Sunday, September 30, 2012

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

The best game of Week Seven...

...will be -- by far -- on Friday when Waubonsie Valley (6-0) takes on Neuqua Valley (6-0) at North Central College, above.

If you don't feel like driving all the way out to Naperville, there's also:

Palatine (5-1) at Conant (5-1),

Lake Forest (5-1) at Stevenson (5-1),

Lakes (5-1) at Grant (5-1),

Leyden (5-1) at Willowbrook (5-1), and

Montini (5-1) at Marian Central (6-0).

And on Saturday, the best (only) game will be Fenwick (5-1) at Loyola (5-1). A blowout, to be sure, but a chance to see one of the very best teams in 8A (maybe the best, now that Bolingbrook's Aaron Bailey is injured.)

Where will I be? Busy next weekend. But I would love to see that Waubonsie Valley - Neuqua Valley game on Friday night.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

Lincoln-Way East 42, Bolingbrook 19!

I drove almost fifty miles to Frankfort last night to see the most exciting quarterback in the state of Illinois. But I didn't know his name was ... Tom Fuessel.

And in the Game of the Week, if not the Year (these things are hard to predict!), Loyola defeated Mount Carmel in overtime, 30-27.

In other games:

New Trier 31, Glenbrook South 21
Titans are now 3-3 but should finish at 5-4 and make the playoffs.

Crete-Monee 41, Bloom 6
The Blazing Trojans scored almost as many points against Crete-Monee today as they have in the last four years combined.

Glenbard West 41, Proviso West 14
Hilltoppers remain undefeated at 6-0. Are they headed for a showdown with Lincoln-Way East in the 7A final?

Hinsdale Central 34, Hinsdale South 27
The Red Devils win village bragging rights.

Maine South 51, Niles West 14
Hawks should finish the regular season 9-0.

Lake Forest 33, Libertyville 13
The Scouts are now 5-1; their only loss was to Lake Zurich on a forfeit during their school strike.

Grant 34, North Chicago 14
The Bulldogs are 5-1; their only loss came at the hands of Stevenson, 42-0 (ouch).

Lemont Thorton Fractional South 21, Lemont 20 (OT)
Both teams are now 5-1 after the Rebels upset the Indians.

Montini 49,  Immaculate Conception 0
The Broncos hand the Knights their first loss of the season.

I'll have more to say later.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The tweet of the day:

If they develop that bomb in the chart, we should sneak up underneath and saw out a circle from the floor where Iran is standing.

My football weekend began...

...inauspiciously yesterday when I ventured down to Lane Tech on Addison to see the 4:15 game between Roosevelt and Clemente, followed by the Westinghouse - Payton game at 7:15.

I arrived safely, at about five o'clock or so, but there was no sign of a game -- anywhere. Sure, there were still some students milling about (and nice-looking kids, too; never mind what you'd heard during the strike), but no football teams, no buses, no fans -- nothin'.

What the heck was going on here? Could the Tribune have gotten it wrong? Say it ain't so!

I had intended to catch the second half of the first game and the first half of the second (maybe the whole thing if it was any good), have a hot dog (or two) and just drink in the whole Lane Stadium experience. But, alas, it was not to be.

I was tempted to ask one of the students if there was supposed to be a game there, or not, but was half afraid they might call the cops on me or something. Officer, there's an old bald man bothering people in the parking lot!

So I returned to my car, gathered my thoughts and did what any sensible person in this situation would: I decided to go get something to eat. (After all, it was five o'clock.)

The good news is I found a brand new Meatheads on Western between Roscoe and Belmont. Over a darned fine grilled chicken breast sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise (I'd had a cheeseburger at Charlie Beinlich's the day before), just the right amount of french fries (not too many) and an iced tea, I answered my wife's text:

Getting a speeding ticket

with one of my own:

Wild goose chase. On my way home.

I had decided that it wasn't worth waiting around two hours for a game that might not even take place. Did the strike cause this fiasco? Did the Tribune steer me wrong? Why was the universe conspiring against me?

When I got home, I explained my misfortune to my wife, and she recounted her experience getting stopped by some pesky state trooper for driving 89 miles an hour on I-94. "I couldn't have been driving that fast!," she insisted.

"Didn't you notice that you were passing everyone?" I asked.

"Not really," she replied.

"Well, I have to go check the computer and find out what went wrong today."

And the answer was that Clemente forfeited the game to Roosevelt, 2-0. Can you imaging its namesake, Roberto Clemente, ever not showing up for a competition?

