strong><br />You have to know more. You have to research more. You cannot rest. I also tell them, especially when you do a lot of phone calling or contacting, you make sure you know who is on the other end of the phone. If it&rsquo;s a wife or girlfriend, or whoever, you treat them well. I always tell everybody, men and women but women particularly, if you&#39;re going to interview a player, don&rsquo;t just gung-ho start the interview. Introduce yourself, talk to them a little bit, and then say, &#39;Can I talk to you now on the record?&#39; Just to break that ice because you then get comfortable.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>The seasons when you had to sit outside the Bears locker room before Jim Harbaugh invited you in, what did you do while you sat there?</strong><br />I would sit there and ask the PR director to get me a player, the player would come out and I&rsquo;d talk to them. The funniest thing was when I was sitting there one day and Walter Payton sat down next to me. This was before I was let in. He goes, &#39;Go Cheryl, go in there!&#39;&nbsp; I said, &#39;No. I know you, you&rsquo;ll open the door, I&rsquo;ll walk in and you&rsquo;ll walk the other way.&#39; He was a practical joker. I just knew that I had to bide my time.<br /><br /><strong>What are some of your proudest moments as a reporter?</strong><br />One of the things I learned a long time ago is that everybody you meet&mdash;if it&rsquo;s a security guard, an usher, a handler, a PR person&mdash;no matter what, you introduce yourself, you get to know them. That&rsquo;s the way I was raised. Michael Jordan used to talk to us before games in the locker room. He was very accommodating. A lot of it was background information, and sometimes it was on the record when you were doing an interview for news. But he talked to me about baseball and he said, &#39;That&rsquo;s the sport I wanted to play.&#39; I said, &#39;Oh Michael, you&rsquo;ve got years.&#39; This was almost a year and a half before he retired. Michael retires and somebody I knew that was involved with both the White Sox and the Bulls came up to me at a Bulls game and said, &#39;Michael&rsquo;s going to try out for the White Sox.&#39;&nbsp; I called up a person I knew that was doing security with the White Sox. I said &#39;Hey, what time does Michael get there to work out?&#39; And the person says, &#39;Oh, about 10 o&rsquo;clock.&#39; And she goes, &#39;You...didn&rsquo;t know that, did you?&#39; I said, &#39;Don&rsquo;t worry, I&rsquo;ll never use your name. I just need to make sure I&rsquo;m on the right trail.&#39; As I progressed I was able to get the information and it was a firestorm when I did it.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>I watched <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lCjQDvwGXM">that 30 For 30</a> about him playing baseball:&nbsp; I never before heard that conspiracy theory that he was being forced to take time off from basketball because of his gambling.</strong><br />His dad had been murdered. That&rsquo;s what people forget. And in &#39;93, James Jordan traveled with Michael. That was the first year he had ever traveled with him. I was working for the team&rsquo;s flagship station and I traveled with him. They were closer than father and son. When James was murdered, there were over 100 cameras on Michael&rsquo;s lawn. That&rsquo;s when his privacy was really unearthed. I think that that devastated him more than anything. So to say that it was from gambling... unless you know for a fact, I just don&rsquo;t like that conjecture.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Has anything you&#39;ve learned from your career influenced the way you raised your son?</strong><br />I made a clear decision that he will do sports for enjoyment, he will not do sports to make that a career. I suppose you could mold anybody into an athlete if you really really try. I just think that the way it&rsquo;s evolved now&mdash;where the parents are living through their children, and these kids are playing sports 24/7, I don&rsquo;t think they become well-rounded. Also I saw the injuries. When I was covering Bears camp up at Platteville, the old place, we used to be feet away from injuries. I saw the collisions that went on, I heard knees and shoulders pop, I saw these guys with their bell rung. I had talked to a couple of Bears coaches, Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron. They had daughters. I said &#39;If you had a son, would you let them play football?&#39; They both said no.<strong>&nbsp;</strong> I was in a very bad car accident when I was 19 and I had a concussion that was really bad. I had the effects for over a year. I now have a brain ailment. We don&rsquo;t know if it&rsquo;s connected but I wonder if it is.