All posts by CBS Chicago

Keidel: Will Falcons Or Lions Stay Undefeated?

By Jason Keidel It’s hard to glean season-long nuggets from two weeks of play. But based on data gathered since the NFL expanded its playoffs to 12 teams, those who start 0-2 have a 12 percent chance of playing in January. Conversely, teams that start 2-0 have an over 60 percent chance to make the postseason. Only two such clubs are playing each other this Sunday, and it wasn’t a game anyone circled before the season started. But there’s no denying that the Atlanta Falcons-Detroit Lions game is worthy of our attention. In the turbulence of this young season, these are the only 2-0 clubs facing each other in Week 3. And if we can add one more stat into the mix, teams that start 3-0 make the playoffs 73 percent of the time. >>WATCH: The NFL on CBS All Access – Try It Free Atlanta, who few expected to bolt out of the gate this well, has already scored 57 points. The catchphrase outside of Atlanta was Super Bowl hangover. We knew that it existed, and we knew it would plague the Falcons, who didn’t just lose a Super Bowl to the Patriots, but also gagged up the biggest lead in history. Even non-Falcon, heck, non-football, fans have memorized two numbers since February… 28-3. That’s Atlanta’s lead, of course. In the second half. They blew the doors of Brady, Belichick and all the alleged mystique they brought with them to big games. Only Eli Manning was allowed to beat the Pats. You know the rest, and so does every Falcon who returned for the 2018 season. But if there is any hangover, it certainly hasn’t hit QB Matt Ryan, who leads the NFL with nearly 10 yards per pass attempt. “Matty Ice” has completed 69 percent of his passes so far, and while he has just two passing TDs (0 INT), he has a gaggle of gifted runners around him who have scored three TDs on the ground. Atlanta has looked crisp, focused and quite potent, particularly during their Sunday drubbing of the depleted Packers to open their glittering new stadium. The Falcons are pretty much a carbon copy of last year’s team. Only one NFC club has scored more than Atlanta — Detroit, which has dropped 59 points in just two games. Matt Stafford is still playing his dazzling best, which proves what most of us outside of Detroit already know — he’s worth every dime of his record-breaking, $135 million deal that includes $92 million in guaranteed money. Lions fans have given him the sardonic handle, “Pad Stat-Ford,” but you’d love to hear who they’d rather have under center, and why. >>MORE: Keidel: Matthew Stafford Deserves Record Contract Stafford broke the NFL record last year with eight fourth-quarter comebacks, and this year has completed 71 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception. But so far, Detroit has not relied entirely on Stafford’s blessed right arm. Though the Lions were 30th in the NFL in rushing last year, averaging a paltry 83 yards per game, they sliced the stout Giants defense, on the road, for 138 yards. Between their newfound running attack, which will pry open the play-action, and Atlanta playing without pass-rushing ace Vic Beasley, the Lions are poised to put up some points. When two teams with the same record square off, you expect the home club to be favored. But the Falcons visit Ford Field as three-point favorites, which speaks almost entirely to reputation. Atlanta just played in the Super Bowl, while the Lions have never appeared in one. The Lions are considered a joke, a forlorn franchise, with any fast start far more mirage than some kind of revival. So this is the perfect time for Detroit to stamp its arrival, during the marquee matchup of the week, against the defending NFC champs. You won’t find two quarterbacks playing any better than the two men named Matt. And, at least for a week, the Detroit Lions can win a game and claim the ephemeral throne as supreme team in the NFC, if not the NFL. And restore the Roar. Jason writes a weekly column for CBS Local Sports. He is a native New Yorker, sans the elitist sensibilities, and believes there’s a world west of the Hudson River. A Yankees devotee and Steelers groupie, he has been scouring the forest of fertile NYC sports sections since the 1970s. He has written over 500 columns for WFAN/CBS NY, and also worked as a freelance writer for Sports Illustrated and Newsday subsidiary amNew York. He made his bones as a boxing writer, occasionally covering fights in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, but mostly inside Madison Square Garden. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKeidel.

