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Mike Royko, the voice of Chicago journalism, was an everyman for the city. Living a life made of dirty politics and barstool social commentary, his voice was a familiar one telling the sometimes hard to hear story of the city he loved.

But at no time did Royko speak with such unbridled glee as when he was hanging out at the Billy Goat, talking his true love - softball. Real softball. The 16-inch kind.

In this 1982 gem, a rare interview with Slats Grobnik's best friend, Royko hangs out with the Sun-Times team, a perennial powerhouse, and talks effusively about the time when he was king, pitching the Strikers to a title on a last-second whim. And, of course, his desire to collapse, dead at homeplate carrying the tying run in the seventh inning to finish off a grand slam. And, his life, of course.

Aside from the bar stool or behind the keys of his typewriter, there could have been no more fitting place for Royko to meet his maker.

And for those of you not blessed enough to be from Chicago, 16-inch softball is different from what you play because A) the ball is bigger than the usual 12-inch variety and B) there are no gloves on defense. The 16-inch game is specific to the Chicago region, but grab a Clincher and you can make a change for the better.

No. 44 stepped up his game beyond politics and took on the far more important responsibility of broadcasting college basketball.

President Obama, the hoops fan in chief, joined Vern Lunquist and Clark Kellogg for a few minutes of analysis in the Duke-Georgetown game and brought his humor and some nifty broadcasting ability to the table.

And, for the record, he says he can work to the right, but prefers moving to his left.

Action in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is, no doubt, usually highly competitive and hard-hitting, being deep in the heart of hockey-mad Canada. Hockey itself is a tough sport with lots of speed and lots of contact. But this is something else.

In this video Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikael Tam is hit in the head with an elbow by Team Canada's world junior captain Patrice Cormier and immediately hits the ice in convulsions. Cormier was ejected, but Tam suffered a broken jaw, brain damaged and continues to convulse as he's wheeled off the ice to the hospital. The 18-year-old also lost "many" teeth, according to Canadian press reports, which also say Tam remains in the hospital with brain trauma, but could be released as soon as Tuesday.

The elbow check is apparently not a new move for Cormier.

Remparts coach Patrick Roy filed a complaint with the Quebec Provincial Police, who are now investigating the incident and collecting testimony.

The league has yet to rule on a punishment for what was clearly a late hit and cheap shot. Cormier, a forward for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies who had only been with the team for three games following a trade, has not been heard from publicly.

Video turned up on YouTube that's apparently Adam James giving a brief tour of his holding pen, now infamous as the pit where former Texas Tech head footbal coach Mike Leach's career went to die.

It's a dark, grainy cell phone video that doesn't show much, but you get the idea that's it's a somewhat small tech closet and no great pace to spend three hours.

Gun-slinging quarterback Jay Cutler has had a tough year. No doubt about it.

But for one shining moment in a frozen game under the lights of a national Monday Night Football stage, the maligned Bears QB of the future could say he out-dueled the king of the gun-slingers, Brett Favre, in the most entertaining game the Chicago squad played in a dismal 2009 season.

Following what is now an almost predictable Adrian Peterson fumble in overtime, Cutler wasted no time making the Vikings pay. He hit a streaking Devin Aromashodu down the sideline for a quick-strike touchdown to cap a 36-30 victory.

Who knows what this victory means in the long run - other than a thorn-in-the-playoff-seeding-side of Minnesota. In fact, maybe it's best not to think about all the baggage waiting to be unloaded at season's end and simply live in this very un-Bear-like moment of victory. Just ask Jay:

"It's good for the team, it's good for the morale of going out there and putting up points and answering the bell, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime when you have to do it," Cutler said.

Yes, we're supporting blatant commercialization with this post, but who cares? It's Christmas - the official holiday of rampant commercialization.

Besides, these Nike spots playing up an old school rap battle between Santa Claus (an old school legend - KRS-One) and Blitzen (current Chicago hip hop legend Lupe Fiasco) with the help of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

The Blitzen challenges Santa to a game of hoops, talks a bunch of smack, then gets planted by the Jolly Old Elf. Pretty good stuff, really. Especially good to hear KRS1 again. This might be the best Christmas rap since Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis."

