This time of year is a tough time to be a Chicago Cubs fan. I know your initial reaction to that statement may be, “Well, every time of year is a tough time to be a Chicago Cubs fan.” But this year is different.
The other day, the team tried to trade away Derrek Lee, the face of the franchise, basically admitting that they won’t be able to catch up in the divison or wild card races. Lee, thankfully, blocked the trade and will remain with the club through the rest of the season, hopefully longer. To me, it isn't the attempted trading away of the team's franchise play I find disheartening, but rather the sign the move makes to fans.
I know the team can’t make the playoffs every year, but with little else going on sports-wise during this time of year (and an inability to watch games called by “Hawk” Harrellson), the "dog days of August" really become the dog days of August.
But there is hope at the end of the tunnel. The Bears preseason starts today, and despite less-than-optimistic predictions by many in the media, I think the Bears have a shot to do some good this year. They spent a lot on free agents, made a few shrewd under-the-radar moves, and have one of the more prolific coaching staff I can remember on any team.
So, on the optimistic note that the Bears season is right around the corner (and that there’s always next year for my Cubbies), here are your Links of the Week:
This video featuring Ron Artest interviewing Ron Artest is everything I dreamed it could be, and features a lot more Celine Dion than you'd think.
Here is a look at the regional TV ratings of baseball teams, for those who care. At the very least, its interesting to see how some teams numbers are up pretty big now that they're doing really well (Cincinnati, Colorado) and how some teams' numbers are way down when they're not playing well. On a related note, the Cubs' numbers are down 20%.
Yup, that's the best soccer celebration I've ever seen.
If you're looking for a reason not to eat stadium food (especially in Florida), here is your closing argument.
The secret is out now that Google is developing a Facebook-style social network in their ever-lasting quest to own the internet. I consider myself a "Google Guy" since I prefer their Docs, Gmail, Google Reader, and Chrome, but this may be getting a bit out of hand.
So, the big 'scandal' hitting the interwebs this week is ESPN pulling of an article after it was published about LeBron James and some less-than-flattering stories about his time in Las Vegas. ESPN is claiming that the article bypassed their editorial process (or something like that) and many on the web aren't buying the excuse. My opinion? After The Decision, ESPN no longer has much "news" credibility, so I'm not surprised.
Apparently, a massive asteroid may destroy Earth in 2182. Sucks to be my great grandkids, right?! Seriously though, my favorite part of this article is the "How to Deflect an Asteroid" info box.
Because the storyline of Inception wasn't confusing enough as it stands, here is an infographic/timeline explaining the movie. Kind of.
In case you missed it last week, Old Spice had a flurry of really funny web videos where their star of their commercials would reply in quick order to comments on their web pages, Twitter, Facebook, and other online communication tools. And it worked. Their following/fan numbers boomed. The lesson is, as always, staying engaged and being funny are how you 'win' on the web.
HitFix.com's Alan Sepinwall has a nice interview with Mad Men creator Mathew Wiener about Season 4, which began last Sunday. Watch this show. Just do it.
For your video of the week: The Press Hop (Part 2):