Otto the right guy for Cubs radio
But this is such a no-brainer that you wonder if the time has come to make the announcement that Dave Otto will be the next color analyst.
The other candidates are all fine choices and they would probably do a nice job, but it seems obvious that Otto ought to be the guy.
In an organization that pays constant lip service to understanding what it means to be a Cub or a Cubs fan, Otto knows more about it than most of the people working for the team, and no one he's competing with could possibly understand it better.
The 46-year-old Otto grew up a sick Cubs fan in Elk Grove and was a huge baseball and basketball star in high school, before heading to Missouri and professional baseball.
He pitched for the Cubs in 1994 during a 10-year pro career, but he has never left Chicago, not even after getting his master's and out-of-town job offers.
For the last 10 years, while also working in the private sector, Otto has worked TV pregame and postgame, was the color analyst on TV for two years during Steve Stone's sabbatical, and has frequently filled in for Santo the last few seasons on radio.
And while many Cubs fans will miss Santo and find him irreplaceable, Otto has great chemistry with Hughes and brings an analytical approach to the game from a pitcher's standpoint.
But he also has that down-home feel that Cubs fans throughout the Midwest embrace, not to mention a good sense of humor. He does a good job explaining the game, while bringing intelligence and a sense of calm to the broadcast.
There's no guarantee he'll get the job, but it just doesn't seem like there's a better choice.
For Cubs fans' sake, not to mention Hughes', here's hoping Dave Otto lands the job.
With the Bulls assigning forward James Johnson to the NBA Development League, it's hard not to think of the 2009 NBA draft when the choice here was 6-foot-7, 270-pound monster DeJuan Blair out of Pitt.
No amount of begging persuaded Bulls GM John Paxson, who took Johnson at No. 16 while Blair lasted until 37.
Blair has 10 double-doubles this season — including five in the last nine games — while averaging 21 minutes for San Antonio, which has the best record in the NBA.
Give Paxson credit for finding Taj Gibson at No. 26 in '09, but the Johnson pick is looking like one of Paxson's worst.
The quote from Ben Roethlisberger: "I want to be a role model. I want people to look up to me. I like when kids wear my jerseys."
Either I accidentally planted a metal shovel in my forehead while shoveling Wednesday, or I have such a headache from hearing Roethlisberger speak that I can't process his inability to grasp the situation.
The good cause
The Wolves' wives and girlfriends will host their annual Valentine's Day puck fundraiser to benefit Wolves Charities at six home games during the month of February, beginning with this Friday's game at the Allstate Arena.
Commemorative Valentine's Day pucks packaged with candy can be purchased for a $10 donation, and all pucks are autographed by a Wolves player.
Proceeds will benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the United Cerebral Palsy Fund, a cause close to Wolves coach Don Lever, whose 30-year-old son has cerebral palsy.
For more info, visit chicagowolves.com.
Some cross-sport proposition wagers for Super Bowl Sunday:
•Phil Mickelson fourth-round score in the Phoenix Open (+8) vs. Greg Jennings receiving yards.
•Chelsea-Liverpool goals (+1) vs. Steelers-Packers field goals.
•Blake Griffin rebounds (-1) vs. Steelers-Packers second-quarter points.
•LeBron James points (-7) vs. Steelers points.
E-mailer Hawkeye Pierce, on Pittsburgh having Troy Polamalu in the backfield on the final play of the AFC title game: "Think about it: The Steelers have a game plan for victory formation. Meanwhile, the Bears after six months still thought Todd Collins was a No. 2 QB."
Sportspickle.com: "PGA Tour season officially begins with second-place finish by Phil Mickelson."
And finally …
NBC's Jay Leno: "While visiting Chicago, President Hu met with Cubs fans. Apparently, he wanted to see Americans who have suffered more human-rights violations than his own people."
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