Anyway, Blitzen boasts about his game, telling Santa he'll spot him Kobe, LeBron and points anytime:

It all leads up to this epic rap and hoops battle on the courts, cause, you know, Santa won't be faded:

The Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets hooked up in the type of NBA action you can really sink your teeth into Friday night. No, really.

Serial tooth-loser Carl Landry and all-everything Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki were battling under the board when Houston Rockets Landry's mouth met Nowitzki's elbow and, well, nobody wins that battle, apparently. Nowitzki went sliding to the floor and immediately started checking his elbow, where he found a few of Landry's chopper embedded. And by few, I mean five teeth in total.

Oddly, this isn't the first time Landry has lost teeth in a game. In April of 2008 he lost a front tooth in a practice mishap with Dikembe Mutombo. He then had that replacement tooth bashed out by Carlos Boozer in a playoff game a few weeks later.

Nowitzki, for his part, gamely took his foul shots left-handed, then quickly committed a foul to get off the court for treatment.

Nowitzki is listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Landry is, hopefully, shopping for a mouth guard.

Royce White came to Tubby Smith's Golden Gophers squad as one of the most highly-touted recruits in the country at forward. He leaves it with nothing more than the hope of having the highest amount of pageviews for his video resignation.

White says he's leaving the Minnesota basketball team because of his legal troubles and the stress they are causing his family and the program.

White has been a suspension machine since heading to the University of Minnesota. First losing time - and doing time - for a theft and assault on a Mall of America security guard incident, and most recently for a dustup over accusations involving a stolen laptop on campus.

Seems that White has had enough, as he discusses in his video, and is leaving the team to concentrate on getting his life in order. Nobody can deny him that worthy goal, but the self broadcast is a little odd. Hopefully it all works out in the end.

Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi said that White hasn't informed anyone in his department about a decision.

White is currently indefinitely suspended from the team

First, a full disclosure: I grew up in Virginia singing "Hail to the Redskins" and worshiping at the alter of Hall-of-Famer John Riggins as the team dominated all before them in the 1980s.

So I now know how fellow Pros(er) Kyle feels watching the Lions. Somewhere between sick to my stomach and just plain heartsick. It's a bumbling team that at one time not long ago was the class of the NFL - OK, similarity with the Lions ends there - that's become a conundrum of underperforming talent and a league laughingstock that winless teams look forward to on the schedule.

But I'm nowhere near as upset as Riggins, who currently is hosting a video series and lighting up Twitter with his ideas on why the Redskins have become one of the worst teams in the league. "Head" coach Jim Zorn ("he could be a good high school coach") and General Manager Vinny Cerrado ("He should go on radio ... be an analyst") receive the brunt of the Diesel's wrath.

And as if that weren't enough, he's also taking his assault on Daniel Snyder's (the worst NFL owner ever?) heaping pile of steaming football team to "Inside the NFL" on Showtime reports Brad Biggs.

Keep on blasting away, Riggo, like you did back in the day:

As crazy coaching moments go, Gunnar Prokop tries to give his best Woody Hayes effort and ends up slightly less infamous, but no better than the disgraced THE Ohio State University coach.

When Hayes punched Clemson defender Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl after a game-sealing interception, he put himself on a one-way express train to loserville, being fired the next day never to coach again.

For his part, Prokop, coach of Austrian handball team Hypo Niederoesterreich, one-upped Hayes in that he hip-checked an opposing player in the women's Champions League game. But he doesn't rise to the level of incredulity since nobody outside the rabid Austrian women's handball fan base noticed.

Still, it's another coach gone after a crazy moment, though Prokop fell on his own sword without being pushed to make amends. Thankfully, he's already in the city Sigmund Freud made famous for psychoanalysis, so he'll be able to spend his newly acquired free time figuring out why he just had to hit a girl.

"I will go through this with a psychiatrist. ... I still can't understand why I've done this."

The match ended in a 27-27 draw. Handball's European governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against Prokop. A ruling is expected before his team's match against Krim Ljubljana on Sunday.

We will, of course, be waiting to see justice done here.

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