So what did that mean, was the second game going to be played after all?

Turns out, it was; and Westinghouse upset Payton, 28-6.

But, despite what F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, there are second acts in America. And next week, there's a game at Lane on Wednesday between Dyett and Bronzeville (whoever they are) at 6:30. Whoops! That's the night of the first presidential debate. How about Thursday? Well, Payton (again) plays Bulls Prep (where do they get some of these names?) at 7:15. Nope; got a meeting that night in Evanston. Wait a minute! Kelvyn Park plays Roosevelt at 4:15. Yep, that's the ticket!

But that's next week. Right now, I have to focus on tonight's game: Bolingbrook at Lincoln-Way East. Should be awesome!

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

It's time for me to see...

...Laquon Treadwell play. The Crete-Monee senior is arguably the best wide receiver in the state of Illinois and is being heavily recruited.

The Warriors are facing off against the Blazing Trojans of Bloom tomorrow, and I'm meeting my old friend Kevin at the game. (The University of Southern California's nickname is merely the "Trojans." These guys from Bloom are the Blazing Trojans. I'm not sure what to expect.)

But I do expect to see a show from Treadwell and quarterback Marcus Terrell, also one of the best in the state. Terrell has passed for 1170 yards with 14 touchdowns this season and has a 141 rating. Treadwell, who had 1400 yards receiving and 18 TDs last year, has interest from Texas, Florida, Michigan, Auburn, Oklahoma and others.

As for the game (oh yeah, that) a cursory glance at each team's schedule is not encouraging. Of the ten games below, only one opponent had a winning record, Thornton Fractional South, 4-1. And their only common foe, Glenbard South, edged Bloom but got crushed by Crete-Monee.

CRETE-MONEE 38, Thornton Fractional South (4-1) 7
Crete-Monee 30, MARIAN CATHOLIC (0-5) 7
CRETE-MONEE 34, Moline (1-4) 2
Crete-Monee 45, GLENBARD SOUTH (2-3) 7
CRETE-MONEE 37, Kankakee (1-4) 6

Bloom 20, THORNWOOD (2-3) 14
GLENBARD SOUTH (2-3) 31, Bloom 27
BLOOM 36, Phillips (2-2) 0
Bloom 38, FENTON (1-4) 6
BLOOM 43, Rich South (2-3) 15

As for recent history, despite my (sketchy?) info from MaxPreps (did Crete-Monee really beat Bloom two years in a row at home by the same score, 48-0?), I think it's safe to say that the Warriors have dominated the Blazing Trojans. According to my research, Bloom has only scored seven points against C-M in the last four years and hasn't beaten the Warriors since 2004. (To give you some perspective, George W. Bush was still in his first term as president back then.)

2011: CRETE-MONEE 32, Bloom 7
2010: CRETE-MONEE 48, Bloom 0
2009: CRETE-MONEE 48, Bloom 0
2008: CRETE-MONEE 20, Bloom 0
2007: CRETE-MONEE 29, Bloom 26
2006: Crete-Monee 20, BLOOM 0
2004: Bloom 20, CRETE-MONEE 0

I see nothing different for tomorrow; my only hope is that the Blazing Trojans can keep it somewhat close. But with the pass-happy offense of C-M, I have my doubts. I'll be optimistic and say Crete-Monee wins, 31-14.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Mitt Romney cartoon of the day:

Don't forget to vote on November 6...

...unless, of course, you live in California, Texas, New York or Illinois. Why? Because each of those states is reliably red or blue. (Neither President Obama nor Governor Romney is expected to spend a dime in any of them.) In fact, among the top five states in America, only Florida, at number four, is a true swing state.

So that means that fully 30 percent of American voters (almost 96 million) don't count.

You know it's not looking good...

...for Mittens when the lead post in Chris Cillizza's blog today is "Why Mitt Romney isn't going to get blown out."

Andy Williams died...

...on Tuesday at age 84. I wrote the post below back in 2008.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is...

..."The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. I really like the big instrumental lead-in, the melody and his voice. I probably heard it so much as a kid that it just wouldn't feel like Christmas without it. I always turn up the radio when it comes on. But lately I've been paying more attention to the lyrics and I find it a little puzzling. It starts out predictably enough:

"It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year

"It's the hap- happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings
And gay happy meetings when friends come to call
It's the hap- happiest season of all..."

So far, so good. But then in the third stanza it goes on to say:

"There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow..."

Wait a minute. Marshmallows for toasting? Is that Christmas-sy? Isn't that something you do on a camping trip with the Boy Scouts? In August?