Local Leaders Want Businesses To Help With Earthquake Relief

Chicago (CBS)–Mexican-American elected officials, civic and non-profit leaders are appealing to Chicagoans and corporations to contribute to relief efforts following the earthquake in Mexico. “We are here today with a great sense of sadness and loss,” said Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia as he stood with others at a Mexican restaurant in the Little Village neighborhood. 22nd Ward Alderman Ricardo Muñoz said “we’re begging corporate America. All of you businesses that take our money, we now need you to contribute to this effort.” He added “We don’t need clothes. We don’t need food. We need folks to make a financial contribution to the Red Cross.” Former McPier CEO and businessman Juan Ochoa said he’s not really concerned about donor fatigue with so many donating to hurricane relief.
“I think that Chicagoans have a big heart. I think that any amount of money is important. If you can donate only one dollar, it’s a dollar more than we had.” Chicago is a sister city to Mexico City.

‘I Don’t Believe This!’ Price Is Right Contestants Spin Up $1 Five Times In A Row

CHICAGO (CBS) — The new season of “The Price Is Right” didn’t waste much time handing out big bucks in an improbably exciting way. On Friday, three contestants spun up $1 on the big wheel five times in a row in the Showcase Showdown, winning a combined $80,000 for their amazing luck. Granted, a couple of the contestants needed two spins to add up to $1, but that just makes the odds that all three totaled $1 that much more unlikely. Even host Drew Carey could barely contain his glee.

This season is the first time contestants can win $10,000 for spinning up a total of $1 in one or two chances on the big wheel, and another $25,000 if they get exactly $1 on a bonus spin. The first time around, Wilbur spun 75 cents and then 25 cents, Charlotte hit $1 exactly, and Zachary spun up 85 cents and then 15 cents – winning $10,000 each. Wilbur and Charlotte then both got $1 on their bonus spins, winning another $25,000 each. “Oh my goodness, I don’t believe this,” Carey said. “We gave away $80,000 just on this wheel spin. The hot streak became a social media sensation.

In an interview with CBS Local last week, Drew Carey teased that there would be an “outrageous” moment during premiere week. “We couldn’t believe what was happening, my jaw was hanging down,” Carey said. “It’s going to be our biggest viral moment ever.”

Heat’s Pat Riley Raves About Dwyane Wade But Avoids Contract Talks

MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade is under contract with the Chicago Bulls, meaning other NBA clubs can’t openly talk about possibly signing him until he’s a free agent. As such, Miami Heat president Pat Riley was cautious Friday when asked about Wade’s future. Wade spent his first 13 seasons in Miami before leaving in the summer of 2016 and going to the Bulls, his hometown team. But Chicago appears in full rebuilding mode after trading All-Star forward Jimmy Butler — someone Wade was close with — to Minnesota this offseason. And since Wade is in the last year of a deal that will pay him nearly $24 million this season, buyout speculation has been rampant for months. If Wade gets a buyout, he’d be free to join any team. “I feel great about our relationship that we had over the 13 years,” Riley said. “And anything that happens from a personnel standpoint down the road, or any opportunities that are there, we’re always going to approach that. But right now he’s under contract. He’s under contract with Chicago and I wish him the very best.” Some Heat players, including longtime close friend Udonis Haslem, have made clear that if Wade becomes a free agent they would definitely want him to consider a return. “He knows how I feel,” Haslem said this month. Riley — and every other NBA executive — has to be much more guarded. But Riley made no secret of the affinity he still has for Wade, even raving about his wife, actress Gabrielle Union. “She was stunning at the Emmys,” Riley said. “And to see him sitting in the seat next to her at the Emmys, I said ‘Man, we both have come a long way.'” The Bulls hold their media day Monday, with camp opening Tuesday. Wade spent at least part of this week in Miami, where he kept his home, and worked out at least once at the University of Miami. Bulls President John Paxson told CSN Chicago on Thursday he and general manager Gar Forman sat down with Wade when the season ended, and plan to do so again when he returns to Chicago in the coming days. “We were honest with him. We told him, that we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Paxson said. “At that time we were not shopping Jimmy. But we also said all along that if a deal would come along that would allow us to rebuild, we’d have to look at it. We’ve said that to everybody. So with that said, Dwyane’s under contract. He has been a professional through and through. We want to talk to him when he comes in town, and we will.” Wade is Miami’s franchise leader in several categories, starred on all three of the Heat championship teams and has kept close ties with several people within the organization since his departure. He was the MVP of the 2006 NBA Finals. “Probably one of the greatest series that any player has ever had in a Finals,” Riley said. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