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Can you tell me more about your brain ailment?</strong><br />Five years ago I started having some symptoms with my eyes. I had trouble. I kept blinking a lot. My jaw was dropping. It took over a year to be diagnosed. I was going from different types of doctors until I finally went to a neurologist who said, &#39;You have <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meige%27s_syndrome">Meige&rsquo;s syndrome</a>.&#39; I get Botox shots every three months to control it. It&rsquo;s my eyes, my throat, my neck, down the blade of my shoulders. I deal with pain every day and sometimes it affects my voice and affects certain things. I don&rsquo;t want that to impede me from doing what I do what I want to do. I&rsquo;m not going to sit here and feel sorry for myself. I just deal with those times when I&rsquo;m working and I can feel the symptoms bother me. It just frustrates me more than anything.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Who are the nicest Chicago athletes that you&rsquo;ve gotten to know over the years?</strong><br />Boy, there&rsquo;s so many. I love Ozzie Guillen. I don&rsquo;t care if he&rsquo;s a lightning rod. I knew him from the time he was a rookie. I&rsquo;ll never forget he was doing a live shot with us on WMAQ and he didn&rsquo;t speak good English. The only language he knew was profanity.</p><p dir="ltr">This is my favorite Bulls team, this last few years. The core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng. My son was given jerseys by other people, but the only one I ever bought for him was Luol Deng&rsquo;s, because of him as a person. He is the most well-rounded, grounded, intelligent, caring athlete I&rsquo;ve ever been around. Michael Jordan and I had a great rapport. I really loved him. I could go on and on.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>How does it feel to be the 349th person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />I feel honored!</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow me <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a> and go <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/interviews.php">here</a> to see previous Zulkey.com interviews.</em></p></p> Fri, 17 May 2013 09:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/cheryl-raye-stout-interview-chat-one-chicagos-veteran-sports-reporters Urlacher joins an unwanted club http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/urlacher-joins-unwanted-club-106249 <p><p>Brian Urlacher gets to join a club with Michael Jordan and Carlton Fisk-elite&nbsp;players with unpleasant departures from Chicago sports teams. Since the negotiations for the former Bear ended last week, Urlacher has not been shy about talking to several media outlets. Maybe it is the shock after playing his entire thirteen year career with the Bears that it&rsquo;s over. Brian&rsquo;s version of the contract talks doesn&rsquo;t paint a pretty picture of how he perceived it was handled. Because the Bears have not addressed the process, the only account comes from Urlacher. So it&rsquo;s best to leave it to Urlacher to throw the stones. &nbsp;No matter what, it was going to be a no-win situation for the team. Getting rid of a future Hall-of-Famer has historically been a public relations nightmare. Generally, it takes a while before the player and team will reconcile, if they ever do.</p><p>It has to be difficult for a player that at one time was an elite player to make an honest account of their skills and ultimately their worth. When the team is forced to make the decision to go in a different direction, it is awkward and difficult.</p><p>Twenty years ago, the White Sox had a situation that is similar to this one. The Sox had a future Hall-of-Famer behind the plate, Carlton Fisk, with diminishing skills, was a prideful man, not the easiest of baseball personalities. However, we had a terrific rapport during his tenure on the south side. Fisk and the team were not in sync in 1993, he believed he could still contribute, the Sox felt otherwise. On June 28, 1993, Fisk broke Bob Boone&rsquo;s mark for most games behind the plate (2,226) and the club had a nice celebration to honor him. The highlight was watching Bo Jackson ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle from the bullpen to home plate. Despite the gifts and the recognition of the feat, the underlying feeling was Fisk&rsquo;s days were numbered, six days to be exact. After that homestand, the White Sox went to Cleveland and Fisk was released by the team over the phone. &nbsp;Imagine how humiliating that had to be for Fisk. (He also had to make his own travel arrangements) Adding insult to injury, when the White Sox were in the playoffs that fall, Carlton Fisk was refused admittance to the clubhouse by security. He did reconcile with the White Sox several years later and has been involved with the team since then. They even erected a statue honoring Fisk on the US Cellular outfield concourse.