The song continues:

"There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases
Long long ago..."

Scary ghost stories? Again, isn't that something you do on that camping trip with the Scouts? We never told ghost stories on Christmas. And what about the tales of the glories of Christmases long long ago? Did you do that at your house on Christmas? What tales did you tell? I have some image in my mind of a medieval battle between knights in shining armor. But that's not very Christmas-sy. What on earth did the songwriter have in mind? Does anyone out there know?

After that it's pretty much boilerplate Christmas stuff. I still like it but it's got me scratching my head a little.

The second best game...

Gately Stadium.
...of the week, Loyola (4-1) at Mount Carmel (5-0), would normally be my Game of the Week (or even my Game of the Year) if not for Bolingbrook at Lincoln-Way East. But it's awfully close.

A quick look at the 2012 schedule reveals that each team has beaten one high-quality opponent decisively: in Loyola's case it was Providence, in Mount Carmel's it was Brother Rice. And each school beat one pretty good team: the Ramblers defeated Simeon, while the Caravan beat St. Patrick.

LOYOLA 20, Simeon 0
Dallas Jesuit 30, Loyola 29 (Dublin, Ireland)
LOYOLA 41, Providence 21
Loyola 42, GORDON TECH 0

MOUNT CARMEL 32, St. Patrick 12
Mount Carmel 48, MORGAN PARK 15
Mount Carmel 48, DE LA SALLE 0
MOUNT CARMEL 54, St. Joseph 0
Mount Carmel 56, BROTHER RICE 7

In the last few years, the results have been mixed:

2011: LOYOLA 12, Mount Carmel 7
2010: Mount Carmel 31, LOYOLA 24
2009: Loyola 28, MOUNT CARMEL 15
2008: MOUNT CARMEL 35, Loyola 14
2007: Mount Carmel 31, LOYOLA 24
2006: MOUNT CARMEL 32, Loyola 14
2005: Mount Carmel 21, LOYOLA 3
2004: Mount Carmel 20, LOYOLA 0

This year, I'll pick the Ramblers to win, 21-17. I think the Wilmette squad is underrated, while the South Siders are a little overrated.

P.S. I'll be recording the game on MeTV while I'm at the Lincoln-Way East - Bolingbrook game. So don't anybody ruin it for me!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Prediction: In President Obama's...

...second term, as the economy improves, he'll end up getting more grief from the Left than the Right.

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

Remember Meg Whitman, the...

...former CEO of eBay (and current CEO of Hewlett-Packard), who spent almost $180 million in a losing effort for governor of California?

Ms. Whitman is a brilliant businesswoman who, according to Wikipedia, took eBay from a start-up company of "30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue." She's also the fourth wealthiest woman in the state of California with a net worth of $1.3 billion. Wow!

Remind you of anyone running for national office today?

Actually, it reminds me of a little story from a long time ago, in the early 1980s. I had a good friend who was a fabulously successful bond trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. His older brothers and some of their friends, who were also wildly successful traders, decided to open a bar and restaurant next door to the Board. Another friend of mine, who had actually run bars and restaurants in London before moving to Chicago, predicted they would fail miserably.

"Mike, I've seen this a million times. Guys who are good at something in business think they can run a restaurant. Trust me, it's a lot harder than it looks. You really have to know what you're doing to make it work."

Turned out my friend was right; the bar and restaurant proved to be an expensive debacle. They were thrilled to be done with it after about six months.

Which brings me back to that certain Somebody running for president right now. One of my brothers -- who kinda, sorta -- dealt with Him in business once, told me that the former CEO of Bain Capital was ... I can't remember exactly what, but it was something to the effect that He was a Great Businessman. And my brother, who's our family's idea of a Great Businessman himself, naturally admires the guy and thinks, well, of course He could be president of the United States. I mean, if you could build a fortune of $250 million in business, surely you could sit in the Oval Office. How hard could it be?

But as it stands right now (and there's still time to turn it around), the former governor of Massachusetts is looking more and more like that other frustrated CEO, Meg Whitman. Maybe my friend from London was right after all: just because you're successful in business doesn't necessarily mean you'll be successful at everything.

The Game of the Year...

...will be this Friday, as Lincoln-Way East (5-0), arguably the best team in 7A, hosts Bolingbrook (5-0), arguably the best team in 8A. I was at the game last year, in which the Griffins spoiled the Raiders' perfect season, 20-14. This one should be every bit as good.

