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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, June 12

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Chicago Thu Oct 03 2013

ESPN GameDay Comes To Northwestern For Battle Against Buckeyes

Northwestern_Wildcats.jpg After defensive lineman Quentin Williams sacked Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell at the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day, January 1, 2013, it sealed the first bowl win in over 60 years for the Northwestern Wildcats and made coach Pat Fitzgerald jump into the arms of a few of his players along the sideline, wiping away tears of joy and purple Gatorade. He had done it -- the former Wildcats linebacker had come back to his academic roots to lead his team to a bowl victory not seen since the Truman administration.

For the next few weeks, proud alumni dusted off their purple scarves, sweaters and ski caps and walked with a little extra giddy-up in their step to work, while flashing a wink and a nod at anyone in orange. Not since the Gary Barnett-led Cats of the mid-1990s has there been this much hype over a Northwestern team that, more times than not, has backed it up on the gridiron.

The offseason came, and with it began more work for coach Fitz in preparation for a follow-up act to the success of 2012 -- certainly a hard act to follow. Eventually, the new season kicked off and the Wildcats jumped to a 4-0 start with wins over Cal, Syracuse, Western Michigan and Maine, thus earning rank of sixteenth in the polls. But as in the university's motto, "Quaecumque Sunt Vera," ("Whatsoever things are true"), now begins a stretch run of the truest test of all: games against conference foes from within the Big 10. And at the onset of this tough test is the toughest of them all: the fourth-ranked Buckeyes of Ohio State.

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Jim Crago

Chicago Tue Jul 30 2013

"Chiditarod" For Kids At Garfield Park

Kiditarod.jpg There's nothing that says fun quite like an Iditarod race in Chicago, aptly named Chiditarod, that requires adults to mush about the city at different checkpoints, all for charity. The race, pageant, talent show and fundraiser helped raise over $34,000 in cash donations while collecting nearly 17,000 pounds of food for the Greater Chicago Food Depository this past March 2, after covering 4.8 miles in the greatest spectacle in shopping cart racing.

But why should the adults have all the fun, running around and acting like kids? It's time for the kids to get involved and show the grown-ups how it's done. On Saturday, August 10, the folks at "Chiditarod" will put on "Kiditarod," a kid-oriented version of the race, at a new interactive festival called Figment, that runs Aug. 10-11 at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

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Jim Crago

Chicago Tue Apr 16 2013

Running Into Fear


I've always had a hard time trying to understand what it takes to inflict pain on or wish ill will towards another person. What does it take to psyche yourself up enough to fly a plane into a building, to carelessly shoot at another person, or to plant bombs near the finish line of a marathon? I want to know, but realize I'll never understand.

I think back to when I wrestled in high school: I would visualize wrapping my opponent up like a pretzel until the referee slapped his hand on the mat, declaring me the winner (this rarely happened, but I did have a few wins under my belt). But in the end, we would shake hands in the spirit of competition and go about our separate ways.

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Jim Crago / Comments (1)

Contest Mon Mar 04 2013

Chiditarod 2013

Gapers Chiidtarod FAV.jpg

Oh, Chicago, we suffer so much through the freezing winter but then March comes along and, although it's still hovering around 30 degrees with a winter storm warning coming along our way for this week, Chiditarod always somehow manages to prove to us all that The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place.

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Kirstie Shanley

Chicago Wed Jan 23 2013

Preview: Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers Competition

All alone this Valentine's Day weekend, or looking to do something different with your mate? Then head over to the Logan Square Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10pm, for CLLAW XV, and take in some pressed-flesh competition. Tickets are just $25, which gets you in to cheer on the brash beauties of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers, and offer your future special someone a cocktail at the three-hour open bar ($10 without the drink package). Your heart will throb as you root on the likes of Lumberjack Jill as she looks to defend her title.


Not to mention, a portion of the CLLAW XV proceeds will benefit Girls Rock! Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering girls' creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness through rock music.

While you're there, impress your date and purchase a few CLLAWBUX to offer the referees some "inspiration" in deciding the outcome of your favorite arm wrestler. So whether you're a "Calamity Pain" fan, or want to root on "Bust Your Tooth" Bluth to go all the way, you'll be sure to feel the love from all of these ladies in what's sure to be a fun night of blood, sweat and beers.

Logan Square Auditorium is located at 2539 N. Kedzie Ave., 2nd floor.

Jim Crago / Comments (1)

Bears Mon Sep 19 2011

Texas Fan Wins Cutler's Football & Country Raffle

Bears QB Jay Cutler's International Football & Country Raffle closed out at noon yesterday. Last night, the winner was announced during Fox's Final Word.

The winner the raffle is Jason M. Parrish of El Paso, Texas. Congratulations, Jason!