</p><p>Michael Jordan&rsquo;s decision to leave the Bulls&nbsp;for the&nbsp;second time was another ugly split. The Bulls had just won their sixth title (1998) and the team was dismantled. Blame was all directed at General Manager Jerry Krause and owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Coach Phil Jackson all departed and the NBA had a prolonged lockout. Jordan announced his retirement in January &lsquo;99, his second departure from the Bulls. MJ never resisted the opportunity to tweak his former team. He unretired again in 2001 and sadly played two seasons for the Washington Wizards. It didn&rsquo;t tarnish his whole career, but he was clearly not the same player.</p><p>Urlacher saw his former teammate Pro-Bowler Olin Kreutz leave the Bears a couple of years ago. Kreutz was unhappy with his contract offer and hooked up with New Orleans, until he retired midseason. Urlacher has been fortunate that he has never had to go through free agency, until now, and that reality must be unsettlingly. Finding out if you have any value on the football field with another NFL team can be unnerving, especially approaching his 35<sup>th</sup> birthday and having some injury questions. Salary caps in football, hockey and basketball make teams wary of keeping veteran players unless they have some sound belief that the player can contribute. So Urlacher may have to decide to either take a contract for less money, just to prove to the Bears they made a mistake. Or retire, since Urlacher said he turned down the Bears one year-two million dollar deal because it isn&rsquo;t worth putting his body through game preparation for those dollars.</p><p>Urlacher&#39;s future is still undetemined, but the Bears have moved on after signing Denver free agent linebacker D.J. Williams. Everyone is replaceable, even Brian Urlacher.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout"><em>@CRayeStout</em></a><em> and Facebook </em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame"><em>Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</em></a></p></p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/urlacher-joins-unwanted-club-106249 MJ will be 50 and still everyone wants to be like Mike http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/mj-will-be-50-and-still-everyone-wants-be-mike-105521 <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/rsz_michael_jordan-bday.jpg" style="float: left; height: 417px; width: 280px;" title="Bulls superstar Michael Jordan in his prime will be 50 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jeff Glidden)" />Sunday there is a big event being celebrated in the NBA. You would think it is the All-Star game in Houston. Nope. Everyone is writing and talking about the biggest NBA star reaching his 50th birthday: Michael Jordan. MJ was born on February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. I knew that date the minute he was drafted by the Bulls in 1984 and would never forget (an explanation will be forthcoming).</div><p>People this week are scrambling to come up with highlights and doing interviews about the man that changed the NBA on the court and in the world of endorsements. He transcended a sport from the hard court in the U.S. to become an international showcase. Some of us were on the journey early on and throughout his career in Chicago.</p><p>For me, it was a great ride because the Bulls were fortunate to grab him as the third overall pick, since Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie went one and two. NBA basketball in Chicago would never be the same, the rafters at the United Center are filled with six NBA Championship banners and jersey #23 is retired because of Michael.</p><p>Everyone knows about the games he played and his stellar career. There are plenty of stories to tell. From the beginning of his time with the Bulls until his first retirement, Jordan was the most accessible player to the media. He would talk to every single member of the Chicago media before and after games. At the various practice facilities, Angel Guardian, the Multi-Plex and finally the Berto Center, he granted countless opportunities to talk to him.</p><p>I have done&nbsp;several one-on-one interviews with him, as well as the group encounters. The best time was&nbsp;night training camp sessions,&nbsp;sometimes I would be the only media member and we would have great chats. We would also talk before games about everything, on and off the record. That is how he told me about his love for baseball and eventually, it opened the door for me to be part of breaking the story of his efforts to play for the White Sox.