Let's have a look at Lincoln-Way East's schedule first (home team in CAPS):

Lincoln-Way East 20, MONTINI 14
Lincoln-Way East 35, LOCKPORT 0
LINCOLN-WAY EAST 35, Homewood-Flossmoor 20
Lincoln-Way East 28, SANDBURG 7

Those are four quality victories (with the exception of Lockport).

And now for Bolingbrook:

BOLINGBROOK 33, Plainfield South 6
Bolingbrook 46, ROMEOVILLE 10
Bolingbrook 54, JOLIET CENTRAL 6
Bolingbrook 44, JOLIET WEST 12
BOLINGBROOK 45, Homewood-Flossmoor 28

Of those five teams, only Homewood-Flossmoor has a winning record (3-2). The Brook's first four games were against teams with a combined record of 4-16. Two of them, Romeoville and Joliet Central, are still looking for their first victory. This is not an impressive schedule (especially for the defending 8A champs).

As for recent history, before last year's showdown it looks like the home team always had the advantage.

2010: LINCOLN-WAY EAST 43, Bolingbrook 7
2009: BOLINGBROOK 46, Lincoln-Way East 24
2008: BOLINGBROOK 27, Lincoln-Way East 17
2007: BOLINGBROOK 19, Lincoln-Way East 7
2006: LINCOLN-WAY EAST 22, Bolingbrook 14
2005: LINCOLN-WAY EAST 38, Bolingbrook 15

So what happens Friday night? Even though quarterback Tom Fuessel is making Griffin fans forget all about Blake Winkler, I have to go with Illinois recruit Aaron Bailey. He's still the most exciting player in the state.

BOWG prediction: Bolingbrook 24, LINCOLN-WAY EAST 21.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The tweet of the day:

Replacement refs are like letting blog commenters run the country. They seemed so confident.

As I was trolling through...

...this week's Illinois high school football schedule, I noticed there were a few games on Thursday, mostly in the city. Also, the weather forecast for the rest of the week was beautiful, so ... I decided to have a look at exactly who's playing whom. (I know what you're thinking: this guy is nuts.)

First of all, Prosser is scheduled to play Mather at Winnemac, on the North Side at 4:15. That's not too far; let's have a closer look, shall we?

The Rangers of Mather are 2-2 with victories over Chicago Academy and South Shore, and losses to Steinmetz and Taft. But MaxPreps has them ranked 472 in the state. Wow!

(By the way, Mather was named after Stephen Tyng Mather, "an industrialist and conservationist who became the first director of the National Park Service (1917-20)," according to Wikipedia. And I always thought it was named after that New England minister who was involved in the Salem witch trials. Who knew?)

How about Prosser? Yikes! The Falcons are 0-4 and have been outscored, 216-0. (Their closest loss was to Amundsen last week, 43-0.) And MaxPreps has them ranked at an eye-popping 566!

Which begs the question: How many schools does MaxPreps rank in the state of Illinois? Answer: 580. (And who holds that dubious distinction? Hirsch, on the South Side. But the Huskies have only been outscored, 184-6; they managed to score a touchdown, or two field goals, against Pritzker.)

Well, what about Lane Stadium, above? (I've always wanted to see a game there.) What's going on over there this Thursday? Roosevelt squares off against Clemente at 4:15, and Westinghouse plays Payton at 7:15.

Roosevelt is 2-2 and ranked 523, while Clemente is 3-1 and ranked 508. Hmmm ... not tempted. (But Roosevelt is the alma mater of Nelson Algren; that's cool. And Clemente was named after the famous baseball player, not some random guy you've never heard of.)

How about that last game? Well, Westinghouse is 2-3 and ranked 428. Payton, however, is undefeated at 4-0 and has outscored its opponents, 161-20! (Never mind that 362 ranking in MaxPreps.)

So that's my game (if I choose to go). But, as I said, the weather is supposed to be beautiful...

The Mitt Romney cartoon of the day:

I don't want to say...

...this thing is over, but ... two articles in the Washington Post today put Ohio squarely in the president's column. And as Chris Cillizza says (my emphasis):

First of all, no Republican has ever been elected president without carrying Ohio. Second, as we have noted in several recent posts, even with Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, Romney faces a narrow path to the 270 electoral votes he needs. Subtract Ohio and the math becomes that much more difficult.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Big changes to the rankings...

Scott Andrews of Glenbard West.
...after Week Five in MaxPreps, but no changes to the Sun-Times or Tribune.