Kansas Man Found Dead On Sidewalk Near Drake Hotel

Chicago (CBS)–A man found dead Wednesday morning near The Drake Hotel in the Gold Coast has been identified as a Kansas resident, but his cause of death remains to be determined. Kelly James Hattan, 50, was found unresponsive at 5:21 a.m. on the sidewalk in the 100 block of East Lake Shore Drive, across the street from The Drake, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Hattan, a resident of Overland, Kansas, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Thursday was inconclusive, with a determination on cause and manner of death awaiting further study. Area Central detectives are conducting a death investigation. (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Some Of The Hottest Days Ever In September For Chicago Area

CHICAGO  (CBS) –Welcome to a mid-summer scorcher, Chicago. Of course it’s not close to mid-summer.  As of 3:03 p.m. on Friday, summer officially becomes fall. Yet, Chicago is in the middle of a record-setting heat wave. Late September is seeing near-record or record warmth across the Midwest, including northern Illinois and Indiana. Chicago set a record for daily heat on Wednesday and Thursday and could set more through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Wednesday’s high of 92, broke an 86-year-old record by one degree.  Thursday was even hotter, with a high of 94, breaking a 47-year-old mark by two degrees. And while the low temperatures for those days were a bit sticky, no records were set. Here are the current records for high and high “low” temperatures for the next four days. (As of noon, Friday, the temperature was 91 degrees and CBS 2’s Megan Glaros says another record-breaking day is quite likely.) Sept. 22: 92 (1956) 73 (1895)
Sept. 23:  91 (1937) 71 (1891)
Sept. 24: 91 (1891) 71 (1930)
Sept. 25: 90 (1933) 76 (1931) It had been 10 years since Chicago has experienced 90 plus degrees this late in the year, the NWS said. The latest 90-degree reading on record?  Oct 6, 1963 (94 degrees) The hottest days ever in September? Chicago has hit 100-101 degrees four times. September 1, 1953: 101 September 2, 1953: 101 September 7, 1939: 100 September 7, 1960: 100 The highest temperature in 2017 has been 95 on June 12. (Records have been kept since 1871.)

It’s On Mike Glennon To Open Up Bears’ Running Game

By Chris Emma— (CBS) In the aftermath of his Bears regular-season debut and a hard-fought loss, quarterback Mike Glennon was among those offering praise for rookie running back Tarik Cohen. “Secret’s out,” Glennon said after a 23-17 loss to the Falcons on Sept. 10. The Bears had just unleashed Cohen to the tune of five rushes for 66 yards and eight receptions and a touchdown on 12 targets. Atlanta wasn’t expecting to see the fourth-round pick out of North Carolina A&T lining up all over the field as the most prominent piece to Glennon’s offense. The Bears nearly pulled the upset thanks to Cohen masking their issues offensively. But the words of Glennon also spoke to the Bears’ problem offensively. What more do the Bears have than a secret who’s now on everyone’s scouting report? Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains again stated Wednesday that the Bears are a run-oriented offense, but they haven’t gotten Jordan Howard to the second level. Howard is the single most important piece to this offense, and he can’t get to open field. On the Bears’ 0-2 start, he has rushed a combined 22 times for 59 yards. “The thing is — and I wish there was a better answer — the fact is it was one guy on each play,” Loggains said of Howard’s struggles. “It wasn’t one guy playing poor. We’re going to face overpopulated boxes. We know that. There’s going to be seven, eight guys in the box every time, and we have to execute better. It comes down to that.” The answer to this problem comes with the Bears’ passing game, which is halting the running game. Glennon’s longest completion on the season is for 22 yards. He hasn’t tried to attack a defense over the top, primarily passing within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. In fairness, Glennon hasn’t had the receivers to go deep. The Bears’ hope is that Markus Wheaton can change that against the Steelers on Sunday. With Wheaton, the Bears hope to create “more three-level throws,” Loggains said. That would force the safeties to drop back into coverage, thus opening up the box. But will the Steelers even fret the deep threat from Glennon? Glennon has completed just 21 passes for more than 30 yards in his career, and 13 of those went to receivers named Mike Evans or Vincent Jackson. Wheaton has a good track record of big plays, but those came with Antonio Brown lining up across from him and Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. On Sunday, those two will be on the opposite sideline. Howard set a Bears rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards on 252 carries in 2016, good for a 5.2 yards-per-carry average. He’s averaging 2.7 yards this season after rushing nine times for seven yards in an ugly loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. There’s new personnel around Howard this season. Glennon is the starter at quarterback, Alshon Jeffery is a Philadelphia Eagle and not the Bears’ big-play threat and the offensive line has been shuffled. “I would definitely just say it’s different,” Howard said Monday during his weekly press availability. “We have so many new pieces, but I don’t have any doubts about us putting it all together.” Cohen has been a key cog to the offense, but he’s now a marked man after that debut against the Falcons. As Glennon said, the secret’s out. This offense must run with Howard. The Bears certainly have fair intentions with their goal of being a run-based offense. They’re still trying to figure out Glennon’s fit in this offense and doing so with a mix at receiver. It would be nice to simply rely on that running game to keep the ball moving, but there’s no complement from the passing game. It’s up to Glennon to open up the box for Howard and Cohen, or else there’s little hope for this offense. Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