</p><p>When Michael was in Sarasota working out at the Sox spring training camp, I continue to cover him there. He was up early at the batting cages trying to convert to baseball but he was unable to master that sport.</p><p>There were rumblings that Jordan was finished with the baseball diamond when I was at the Berto with a different set of reporters that were now covering the Bulls. The curtain was closed, but I knew the sound was from the days when Jordan practiced. After a few phone calls, the pieces had started to fit together. Michael was working out with the Bulls. After the few media members left (the coverage was so minimal at this point) I made some inquires with great sources and found out I was right. MJ was making a comeback. We broke the story on AM 1000 and waited for his official word on a press release &quot;I&#39;m back&quot; a few days later.</p><p>Jordan returned to the team, but he had changed with the media. He would talk after games, but he was wary about the coverage during his retirement/baseball period. Fortunately, he still gave me and some other reporters the opportunity to still sit down for one-on-one sessions. It is not as though we were great friends, it was a very respectful and professional rapport we had for each other.</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/rsz_michael_jordan_auto_show_new.jpg" style="float: right; height: 240px; width: 300px;" title="A prized momento from Michael Jordan. (Cheryl Raye-Stout)" />Of course, we all know he had a triumphant return that brought more championships with a different cast of teammates, except for Scottie Pippen.</div><p>And here&#39;s the story about Jordan and his birthday in 1986. That of course was the season MJ had broken his foot at Golden State and missed the majority of the season. It was also the year the station I was working for-WMAQ-AM and it had received the radio broadcast rights for the Bulls games. Before the injury, the station was so excited to have the NBA &ldquo;Rookie of the Year&rdquo; and was crest-fallen once he got hurt. Like this year, the city has the big Auto Show during this week.</p><p>Jordan was a spokesperson for Chevrolet and since he wasn&rsquo;t playing he was asked to come by WMAQ&rsquo;s booth to sign autographs. MJ was planning to drive to North Carolina for his birthday the next day to continue his rehab, but agreed to make the unscheduled appearance. There were a few of us from the station there and I told our promotions manager that it was Michael&rsquo;s&nbsp; birthday.</p><p>They had a basketball cake made and he was surprised that I knew it was his birthday. It was simple, from the day Jordan was drafted and I saw his birthday, it was the first connection we would have. That day is also my birthday.</p><p>The craziest thing about that appearance was an announcement was made that Michael Jordan was by our booth with Chevrolet, it seemed every person that was at McCormick Place headed to see the Bulls star. That is when it really hit me: Jordan&rsquo;s popularity was huge. And that was just the beginning.</p><p>There is more to tell, we&rsquo;ll leave that for another occasion. Happy Birthday, Michael! (But it was mine first.)</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame </a></p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/mj-will-be-50-and-still-everyone-wants-be-mike-105521 Will there be more Bulls finalists for the Hall of Fame? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/will-there-be-more-bulls-finalists-hall-fame-105476 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS3487_5709473506_1c8beb9896.jpg" style="height: 195px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="File: Chicago's United Center. (Flickr/Joshua Mellin)" /></div>Will there be more Chicago Bulls connections this weekend when the Naismith 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame finalists are revealed during All-Star weekend? The&nbsp;class of inductees will be announced during the NCAA Final Four weekend.</div><p>This year there are four on the list with Chicago ties. Do they deserve it?&nbsp; Let&#39;s take a closer look at each contender.</p><h2><strong>John &quot;Red&quot; Kerr</strong></h2><p>Younger Bulls fans think of the late John Kerr and his broadcasting days with the team. His passion for the team was infectious and endeared him to the local listeners on radio and television. His credentials on the court and the sidelines should give him a place in the Hall.</p><p>This Chicago native began his career at Tilden High School, then played at the University of Illinois. With the Illini, his team won the 1952 Big Ten Championship and made the NCAA Final Four. Kerr was named to the school&#39;s &quot;All-Century Team&quot; in 2004.