In MaxPreps, Glenbard West leapfrogged Lincoln-Way East into the No. 1 spot, Mount Carmel vaulted ten spots into No. 3, Cary-Grove moved up eight, Loyola dropped four, and Neuqua Valley and Marian Central joined the top ten for the first time (that I'm aware). Also, Boylan, Montini, Wheaton North and Sacred Heart-Griffin dropped out (for now).


1. Glenbard West *
2. Lincoln-Way East *
3. Mount Carmel
4. Waubonsie Valley
5. Marist *
6. Bolingbrook *
7. Cary-Grove *
8. Loyola (4-1) *
9. Neuqua Valley
10. Marian Central Catholic

Chicago Sun-Times:

1. Maine South
2. Bolingbrook *
3. Glenbard West *
4. Mount Carmel
5. Lincoln-Way East *
6. Loyola (4-1) *
7. Wheaton North
8. Marist *
9. Montini (4-1)
10. Neuqua Valley

Chicago Tribune:

1. Bolingbrook *
2. Maine South
3. Mount Carmel
4. Glenbard West *
5. Loyola (4-1) *
6. Marist *
7. Lincoln-Way East *
8. Wheaton North
9. Montini (4-1)
10. Crete-Monee *

(* Teams I will have seen play after this weekend.)

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

The three best games...

...of the week will all be on the Sout' Side:

Bolingbrook (5-0) at Lincoln-Way East (5-0)
The Game of the Year, actually. (I'll have more to say about this one later in the week.)

Loyola (4-1) at Mount Carmel (5-0)

And on Saturday:

Crete-Monee (5-0) at Bloom (4-1)
I'll be at this one, too. (More to say later.)

Don't want to drive so far? Wimp! Then take in one of these games instead:

Glenbard West (5-0) at Proviso West (4-1)

Hinsdale South (4-1) at Hinsdale Central (4-1)

Niles West (5-0) at Maine South (5-0)

Libertyville (4-1) at Lake Forest (4-1)

Grant (4-1) at North Chicago (5-0)

Thornton Fractional South (4-1) at Lemont (5-0)

And on Saturday:

Montini (4-1) at Immaculate Conception (4-1)

The campaign for the Republican...

...nomination in 2016 begins today. From an editorial in the Times (my emphasis):

Two years ago, in what should have been a quiet judicial retention election, Iowa voters threw out three State Supreme Court justices for taking seriously their duty to protect fundamental rights. The three had provoked right-wing wrath for joining a unanimous 2009 ruling overturning the state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage. Conservative forces succeeded in ousting them by tapping antigay sentiment and attacking “activist” judges. Those same forces — aided openly this time by the state’s Republican Party — are now calling for the removal of David Wiggins, another capable judge who joined in the marriage decision.

This is a battle over the future of a fair and independent judiciary. And the battle is taking a new turn. Two prominent Republican politicians, Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, and Rick Santorum, the winner of January’s Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, will be joining a four-day “No Wiggins” bus tour of 17 Iowa communities scheduled to kick off Monday in Des Moines.

So let the record show that Bobby Jindal is running for president, and that he's already on the wrong side of civil rights.

When will these guys ever learn?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The first of many heats... the "Fifty-yard" Dash at the Waddle today. God, it was thrilling!

Week Five Recap:

Marist is now 5-0.
Loyola 42, Gordon Tech 0
The Ramblers' game at Mount Carmel next Friday night will be the second best game of the week.

Glenbard West 49, Oak Park 0
Can anybody beat the Hilltoppers?

Carmel 13, Nazareth 7
More defense than I would have expected.

Glenbrook South 24, Evanston 8

Titans are now 3-2.

Marist 27, Joliet Catholic 24

Turned out to be the Game of the Week.

Mount Carmel 56, Brother Rice 7


Naperville Central 24, Wheaton Warrenville South 13

The Tigers now have three losses. If they lose two more they'll miss the playoffs.

Bolingbrook 45, Homewood-Flossmoor 28

Lincoln-Way East 28, Sandburg 7
Next week's game in Frankfort will be a doozy! 

Lemont 17, Oak Forest 14

I watched this one on my computer; good game!

Conant 30, Schaumburg 21

The Cougars are now 4-1; I may have to start following these guys.

And, finally, Cary-Grove 45, Jacobs 14

No upset there; Trojans are now 5-0.

Mitt Romney revealed his tax return...

...from 2011 yesterday. From the Times (my emphasis):

Mr. Romney’s return for 2011 showed that he paid an effective federal income tax rate of 14 percent last year, or a little more than $1.9 million on adjusted gross income of about $13.7 million.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, paid $64,674, or about 20 percent on adjusted gross income of $323,416.

