Hello everyone and welcome to the Journal. I am sad the Pope died because there will be some jerk taking his position that will not be able to measure up, but note to media, will you please let it rest? It has been one week and they are still covering it like it is front-page news.

Now let's talk about sports in Illinois. Some people who read this nice column live in Illinois. Some do not. However those of you that do know that Illinois is the most cursed place for sports. Some teams in Illinois deserve the curse; others do things to bring trouble to themselves.

Take the Fighting Illini for example. Here is the NCAA's best team. Ranked number one in the country. They go into the tournament ranked number one. Everything is riding in their favor, but yet in the final four. They, like any other team in Chicago or Illinois, blow it. The Illini is a team who did it to themselves. I have never seen a team take so many threes in the last five minutes of a game in my life. It may have worked for them before, but that was when they were 15-20 down. They should have thought small when they finally tied North Carolina and taken twos and play some good D. But no, let's go out there and play like glory hounds so we can get those big NBA contracts. This of course led to the demise of the team in the finals, and they only lost one game when they score over 70 points. That was to the Tarheels of UNC, and now they have lost two. The team had it in their hand, but they dropped the ball, literally. If it weren't for that turnover, the team had a chance if they weren't going for threes every time they went down the court.

My best example is the 1984 and 2003 Chicago Cubs. Now it brings me great pleasure to talk about this because I hate the Cubs. They are the biggest blemishes of the city of Chicago. From those two huge, huge, huge losses, to the embarrassments of Sammy Sosa, the Cubs couldn't be more cursed than the devil himself. In 1984, during the National League Championship Series, the Cubs were up 2-0, but then San Diego fought back winning the next three games, ending the dream team of 1984. And of course my buddy Steve Bartman can tell you about the 2003 NLCS. The Cubs, who everyone was saying would be in the World Series against the Yankees had a repeat performance where they were up 3-1 in the series, but a fateful game 6, where I can't remember the dude's name since I don't give a shit about the Cubs, blew a double play which could have ended the game, but the Florida Marlins came back and whooped that north side ass. Many Cub fans would have you believe that it was Bartman who caused the fall of the Cubs, but that proves the ignorance of this breed of people who do nothing but drink, whine and cry. Cub fans don't have a clue about what a baseball team is. This will bring me to the White Sox, the better team of the two.

The Sox number one enemy has been themselves. Frank Thomas has more mood swings that Sybil in a Starbucks. This has affected the team. It is kind of like what would a crew do if their captain were drunk all the time. Eventually the ship will crash or sink. Now I am not suggesting that Thomas is an alcoholic, but when Thomas is in a bad mood, the team's structure is not all there. This is evident by the 2000 ALCS where Thomas did not perform and the team for some reason followed suit. The Seattle Mariners swept the Sox in that series. It is not fair to put such a responsibility on one man's shoulders, but that is how the media portrayed it. Many Cub fans revel in the fact two of the South Side's star players Maggilo Ordonez and Carlos Lee were traded. It may be some new life this Sox team needs. We will see who has the better record at the end of the season now won't we?

Then there's hockey. The Blackhawks were a force to be reckoned with for a long time, but in 1992 I believe, the Pittsburgh Penguins wiped them off the map in a 4-0 Stanley Cup victory. Then the team just died. They didn't really perform well after that and of course as many of you know, the strike just happened so no NHL season this past year. This leaves us with watching the Wolves, which is great hockey at a fair price.

The Chicago Bears had one of the greatest teams in 1985, but will they ever be able to match that? They sure fucked up Soldier Field with the space saucer slamming into it. Nevertheless the Bears, who have come a long way not being under the leadership of people like Dave Wandstedt or Dick Jauron, may be able to do some things in 2005, but I guess we'll see.

Now Chicago has hope in one more team. They may not go all the way, but they have lifted many spirits in this city. The Bulls are destined to make the playoffs for the first time since the greatest basketball dynasty of all time kicked all forms of ass back in the 90's. The team that John Paxson put together may not be the machine of that in the last decade, but they have the tools, talent, and desire to get there. NBA Basketball is getting exciting again, and all I can say is go Bulls go.

But the whole moral of the story is when will Illinois sports have the "we will rock you" attitude verses the "oh well, we will have to wait and see what happens this year." Why is it every time we have the tools to rock other teams, we fail? Chicago is a city of many surprises. Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, and the fact some asshole came up with a team called the Chicago Cubs who infest the city with their crap on a daily basis called "Cub Nation." No matter how you slice it, Chicago is the third largest city in America, and we will have champions one day. The question is when.

Thanks for reading and have yourself a nice day.