MM 2/26: Russellmania, Parker and Portillo's, Yoan's Year

MM 2/26: Russellmania, Parker and Portillo's, Yoan's Year

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Thursday's results
Hawks 2, Blue Jackets 0
Illinois 86, Nebraska 70
Northwestern 67, Minnesota 59

Suns at Bulls (7, NBCSCH)
SIU vs Loyola (8, CBSN)

Georgetown at DePaul (11, FS1)
Illinois at Wisconsin (1, ESPN)
SIU vs Loyola (5, ESPNU)
Wings at Hawks (7, NBCSCH)

Wings at Hawks (6, NBCSN)
Bulls at Raptors (6, NBCSCH)

Four for Friday

Good morning, frents!

The snow is melting, the weather is gorgeous (shut up) and we both want to get to the weekend already. So let's hit four things and get on with it.

Russell Wilson to the Bears!

One Adam Schefter tweet on Thursday afternoon was all Chicago needed to start the Russ-to-the-Bears parade with Tarik Cohen and Cordarelle Patterson tweeting recruiting pitches in lockstep. It was a fun few hours.

None of it makes any sense, of course. Wilson is just 32, a perennial MVP candidate and trading him before June 2 would nuke Seattle's salary cap to the tune of $39 million. Per Schefter, the ever-polite QB isn't demanding a trade per see. But there also just happens to be a list of four teams that Wilson would accept a trade to and our beloved happen to be on it with the Cowboys, Raiders and Saints.

As our pal Brendan Sugrue points out, this Bears offseason has been a never-ending chain of quarterback rumors starting with Deshaun Watson the first week of January and going through another five quarterbacks before Wilson surprisingly walked out from behind the curtain and joined Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold and Co. on an already crowded couch.

I can't get my hopes up just yet. My brain can't compute the dysfunctional Bears somehow being chosen as a destination for a quarterback who has double-digit win campaigns in eight of his nine years and was one Pete Carroll brainfart away from two Super Bowl titles.

But I'm here for whatever drama unfolds. And I think I'd rubber stamp whatever package it'd take to get him.

Patrick Kane's 399th and the rolling Hawks

Big Daddy Kane's wrister midway through the third broke a scoreless tie in Columbus and proved to be the gamewinner in the Hawks' 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets. Kane is now just one goal away from No. 400, which could come in this weekend's two-game set against the Wings at the United Center.

As for the Hawks, they'll roll back into Chicago having gone 4-1 on this road trip. They've won eight of their last 10 and are comfortably in a playoff spot at the moment. What an unexpected surprise this season has been so far.

Yoan Moncada, question mark

One of the cool things about the new Midway Minute website is that there's a spot for deeper dives into Chicago sports topics. So make some time for Dave Brown's excellent column on Yoan Moncada and the challenge he faces in 2021. COVID curbed Moncada's production in a big way last year and regaining his form from 2019 remains a big key to the Sox unlocking their World Series dreams.

Will Yoan Moncada bounce back after battling COVID?
The third baseman is one of the team’s best players, but also one of its biggest question marks.

Who's up for some Portillo's?

Finally, when Candace Parker revealed her gut-busting Portillo's order last month, I mused that someone should try to eat it all and write about it.

Longtime Internet friend Bobby Loesch took me up on that offer and wrote about it for the site. It's not for the faint of the heart.

But it might be for the hungry.

Trying to eat Candace Parker’s order at Portillo’s
The newest member of the Sky made headlines with her calorie-packed order at Portillo’s. Can a member of our crew take it all down?

Letters to the editor

So this email from Gary Prellwitz earlier this week made me jealous.

It also made my day:

"Just checking in to let you know I made it to Florida and I’m enjoying the warm weather, white sand and ocean breezes. Those things are great but nothing tops the satisfaction of a cold beer in a Midway Minute koozie. It really tops off my day. Thanks again for all the work you put into your newsletters. Keep ‘em coming and keep on growing."

So cool. I didn't know Gary at this time last year and now he's repping Midway Minute during beach time. Cheers, Gary!

PS — Want your own koozie for the year ahead? Sign up for a premium membership (it's in the swag pack) or simply start referring some friends through the Midway Minute Rewards program.

  1. Kris Bryant held his media day and told reporters of a text that would stop anyone dead in their tracks. USA Today
  2. Bryant says he's pleased with the communication with Jed Hoyer and the Cubs' front office and is open to an extension. Sun-Times
  3. I talked a lot of Cubs this week on podcasts, which is getting me excited for the season ahead. Check out my turn on the Friendly Confines Podcast, where I had the misfortune/honor of following a Mike Wilbon guest appearance a week earlier. Friendly Confines Podcast
  4. Kevin Garnett told a good Michael Jordan trash talk story to Jimmy Kimmel. Extra Mustard
  5. New goal for this newsletter: Work hard enough so a local brewery names a beer after Midway Minute. Haymarket