Let me see if I've got this straight: Mitt Romney made more than forty times as much as Paul Ryan and yet paid federal income taxes at a significantly lower rate.

Does that seem right to you?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Every time I see a story...

...about that "renegade Amish sect" responsible for a series of beard- and hair-cutting attacks on other Amish, I have to check and make sure I'm not reading the Onion.

This morning, in the Onion New York Times, it says the ringleader's name is Samuel Mullet.

P. S. Is that the World's Largest Mailbox, or what?

No football for me...

...this weekend, I have better things to do. I know what you're thinking: What could possibly be better than high school football? Well, the Waddle (above) in Dwight, Illinois, of course.

What's the Waddle? As best as I can tell, it's some sort of basset hound convention. Apparently, for the past fifteen years or so, hundreds of basset hounds (and their owners) have been descending upon the tiny town of Dwight, Illinois, about a two-hour drive southwest of Chicago. Once there, they ... convene, I guess. There are all sorts of events, culminating in a 50-yard Dash (although I suspect the word "dash" may be a little generous).

Anyway, weather permitting, we're headed down to Dwight tomorrow with Stewart, our basset hound, after celebrating my son's 20th birthday tonight at Maggiano's in the city. (I know you're not supposed to like chains, but I think Maggiano's is the best Italian food around.)

P. S. And don't worry, I'll be following the games on Twitter.

This picture of Mitt Romney...

...was on the front page of the New York Times this morning.

Is there anything so cynical as a Republican campaigning behind a sign that says PROTECT & STRENGTHEN MEDICARE? Aren't these the same people who have been fighting Medicare since its inception?

And whatever happened to Romney's complaint about the 47 percent of Americans who are dependent on the federal government? Now he wants their votes?

I can't wait for this guy to go back to La Jolla.

Joliet Catholic will be... Marist tonight and, if the last two years are any indication, the game could be a shoot-out.

Since Pat Dunne (that's him in the picture above, not a student) took over the Red Hawks, Marist has won two out of the last three:

2011: MARIST 56, Joliet Catholic 51
2010: JOLIET CATHOLIC 49, Marist 42
2009: MARIST 24, Joliet Catholic 17

Before that, it was all JC:

2008: JOLIET CATHOLIC 29, Marist 14
2007: Joliet Catholic 55, MARIST 0
2006: JOLIET CATHOLIC 42, Marist 7
2005: Joliet Catholic 26, MARIST 0
2004: Joliet Catholic 42, MARIST 0

Coach Dan Sharp (above, with running back Ty Isaac) is 163-31 and has won six IHSA titles since joining JC in 1997. Wow!

But tonight belongs to Marist.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I think the most damaging...

...thing about Mitt Romney's comments concerning the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes is that it raises the question (again), "Who is Mitt Romney?"

Is the Mitt Romney in the video clip the real Mitt Romney? Is this what he really believes? Or was he just telling a roomful of big donors what they wanted to hear in order to part them from their money? What do you think? (I have no idea.)

And that's the problem. Because after years and years (and years) of running for president, the American people still don't know who the heck this Mitt Romney guy is. What does he stand for? What does he believe? Is there anything there? Or does this guy just want to be president so bad that he'll say anything to get elected? And, if so, what in the heck would he do once in office?

This doesn't just scare Democrats; it scares Republicans.

The Mitt Romney cartoon of the day:

Brother Rice hosts Mount Carmel...

...tomorrow night in a classic Catholic League Blue match-up. The last time the Crusaders beat the Caravan was in 2004, 10-7. Can new head coach Brian Badke, above, snap Brother Rice's losing streak ? (Home team in CAPS.)

2011: MOUNT CARMEL 35, Brother Rice 24
2010: MOUNT CARMEL 42, Brother Rice 7
2009: Mount Carmel 31, BROTHER RICE 21
2008: MOUNT CARMEL 35, Brother Rice 10
2007: Mount Carmel 28, BROTHER RICE 15
2006: MOUNT CARMEL 31, Brother Rice 0
2005: Mount Carmel 24, BROTHER RICE 0

Hey Joe...

...How does it feel?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

Bolingbrook hosts Homewood-Flossmoor...

...Friday night in what should be the first of three (and only three) serious tests for the Raiders in the regular season. (How can the defending Class 8A champions play only three tough opponents?)

