Just recently, for the first time this season, I watched an entire Chicago Cubs game from beginning to end.
Wait -- let me explain.
I watch parts of a ton of games. The remote is constantly in motion and the MLB package on my satellite is like my own amusement park. I watch lots of baseball teams play, just not one complete game.
But I was in Las Vegas and the Cubs were on TV in the room, so I watched it.
And I have to tell you, I was actually horrified with what I saw.
Now, the Houston Astros are the worst team in baseball, so thankfully the Cubs will not bear that distinction. But I'm puzzled about a few things.
First, shouldn't they be playing better at this point in the season? The fans deserve and expect some improvement.
Second, after watching Starlin Castro struggle with focus and in a variety of situations, along with an average glove and bat, was the extension given him actually necessary?
Third, do we see this club being relevant in two to three years? I don't know, but to me they look like they have taken a step back.
I guess it can't be said enough -- 2013 is a huge year for manager Dale Sveum.
Is it finally ND's year?
There hasn't been much talk about Notre Dame's win over Navy in Dublin, Ireland. It could be just that it was overseas, with an early-morning kickoff, or because it was overshadowed by other games.
But believe me, if Notre Dame had lost to Navy, which had beaten the Irish in two of the last three games, there would have been more chatter.
That sigh of relief coming from South Bend is because the first couple of years have not been smooth for new coach Brian Kelly. There was the unfortunate death of a student taping practice in a crane blown over by windy conditions, and bad behavior by some players that has made for some rough sledding.
But could this finally be the year for the Irish?
Their schedule is tough, but at least for a week, hope springs eternal.
My NFL picks for you
It's great to have the NFL and college football back. I have missed them plenty.
Here are my three games for the weekend:
• Adrian Peterson has recovered remarkably from reconstructive knee surgery and will play. Maurice Jones- Drew will only be a third down back. Take the Vikings -4 over Jacksonville.
• The Green Bay Packers play the 49ers, so look for Aaron Rodgers to put up 30 against a 49ers team that won't be ready. Take the Pack -5 over San Francisco.
• Sam Bradford and the St Louis Rams keep a close leash on the Detroit Lions who should get it done, but barely. Take the Rams +7 over Lions.
Farewell to Jilly's
Good luck to Nick Caruso Jr. and Frankie "da Nos" Costanzo from Jilly's. The '90s Rush Street scene was unreal. Great times, good friends and lots of drinks. They will close their doors after 18 years. Long live Jilly's!
• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit //www.northtonorth.com/index.shtml">northtonorth.com.