First Day Of Fall Could Bring Record Heat For Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Forget what the calendar says. It might be the first day of fall, but it feels like the middle of summer. Temperatures were expected to hit the 90s for the third day in a row. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s highs already broke records for heat in Chicago, and Friday’s temperatures could come close again. The record high for Sept. 22 in Chicago is 92 degrees, set in 1956. Friday’s forecast called for a high of 93, so it appears Chicago could set a record for heat three days in a row. The average temperature in Chicago for this time of year is about 73. With temperatures already in the upper 80s by 11 a.m., and water temperatures in the 70s in Lake Michigan, the beaches were proving quite popular on Friday. Whether you are running, biking, swimming, strolling or just laying out on the beach, there might be no better place to be this weekend than the lakefront. Kelley Farmer said she never figured she and her kids would be swimming in the lake on the last day of summer. “It’s beautiful. We love it, it’s great,” she said. While the water might be a little chilly, judging by the number of people in the lake, it wasn’t too cold on this sweltering hot first day of fall. And with more heat projected for the weekend, Chicago’s beaches likely will be crowded all along 18-mile lakefront. A word of caution if you do go to the lake: lifeguards will not be on duty, so be careful in the water.

Baffoe: Aaron Hernandez’s NFL Accomplice

By Tim Baffoe– (CBS) Andre Waters. Junior Seau. Dave Duerson. Regardless of its high-powered attorneys and alibis that muddy the waters of examination, regardless of the deflections it will provide and the huffy resignation that it can’t stop us from connecting our own biased dots “without all the facts,” football is an accomplice to murder. That football ravages the body has been known since linemen’s crooked fingers were romanticized in NFL Films of yore and Hall of Famers limped to a podium to give an acceptance speech. The NFL’s operation, though, exposed over recent years as the 21st-century’s Big Tobacco, has shown that the league long knew of football’s effects on not only the bodies but the brains of its players and worked to deflect attention from the destructiveness viewers should’ve always assumed from skull-cracking highlight tapes lauded for decades. The latest known casualty of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE, is former New England Patriot and temporarily convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez. On Thursday, it was revealed that Hernandez, who committed suicide in prison in April, had in fact the most severe case of CTE researchers have ever seen in a 27-year-old. According to Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, his brain showed wear normally seen in brains of ex-players 40 years older than Hernandez. Dr. Ann McKee, director of the CTE Center at Boston University, studied Hernandez’s brain and said that he had “early brain atrophy” in Stage 3 of CTE. From her four-stage categorization of the brain disease:
Those with Stage 3 of C.T.E., including Duerson, a former All-Pro defensive back for the Chicago Bears who killed himself (in 2011), had cognitive impairment and trouble with executive functions like planning and organizing.