So far, the Brook has crushed Plainfield South, 33-6 (1-3 and ranked No. 221 by MaxPreps), Romeoville, 46-10 (0-4, No. 361), Joliet Central, 54-6 (0-4, No. 438) and Joliet West, 44-12 (1-3, No. 256).

After they face Homewood-Flossmoor (3-1, No. 17) this week, the Raiders travel to Lincoln-Way East (4-0, No. 1) and then host Sandburg (4-0, No. 52). That's as tough a three-game stretch as anyone has in the state.

But then Bolingbrook finishes the regular season with Lincoln-Way Central (1-3, No. 180) and Lockport (1-3, No. 291).

So the Raiders play only three winning teams before the postseason. Wow!

Homewood-Flossmoor (3-1, No. 17), on the other hand, has been tested twice this year, against Stevenson (3-1, No. 21), whom the Vikings defeated, 35-27, and Lincoln-Way East (4-0, No. 1), whom they fell to, 35-20. H-F's other two victories came against Marian Catholic (0-4, No. 201), 35-7, and Lincoln-Way Central (1-3, No.180), 21-17.

Who's going to win Friday night? Well, recent history isn't all that much help since H-F coach Craig Buzea has only been at the helm for two years. (The Vikings were 1-8 the year before he arrived.) So anything before 2010 can be considered ancient history. But here's a recap anyway (home team in CAPS):

2011: Bolingbrook 41, HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 28
2010: Homewood-Flossmoor 19, BOLINGBROOK 6

B.C. (Before Craig):

2009: Bolingbrook 42, HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 6
2007: Homewood-Flossmoor 20, BOLINGBROOK 17
2006: Bolingbrook 21, HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 18
2005: BOLINGBROOK 28, Homewood-Flossmoor 7

So, again, who's going to win Friday night? Bolingbrook, of course. Despite my frustration with their schedule, I can't deny that they are one of the very best teams in Illinois.

I saw the Brook four times last year, against Lincoln-Way East, Mount Carmel, Downers Grove South and Naperville Central. (Five, if you count watching the Raiders beat Loyola in the 8A finals on TV.) And everything you've heard about them is true. Aaron Bailey is one of the most talented high school quarterbacks I've ever seen, their offensive line is huge, their defense is speedy and, from what I understand, their running backs (a weak spot last year) are much improved. These guys probably are the best team in the state.

And I can't wait for that game against Lincoln-Way East!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roberton Williams is a...

...Senior Fellow with the Tax Policy Center. You don't suppose that name ever causes confusion, do you?

"Did you say your name was Robert Williams?"

"No. Roberton."


"No, no. Rober-ton."


This chart from...

...the Hamilton Project (whatever that is) shows that over 70 percent of middle-aged adults pay income taxes.

And this chart from the Tax Policy Center shows who paid neither income nor payroll taxes in 2011.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.

The tweet of the day:

But what does Mitt Romney think of the people who don't pay ordinary income rates because of carried interest?

What if Maine South switched...

Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti.
...out of the Central Suburban Conference and into the Mid-Suburban? Then they could play teams like  Conant (3-1, and ranked No. 44 in MaxPreps), Schaumburg (4-0,  No. 42), Rolling Meadows (3-1, No. 35) and  Palatine (3-1, No. 20).

They could drop Evanston (3-1, No. 203), Waukegan (2-2, No. 212),  Niles North (2-2, No. 233) and  Deerfield (1-3, No. 244).

Wouldn't that be better?

Now, I know what you're thinking: But what about such rivals as Glenbrook South (2-2, No. 154), Niles West (4-0, No. 189) and New Trier (2-2, No. 198)? The Hawks could schedule them as non-conference opponents.

My 92-year-old mother...

...(there I go again, Ma, telling the whole world how old you are) doesn't pay income taxes and receives Social Security and Medicare. She does, however, pay sales and property taxes. She and my father also paid income taxes for decades. They lived through the Great Depression, World War II (my father actually saw "action" in the Far East) and raised five kids (and put them all through Catholic schools). She's one of the most self-less people you would ever hope to meet --  a great lady. One of the greatest I've ever met, in fact.

So why does Mitt Romney disparage her as a "taker?"

Bolingbrook graduate Antonio Morrison...

...has been starting at linebacker for the Florida Gators this year as a true Freshman.

Hat tip: Edgy Tim.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Big changes to the Week Four...

Quarterback Tom Fuessel leads the Griffins.
...rankings, at least in MaxPreps. Lincoln-Way East is now No. 1, Loyola moved up seven spots to No. 4 and Bolingbrook dropped to No. 7. (Mount Carmel comes in at No. 13 and Maine South is No. 14.)