</p><p>His NBA career began in 1954, he was the first selection (sixth overall) of the Syracuse Nationals. His team would win the NBA title that year. Kerr&#39;s NBA career took him to Philadelphia and Baltimore. In 1966, he was taken in the expansion draft to a new franchise: the Chicago Bulls. Instead of playing for his hometown team he would become its very first coach. Here is where John Kerr has a distinct NBA historical note: he is the only coach in the league to ever take a first year franchise (1966-67) to the playoffs. He was named &quot;Coach of the Year&quot; for the feat.</p><h2><strong>Jon Bach</strong></h2><p>Chicagoans remember him as an integral member of the Bulls coaching staff during championship seasons. There is much, much more to Bach&#39;s career. He has lived basketball his whole life and at the age of 88, still does as a Chicago resident.</p><p>The Brooklyn native played guard in college at Fordham and Brown. He had a short tenure in the NBA and would make his name as a coach at Fordham and Penn State. Bach was the Golden State head coach from 1983-1986. After that stint he would join Doug Collins&#39; staff with the Bulls.</p><p>He instilled the &ldquo;Doberman defense&rdquo; with the team, making it one of the best in the NBA. He left the Bulls and continued as an assistant with Charlotte, Detroit and Washington. He returned to the Bulls and finished his NBA career here in 2006. However, Bach continues to be active and assists with local high schools. There is no question he belongs in the Hall. &nbsp;</p><h2><strong>Jerry Krause</strong></h2><p>This may be the most unpopular candidate on the ballot. But the Hall is for accomplishments for the sport, not off the court.</p><p>My thoughts about&nbsp;Krause center on his role as the Bulls General Manager of a team that won six championships. For full disclosure, we did not get along. Heck, he didn&#39;t get along was most people.</p><p>Players, coaches, staff and the media were always the enemy. To this day, when he comes to scout baseball games&nbsp;he bristles when you try to talk to him. However, Krause does deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame for the teams he built around the best player ever to lace up and play in the NBA: Michael Jordan.</p><p>He also figured out the one coach who could harness and co-exist with Jordan: Phil Jackson. The Bulls fired Doug Collins, a popular coach, and Jackson was given the job. He was able to unload players and collected draft picks that brought in the pieces to surround Jordan.</p><p>On draft day in 1987, he acquired Scottie Pippen in a deal and took Horace Grant in the first round (both starters). After several tries, he found the club&rsquo;s starting point guard in a deal with San Antonio for John Paxson. His first top draft pick, Charles Oakley was swapped for New York&rsquo;s veteran center Bill Cartwright.</p><p>Those pieces surrounded Jordan and brought titles to Chicago. There are other players he put on the roster: BJ Armstrong, Scott Williams (undrafted), Stacey King, Dennis Hopson, Craig Hodges and a host of others that would be part of history. (Those players only account for the first three Championships.)</p><p>When Michael returned to the Bulls, Krause made a bold move that would insure more titles. He traded Will Perdue to San Antonio for Dennis Rodman. Rodman was a player that Bulls players and fans despised when he was a Piston. It worked. He also added Ron Harper, Luc Longley, Bill Wennington and Steve Kerr.</p><p>What goes against Krause&rsquo;s Hall of Fame candidacy is the perception that he ended the title run by breaking up the team. He also failed during the post-Jordan era. There is a&nbsp;huge anti-Krause sentiment fueled by Jordan.&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>Jerry Reinsdorf</strong></h2><p>The Bulls owner&nbsp;is on the ballot for the first time.</p><p>He purchased the team in 1985 and already had the Crown Jewel of the NBA in Jordan.&nbsp; He has been a model of consistency with his basketball franchise. They are now the third most valuable team in the league at an estimated $800 million.</p><p>Reinsdorf is second to LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss with his six Championships. (Buss has ten.) With Blackhawks ownership, Reinsdorf was able to have a new stadium built. Even during the years after MJ retired and the team was dismantlesd the Bulls&nbsp;continued to sell out. Fans may not think of Jerry Reinsdorf as Hall of Fame material but the league will strongly consider him. Maybe not this year, but eventually.</p></p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/will-there-be-more-bulls-finalists-hall-fame-105476 Where has all the NBA trash talking gone? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/where-has-all-nba-trash-talking-gone-104304 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_mj_larry_bird_and_kevin_mchale.jpg" style="float: right; height: 347px; width: 300px;" title="Three of the best NBA talkers: MJ, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.