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posted: 3/14/2014 5:30 AM

Spellman's Scorecard: Closing the book on ill-fated campaign

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  • The Scorecard says let's hear it for former Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown and his finding a starting job and the riches that go with it down in Tampa Bay.

    The Scorecard says let's hear it for former Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown and his finding a starting job and the riches that go with it down in Tampa Bay.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer


With apologies to Ozzie Smith and his super short-lived campaign to make baseball's Opening Day a national holiday, yeah, thanks, but not gonna happen.

If it were like it used to be when every team opened on the same day, then maybe, because that was kinda special.

But the way it is now with multiple Opening Days?

Forget it.


Best Opening Day in any sport is without a doubt NASCAR's.

No Joshing:

It's going to be tough replacing Josh McCown.

Good guy, good teammate, and a heck of a backup QB, maybe even the most popular backup in Bears history.

He'll be missed, but good for him getting the cash.

The list:

Among the best backups in history: The Pips, Steve Young, The Band, Don Strock, Kevin McHale, Paul Popovich (what?), The Supremes, and, of course, any Friday evening on the Kennedy.

Words you rarely hear:

How 'bout them Blue Demons! In the Big East opener against Georgetown!

While we're at it:

How 'bout that Billy Garrett Jr. vs. the Hoyas!

Gotta be a full moon:

What's this? Illinois and Northwestern also win their conference tournament openers? As DePaul showed Thursday night … enjoy it while it lasts Illini and Wildcats.

Burying the lede:

After a winter where storms, or potential storms, led local newscasts at a rate of about twice a week, how is it possible for Tom Skilling to nonchalantly throw out -- in the middle of a forecast last week, no less -- the fact that it looks like next winter will be a warmer one thanks to an El Nino setup?

C'mon, that's huge!

Things I'm loving:

This NFL free-agent frenzy and the fact that 19-year-old center Teuvo Teravainen could be joining the Blackhawks as soon as next week.

If I had to guess, I'd say Patrick Kane is loving the latter item a whole bunch.

2014 Bears defense:

The Prius: All hybrid, all day!

Honestly, that sounded way better in my head than it looks on paper.

My apologies.

Keep it up:

It's nice to see Arlington Park reward breeders and owners of Illinois thoroughbreds not only with potential bonus money for finishing in the money but by guaranteeing that at least two Illinois-bred races will be carded per day as well.

It may not be a ton, but it's a real nice first step.

He said it:

"To me this is the most important thing to happen for breeders in Illinois since the Horse Racing Act of 1975. This is the true beginning of some positives that we've never had before.

-- longtime Illinois breeder and owner David Block

Still on the Road:

Coach Q's star 2-year-old, Midnight Hawk, who finished second over the weekend in the San Felipe Stakes, is currently sixth in the Kentucky Derby 2014 point standings.

Although it might turn out that the Derby's 1¼-mile distance is too far for MH, it's still kinda cool to be in the running.

Getting there:

After listening to about 3,648 radio ads on the subject, I can now officially say I'm somewhat more aware of what the disease known as Non-24 is than I was a year ago.

Doing it right:

The Chicago Wolves know how to party.

They're celebrating St. Patrick's Day by wearing exclusive jerseys to raise money for Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago and Chicago Wolves Charities.

They'll wear the specialty jerseys for home games Saturday and Sunday and again next Friday.

And don't forget:

Individual playoff tickets for the first round of the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs go on sale to the public at 11 a.m. on Friday.

Championship No. 5?

It's absolutely possible.

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