Thanks to all of the Bears (and other football) fans who purchased tickets for the Raffle.

The donations will benefit the Jay Cutler Foundation, which helps underprivileged children and children living with diabetes.

For further information about Cutler's Foundation, please visit the Jay Cutler official website.

Margaret Lovell

Contest Sun Mar 06 2011

Chiditarod 2011

Gapers Chi.jpg

It was noon on a Saturday and the crowd looked at each other expectantly, waiting with baited breath for the sound of the bull horn to signal the start of the race. Despite it being the month of March, winter wasn't giving up and there was a tingling chill and flutters of snowflakes across the cold air. Still, the costumed participants seemed to be too cheerful to notice, to of the moment and just as ephemeral as a fleeting snowflake. The glacial climate was canceled out with a gleeful rush and a promise to enjoy the day, no matter what, because something great was going to happen and all witnesses and racers could feel it down to the tingling of their spines.

Continue reading this entry »

Kirstie Shanley

News Wed Nov 11 2009

On Your Marks, Get Set...Sit

Rarely does practicing for a competition involve sitting for hours on end and working on controlling your bowel movements, but that's pretty much what it's going to take to win the eighth annual Ultimate Couch Potato Competition set for January 1, 2010 at ESPN Zone, 43 E. Ohio St.

Sure, it sounds simple on the surface: sitting in a recliner as watching sports for as long as your can. But last year's winner, Chicago real estate broker Jeff Miller, clocked in at 39 hours, two minutes and 25 seconds of non-stop sports watching, a daunting task no matter how good no matter how good of a bowl game you're watching. Granted, you get a bathroom break every eight hours but no sleeping allowed.

Survivors, er, winners get a recliner, free cable for a year and $1,000 toward the construction of a home theater system.

The competition is limited to four contestants chosen from essays received by December 9. Complete rules can be found here.

Ken Green

News Thu Aug 27 2009

Short Hops

  • The Hawks' Patrick Kane and his cousin plead guilty to a noncriminal charge in their incident with a Buffalo cab driver. While he breaths a sigh of relief, his teammate Jonathan Toews is a little nervous while practicing for the Canadian Olympic team.
  • The Cubs' Milton Bradley is not happy. So what else is new? Besides, he's now the Ricketts family's problem.
  • The White Sox have lost four in a row and five of their last six. The Bleacher Reporter ask if they're heading in the wrong direction. Hmmm...let me think about that one.
  • Don't let Jay Cutler's cool demeanor fool you. According to ESPN he's a little jittery about returning to Denver as a member of the Bears this Sunday. Elsewhere on the Bear beat, Matt Forte is looking for balance and Dusty Dvoracek is looking at a doctor this Friday.
  • As if running a triathlon (like the Chicago Triathlon this weekend) wasn't difficult, try throwing cold, rainy weather into the mix. Here at some tips for coping with that.
  • While the state debates video poker, the real thing is going on in a tournament in Arlington Heights tonight. Wanna play? Ante up here.
  • The Chicago Sky host a benefit this Friday to promote breast cancer awareness.
  • Chicago - home to the next generation of cricket superstars?
  • Chicago - home to the next generation of dodgeball superstars?
  • No matter what you think about the Lingerie Football League, one fact remains: It's football. Played in lingerie.
  • With their season unceremoniously over, the Chicago Bandits wave bye-bye to pitcher Kristina Thorson, who is leaving to play for an Italian pro softball team.

Ken Green

Contest Tue Feb 03 2009

"Eastbound & Down" Screening and Contest

eastboundanddown.jpgHBO premiers a new half-hour sports comedy on Feb. 15 called "Eastbound & Down." It stars Danny McBride (Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) as an arrogant, burned-out, former major-league pitcher named Kenny Powers, who is forced to return home to North Carolina to teach Phys Ed at the middle school he once attended. While there he plots his return to the big leagues, hits on his high-school sweetheart (who's engaged to the school principal) and does his best to impress his students. Shot in North Carolina, the series is produced by Will Ferrell (who guest stars in two episodes), Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Jody Hill, Danny McBride and Ben Best.

HBO is showing a preview screening event this Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison, from 7pm to 10pm. There'll be free drinks and food, DJ Timbuk2 and obviously an episode or two of the show. It's free, but you have to RSVP. Space is limited, so get there early. Sorry kids, it's 21 and over.

But wait! Tailgate has 10 pairs of VIP tickets to give away! You'll be guaranteed entry, and get some sweet shwag like middle finger foam hands and drink cozies. Just email contests @ with the subject line "Eastbound" and include your full name for the guest list. We'll choose 10 entries at random to attend. UPDATE: We've got our 10 winners. Congrats, everybody!

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

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