O'Donnell: Rocky dismissal of McDonough does Wirtz family no favors

  • John McDonough congratulates Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, left, and Patrick Kane after they were each signed for another 8 years in 2014.

    John McDonough congratulates Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, left, and Patrick Kane after they were each signed for another 8 years in 2014. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Updated 4/29/2020 3:14 PM

WHILE NHL ARCHAEOLOGISTS continue their dig for clues in the sudden disconnect of John McDonough and the Blackhawks, here's a statement of unassailable fact:

Whatever the cause of the break, any individual given as much credit from within as McDonough for the remarkable revitalization of the organization deserved a far more reasoned farewell than a rushed late-afternoon news release during a pandemic.


Bernie Madoff received a more sensitive goodbye from the Nasdaq.

Biggest riddler in the current crankshafting is team chairman Rocky Wirtz, who has been trying very hard to outskate his family's historic imaging problems.

Is there a reason McDonough, 66, wasn't allowed to announce his "retirement," targeted for a benignly plausible date such as June 30?

In the meantime, if he had become so dispensibly loathsome amid the West Madison Street hockey pucks and Breakthru Beverage ice, why not simply blackout the McDonough square any time the team's House Party app was in use?

This is not the way gentlemanly au revoirs were handled by Gabe Eaton, Tom Les, Tom Lemanski and other soaring Dons back at McDonough's revered Notre Dame High in Niles.

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And now 'Hawks fans can only fret:

Are they stuck inside of Reinsdorf-ville with those title blues again?

EVEN THE MOST VIRTUAL NFL draft can prompt a notable touch of harmonic convergence -- especially for more long-term fans of regional high school football.

When the Bears made Cole Kmet their top selection in the 2020 sweeper last Friday, it completed an odd exacta that recalled one of the greatest days in the history of Hersey High athletics.

Too many years ago, Bruce Glover's Huskies upset unbeaten East St. Louis 26-6 at Illinois State for the Illinois High School Association's 1987 6A crown.

According to The Daily Herald's sky pilot Keith Reinhard -- who was covering his final prep football championship weekend:

"(The Huskies) were better because defensive tackle Frank Kmet and junior quarterback Duke Tobin were the two best football players on the rain-slicked AstroTurf field."


Frank Kmet is the father of Cole.

Duke Tobin is the director of player personnel for Cincinnati and one of the Bengals' key executives who signed off on the team's selection of LSU's Joe Burrow as the No. 1 choice in the draft.

The Kmet-Tobin orbits would have completely remerged if the Bengals had taken young Cole with the first pick of the second round, No. 33 overall.

Cincinnati instead tabbed wide receiver Tee Higgins of Clemson, 10 spots ahead of the Bears and Kmet.

STREET-BEATIN': NBC has a huge hole with no Kentucky Derby Saturday, so The Peacock will air a three-hour archived Derby bloc (WMAQ-Channel 5, 2 p.m.) highlighted by the animated "Triple Crown Showdown." (Secretariat is the 7-2 morning-line chalk atop a field of 14; But if 4-1 second pick Citation doesn't win, Phil Georgeff will come spinning out of The Big Booth Upstairs -- "The Voice" worshipped the 1948 champ.) ...

Intriguing speculation out of New York that ESPN NY-FM management is considering punting a.m. dead weight "Golic & Wingo" to another station to fulfill national obligations and go local vs. Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti of Entercom's WFAN. Relevance to Chicago is that Mike Thomas and ESPN AM-1000 have no prayer of a full daytime duel with WSCR-AM (670) until they jettison "G&W" and open morning-drive to Chicago-focused programming. ...

Netflix has just dropped "A Secret Love," an 82-minute documentary on the long romance of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel. The two met while playing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League ("A League of Their Own") in 1947 and finally wed in 2015 at an assisted living facility in West suburban St. Charles. ...

Memo to freshness-starved Kevin Cross and NBCSCH: A little Will Perdue can go a long way. ...

Nice angled "get" by Jerry Riles on his "The Rewind Sports: 60": Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told him the play-calling of Matt Nagy last season was "pedestrian" and "very poor." (So order -- no parking on the dance floor at Soldier Field; Riles' weekly chatfest airs Sundays at 6 p.m. on WCPT-AM (820). ...

And Dave Corzine -- the enduring NBAer who played more seasons with Michael Jordan without winning a championship than any other (5) -- curbing his enthusiasm on "The Last Dance": "I've been down in New Mexico at a place that doesn't get ESPN, so I haven't seen any of it. I heard it's pretty good. I'll probably binge-watch somewhere down the line."

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com.

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