(AP Photo)" />A few weeks ago a fan in Cleveland did a little trash-talking to Bulls guard Richard Hamilton, a rather weak &quot;you&rsquo;re an old man&rdquo; taunt. It made me realize that the art of trash talking is just not what it used to be, especially among the players.</p><p>Hamilton said it was much better six or seven years ago. He thinks players have become too friendly with each other and the evolution of the rules with the referees calling fouls on any words or actions has quieted the &quot;talking.&quot; In the good &#39;ole days of Michael Jordan and Larry Bird that was when it was done best &mdash; on the court by the players. That is where it became an art form &mdash; and one of the most lethal tactical move by those elite players. Former players described who they considered the kings on the court, known for their ability to use words as well as a basketball.</p><p><strong>The Best:</strong></p><p>Boston Celtic great Larry Bird was mentioned on the top of most people&rsquo;s list. Former Bull top draft pick and now TV analyst Stacey King was christened by Bird&rsquo;s words his rookie season. &ldquo;I remember being in Boston Garden during a shoot around,&quot; King recalled. &quot;Phil Jackson told me not to give Larry Bird any air space. During the game Larry Bird was five feet behind the NBA three-point line. He looks at me and says, &lsquo;Are you going to give me this shot?&rsquo; I say, &lsquo;I dare you to shoot.&rsquo; Bird says, &lsquo;You know, if I make this, you are coming out of the game.&rsquo; Phil is yelling at me to get up on him; Bird shot the ball at least eight feet behind the line.&rdquo; After he made the basket, Bird went down the court and told King he did that to everyone. By the way, Stacey wound up on the bench.</p><p>Bulls coach Ed Pinkney gave kudos to a few players that talked trash. &ldquo;Kevin McHale was good; Michael Jordan was right at the top,&quot; said Pinkney. &quot;He would tell you <em>and</em> the coaches what he would do.&quot;</p><p>A couple of Jordan&rsquo;s teammates had difficulty trying to remember Michael&rsquo;s actual wording, but most of it was profane. Bulls President John Paxson said his former backcourt mate used it to gain an advantage over his opponents. King said Jordan did some talking to then-Cleveland Coach Lenny Wilkins about the Cavs defender guarding him. Michael dissed the coach and the player when he said, &quot;<em>He&rsquo;s</em> your Jordan stopper?&quot;</p><p><strong>Honorable mentions: </strong></p><p>Former Bulls center and team radio broadcaster Bill Wennington added Reggie Miller and Reggie Theus to the club. Gary Payton and Tim Hardaway talked from the beginning to the end of games, according to Bulls coach Adrian Griffin. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Trash Talking Fan:</strong></p><p>The fan that was mentioned by everyone was Washington&#39;s Robin Ficker. He would sit behind the opponent&rsquo;s bench with a constant stream of talking; he was relentless with his commentary. I remember one time he read Sam Smith&rsquo;s book, <em>Jordan Rules, </em>out loud the whole game.</p><p>Today&#39;s best talkers seem to be fewer and farther between, according to former and present players; Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are the major talkers. Besides the congenial friendships, maybe it&#39;s the social media, which allows more freedom to do the trash talking. Stacey King thinks Twitter has become the main vehicle for fans to trash talk. . . they can be heard and not seen.</p><p>The NBA also instituted the taunting rule, which penalizes a player for saying or doing anything that could be misconstrued. John Paxson said when the league expanded there was a reduction of games teams played against one another. Rivalries intensified with a six game series over a season, now three is the most two team will play.</p><p>Nothing was better than the Bulls and Pistons or the Bulls and Knicks. That was when the talking and the playing were at its best &mdash; it was almost an art form.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout&nbsp;</a>and Facebook at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/where-has-all-nba-trash-talking-gone-104304 Bad at sports: Movies that definitely don't got game http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-03-29/bad-sports-movies-definitely-dont-got-game-97727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-29/AP96112602563.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-29/AP96112602563.