Apparently, strength of schedule counts in the MaxPreps rankings. It should.


1. Lincoln-Way East
2. Glenbard West
3. Waubonsie Valley
4. Loyola (3-1)
5. Marist
6. Boylan (Rockford)
8. Montini (3-1)
9. Wheaton North
10. Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield)
13. Mount Carmel
14. Maine South

Chicago Sun-Times:

1. Maine South
2. Bolingbrook
3. Glenbard West
4. Mount Carmel
5. Lincoln-Way East
6. Loyola (3-1)
7. Wheaton North
8. Marist
9. Montini (3-1)
10. Neuqua Valley

Chicago Tribune:

1. Bolingbrook
2. Maine South
3. Mount Carmel
4. Glenbard West
5. Loyola (3-1)
6. Marist
7. Lincoln-Way East
8. Wheaton North
9. Montini (3-1)
10. Crete-Monee

The New Yorker cartoon of the day:

The Game of the Week...

Wide receiver Nic Weishar of Marist. a toss-up, between Mount Carmel (4-0) at Brother Rice (3-1) and Joliet Catholic (3-1) at Marist (4-0). The good news? The games will be about two miles apart. So, if you choose the wrong one and it's lopsided at the half, you can drive over to the other one. (Although I'd recommend you ride your bike; parking will be at a premium.)

Don't like that answer? Then go see Ty Isaac, arguably the best running back in the state (if he's healthy) play at Marist, the best Catholic school in Illinois. (Sorry, Caravan fans, but you've got to beat somebody to get respect.) Marist beat St. Rita, Brother Rice, Nazareth, and -- okay -- St. Patrick (MaxPreps has the Shamrocks at No. 49). Mount Carmel beat -- again -- St. Patrick, Morgan Park, De La Salle and St. Joseph. (Not exactly a Murderers' Row.)

But the Mount Carmel - Brother Rice game should reveal which team is the Real Deal. (Maybe both; who knows?) What do I think? The Caravan will defeat the Crusaders on the road. Why? Because everyone at Brother Rice has been taught since they were two years old that Mount Carmel is the better team.

As for that other contest, in Mount Greenwood, the home team should defeat Joliet Catholic. Marist is the Real Deal this year and Isaac is probably not at 100 percent just yet.

Now, don't feel like traveling down to the Southwest Side of the city on a Friday afternoon? What, you don't like spending two hours in a car? (That's strange.) I have more good news for you: there are a lot of other good games this weekend.

If you live out west:

Wheaton Warrenville South (2-2) is at Naperville Central (2-2) on Friday night. Don't let those records fool you; both of these teams will be tough come playoff time.

And on Saturday, Oak Park River Forest (3-1) is at Glenbard West (4-0). Now, I wouldn't normally recommend this game (I saw the Hilltoppers crush the Huskies in Oak Park last year), but people are touting OPRF this year (hope springs eternal), and Duchon Field is a great place to see a game, so -- what the heck -- go check it out if you have nothing better to do. (And, really, what could possibly be better than watching a high school football game on a Saturday afternoon?)

If you live in the southwest suburbs:

Homewood-Flossmoor (3-1) is at Bolingbrook (4-0) and Lincoln-Way East (4-0) is at Sandburg (4-0). Come on, guys, don't wreck it for me! I want to see both teams undefeated when I drive down to Frankfort on the 28th to see the rematch between the Raiders and the Griffins. (Lincoln-Way East spoiled Bolingbrook's perfect season last year -- on the road!) This one could be the Game of the Year. Don't blow it!

If you live way south, there's Lemont (4-0) at Oak Forest (4-0).

If you live in the northwest suburbs, there's Conant (3-1) at Schaumburg (4-0).

And if you live in the way northwest suburbs, Jacobs (3-1) will be at Cary-Grove (4-0). Do I smell an upset?

Oh, and I almost forgot, Carmel (1-3) will be at Nazareth (2-2) on Saturday. Now, I know what you're thinking: consolation game. Maybe; but these are two perennially good teams. And Valenta Stadium in La Grange Park is another great place to see a game. I'd be there if I didn't have other plans.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A New York Times opinion piece...

...posed the question today "Are We Asking Too Much From Our Teachers?" The article said, among other things, that:

In Chicago, 87 percent of public school students come from low-income families.

And I thought, if an NFL coach was given the least prepared players, would anyone be surprised if his team came in last?