The NFL didn’t murder anyone. It just helped manufacture the weapon. Jovan Belcher. Ray Easterling. Justin Strzelczyk. Hernandez was found guilty in 2015 of murdering Odin Lloyd in 2013. It was assumed by many that Lloyd’s death was due to him knowing incriminating information regarding the murders of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado in 2012 for which Hernandez was tried and acquitted five days before his suicide. Hernandez had a distinguished history of violence and connections to it that ran parallel to playing football at the highest levels. Hernandez shouldn’t yet be forgiven for his actions any more than Belcher for his murder of his girlfriend or Duerson for his spousal abuse or the violence committed by any other deceased player, all of whom knew right from wrong while battling a demon they didn’t understand and couldn’t shake. I hesitate to absolve someone suffering from CTE for harming others as I do sufferers of a disease like alcoholism or other chemical dependence. To do so erases victims of that violence. We can’t “Yeah, but…” women subjected to domestic violence at the hands of gigantic professional collision machines. A CTE diagnosis of a murderer doesn’t bring back Kasandra Perkins or Lloyd or Abreu or Furtado, and it won’t comfort their loved ones into thinking, “Oh, well, since they were killed by someone with brain disease, I can rest easier.” “I’m not happy about (Hernandez’s) death,” Abreu’s father, Ernesto, said in April. “It’s actually a shame. Any loss of life is a shame. I believe in leaving things in God’s hands.” Terry Long. Shane Dronett. Paul Oliver. And victims of that violence aren’t unlike the countless injured from second-hand smoke through no fault of their own. Tobacco barons didn’t themselves harm those sick or dead who never themselves took a drag, but they supplied the weapon. This time around the weapon is a helmet, one supposedly designed to protect people but one that often changes them instead. A facemask becomes a permanent mask, a shadow of the former self, the player fretting upon some demented stage away from the field. And then is heard no more, either withered away into darkness or explosively extinguished by his own hand. Hernandez died of violence, violence to himself from unleashing violence upon others between exchanging on-field violence among peers. The third likely contributed to the second which ended in the first. He’s tragic, not in the overused Americanized version of the word but in the dramatic sense. A tragic figure might draw some pity from the audience, but he’s not necessarily forgiven. And there’s often an accomplice, arguably more evil than the tragic figure. The accomplice spurns the other one on, creates him in a way. Brutus has hardly any murder in him before Cassius plants a seed. Macbeth probably doesn’t act on regicide without Lady Macbeth questioning his manhood. Othello is doing just fine before Iago decides to play evil puppeteer. Still, Shakespeare doesn’t ask us to un-convict these men of murder. Nor does he forget to punish the accomplices. Cassius dies by the sword. Lady Macbeth degenerates into madness before suicide. Iago is stabbed in the end, but we don’t witness a last breath. When asked why he lied so profusely to a man to make that man kill his innocent wife, Iago sneers: “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. / From this time forth I never will speak word.” He won’t admit a damn thing while acknowledging that others can make whatever connections they want. The tobacco CEOs got tight-lipped when in a similar position, too. And we will make connections, ones that the NFL can “Who? Me?” about. If he doesn’t bleed out from his wound, perhaps Iago, who helps create an evil that ripples across multiple dead, recovers to take a job in an NFL office. Hell, Ray Lewis gets a check to do the league’s dirty work. Maybe Hernandez always had this violence in him despite anything football. Like veteran Karl Marlantes says in Ken Burns’ documentary “The Vietnam War,” the military doesn’t turn people into killing machines. “It’s just finishing school.” Hits to the head in a culture of choreographed violence probably help do the same trick. In the end, people are dead. Football has an obvious connection. Again. Besides a lawsuit, the NFL will move on from it all. Again. Until the next one. Again. Aaron Hernandez. Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu. Safiro Teixeira Furtado. Odin Lloyd. Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.

Teen Posts Flyers, Goes On Search For Missing Cactus Named ‘Terrance’

CBS Local — A teen in Arkansas has begun a desperate search for his beloved pet. However, this pet doesn’t bark, or fly, or even slither: 19-year-old William Gould’s missing friend is a cactus. The prickly companion was allegedly stolen off the front porch of Gould’s Little Rock home on Sept. 5. The teen began posting missing flyers around his neighborhood and on Twitter after the reported plant-napping. Gould says his cactus, which goes by the name Terrence, was rescued from a home that was going to throw him out about three years ago.

The strange case became even more peculiar after Gould reportedly started a Go Fund Me page in order to hire a private investigator to track down Terrence the cactus. “It was a date that will live forever in infamy,” the teen posted on the fundraising site. The robbery reportedly occurred while Gould was at school and the plant was left out on the porch to get sunlight. The upset owner claims Terrence, “is not familiar with this area and is easily confused.” The 19-year-old also revealed to reporters that Terrence has a brother, a fellow cactus named Clarence, which hasn’t spoken much since the alleged abduction. It’s not clear if the flyers are a prank or a sincere attempt to track down the missing cactus, but Gould is urging people to call him if they’ve seen the wayward plant.