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 403px; " title="Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan in Space Jam. (AP/File)"></p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to Alison Cuddy talk sports movies on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></span></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/120328 seg b mp3_0.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-128715" player="null">120328 seg b mp3.mp3</span></p></div></div><p>It's no surprise that sports and movies go together like high tops and hardwood - each relies heavily on story lines involving underdogs, unlikely heroes, falls from grace and second chances (frequently in sudden death overtime situations - so tense!).</p><p>But sorting out the bad from the good sports movies is kind of hard - even the ones I like rarely rise above formula.</p><p>There are exceptions. <em>Goon</em>, which opens in Chicago this weekend, pays homage to (wait for it!) an unlikely hero - the hockey enforcer - and is an odd mix of the angsty interpersonal interests of Judd Apatow and the ultra-violent obsessions of Sam Peckinpah (<em>Straw Dogs</em> meets <em>Knocked Up</em>, on ice?).</p><p>Sports films I admire (and reliably cry over, because what's sports without tears?): <em>Hoop Dreams</em>, <em>North Dallas Forty</em>, <em>Slap Shot</em>, <em>Brian's Song</em>, and <em>Love and Basketball.</em> A good friend's review has me itching to see <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478337/"><em>Zidane, A 21st-Century Portrait</em></a> - a real-time take on the French footballer over the course of one game, made by a couple of conceptual artists and 17 synchronized cameras.</p><div>What follows (in no particular order) is a list of sports films I love to hate - or at least think are bad enough to merit mention:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>1. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106611/"><em>Cool Runnings</em></a>. A comedy inspired by the real-life Jamaican bobsled team, whose efforts at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics won the hearts and minds of many. Despite the affable presences of John Candy, Doug E. Doug and Leon Robinson, the ultra-formulaic approach misses an opportunity to tap into the anarchic power of amateur sports. Kind of more disappointing than flat-out bad.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>2. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109067/"><em>The Air Up There</em>.</a> Kevin Bacon tries to recruit a Kenyan talent for his college basketball team and winds up saving the heart of Africa. Really? The white man's burden is no better fit for Bacon than any of the other film roles he tried on through much of the mid-'90s. Racist and just plain ugh!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>3. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117705/"><em>Space Jam</em></a>. Michael Jordan agrees to help a Looney Tunes crew out! As a Chicago Bulls fan maybe I should be more appreciative of this mash-up of live-action and animated play. But to me this ode to Air Jordan makes the "I'm going to Miami!" infomercial ESPN put together with LeBron James look positively humble brag. There's a reason Derrick Rose declines to dance at the All Stars and I think it's <em>Space Jam</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>4. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079510/"><em>The Main Event</em></a>. Barbara Streisand hopes to recoup her financial misfortunes through the faded talents of boxer Ryan O'Neal. Streisand made this film with both her current boyfriend (Jon Peters) and ex-flame (O'Neal) which may explain why, like Jordan's folly, it's a star vehicle with zero substance. Now if Streisand and Clint Eastwood had collaborated on a boxing flick...</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>5. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263734/"><em>Men With Brooms</em></a>. A rom-com plot complicates an already little understood and frequently maligned sport: curling. With the late great Leslie Nielsen and Paul Gross, the guy whose TV show <em>Due South</em> brought mounties to Chicago. Which when you think about it seems a far more head scratching scenario than a sport involving rocks, brooms and briars.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Okay, hit me with your best shot - weigh in below with your favorite bad (or good) sports movies!</div></p> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-03-29/bad-sports-movies-definitely-dont-got-game-97727 Nine bedrooms, full-size court: Michael Jordan's home for sale http://www.wbez.org/story/nine-bedrooms-full-size-court-michael-jordans-home-sale-96832 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-29/AP110922145609.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Michael Jordan's longtime personal residence in suburban Chicago is for sale for $29 million.</p><p>The sprawling estate is in Highland Park, along Lake Michigan, and has more than 56,000 square feet of living space.</p><p>That includes nine bedrooms, 15 baths and five fireplaces.</p><p>There's also a three-bedroom guesthouse, pool area, outdoor tennis court and three climate-controlled multi-car garages.</p><p>An indoor basketball complex features a full-size regulation court with specially cushioned hardwood flooring and competition-quality high intensity lighting. It's also got a sound system set up to provide perfect acoustics within the court space.</p><p>The property was put on the market Wednesday by Katherine Chez-Malkin of Baird &amp; Warner Real Estate.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/nine-bedrooms-full-size-court-michael-jordans-home-sale-96832 What is your pump up song? What do you think Rahm's pump up song is? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-16/what-your-pump-song-what-do-you-think-rahms-pump-song-94091 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-16/AnitaBakerRhythm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-16/AnitaBakerRhythm.jpg" title="When I think of pump up music, I naturally think Anita Baker" width="500" height="500"></p><p>Today is a big one for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He worked hard on his first city budget, and today he puts on his best suit, maybe puts some product in the old hairstyle and tries out a different cologne. A cologne called "Victory."</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuels-budget-how-many-aldermen-will-vote-no-94086">The City Council is expected to vote overwhelmingly in favor of the new 2012 Chicago budget</a>. According to some reports, we could be seeing a 48-2 vote margin, reminiscent of the rubber stamp days of Daley. However, the aldermen appear to have had much more involvement in this first Emanuel budget, and many are signing on because of mayoral compromises made after a series of budget hearings. (For a look at how the proposed revenue increases will affect you, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-11-15/revenue-highlights-chicagos-2012-budget-94072">check out our short video with own Steve Edwards and Sam Hudzik</a>, who break it all down). Bottom line:&nbsp; This process has not been as "shove it down your throat" as it has been in the past.</p><p>Even so, it will be interesting to see who votes "no" in the end. Personally, I'm hoping that the council brings back Helen Shiller (former 46th ward alderman) to honorarily vote no, almost like ringing the opening bell for the NYSE.</p><p>But back to Rahm - this is his moment. He'll have bigger (and smaller) moments in the future, but this is his first budget. I have a feeling he'll frame it in his home office. And, of course, there will be a ton of fist pumps alone, behind closed doors.</p><p>But this all gets me to this:</p><p>What do you think the mayor's "pump up song" is? Pump up song, you ask?&nbsp; Yeah.&nbsp; You know, what's the song he plays to fire him up for those big moments, the one that gets him ready for the big vote today?</p><p>Well, the reason I ask is because <a href="http://www.csnchicago.com/">Comcast SportsNet Chicago</a> is running classic basketball games in place of real games this fall. Actually, they've been doing it for a while, but it just seems like replacement programming now.</p><p>Anyway, last night, they showed the famous Game 5 of the 1989 NBA Playoffs between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, the one where Jordan jumps over Ehlo and hits the game-winner at the buzzer.</p><p>At the end of the game, Jordan is interviewed by James Brown (now on CBS football), and James asks "Now I know you have a song that you listen to before every game to get you pumped up. Tell us what it is..." Jordan then says "Anita Baker, Giving the Best."</p><p>Wait, what? Huh?&nbsp; Anita Baker? This song?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/18xTQeRJK_U" width="500" frameborder="0" height="369"></iframe></p><p>This is the song that helped motivate the greatest basketball player of all time? I mean, at least Sosa had salsa. Every new Bull puts on their headphones and listens to hard core rap. Maybe they need to change their tune...</p><p>Anyway, this got me thinking. What is Rahm's pump up song? And more importantly, what's yours? When you have that big meeting, show, interview, moment. What song do you listen to at your proverbial locker? Please don't say Anita Baker.&nbsp;</p><p>All joking aside, this song does it for me:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/fVyVIsvQoaE" width="500" frameborder="0" height="284"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 16 Nov 2011 14:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-16/what-your-pump-song-what-do-you-think-rahms-pump-song-94091