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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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Monday, September 25

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Bears Wed Aug 07 2013

It's a New Era for Lance Briggs

GB bears icon.png Lance Briggs stood between the sliding doors of an eighth-floor bedroom deck, which overlooked the beautiful Streeterville neighborhood landscape. Camera lights fixated on his iron jaw, which sported a thin layer of five o'clock shadow, and his wedge-like frame which gave off the illusion that he was holding up the downtown high-rise.

A production team frantically works behind Briggs to set up the next shot for the New Era Cap ad campaign, while the now-veteran linebacker focuses on how he would run through the next scene. Watching Briggs mentally prepare for a scene is almost as intense as watching him prepare for the next down on the field.

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Jim Crago

Interview Mon Jul 22 2013

NU Grad Christine Brennan Talks Women in Sports Media

By Veronica Arreola

com_130218_espnw_jpeg_replace.jpgThis summer espnW is celebrating Title IX, the federal law that has provided girls and women access to athletic programs, with nine films. One film, "Let Them Wear Towels," which premiered July 16, documented the rise of the woman sports journalist and their biggest hurdle to success -- the locker room.

Today we don't bat an eye to see journalists, like NBC Chicago's Peggy Kusinski, grab an athlete right after the game and pepper them with questions. Sometimes she's in the locker room, sometimes she's on the sideline. She goes where she needs to get the story. And that is exactly why in the 1970s and '80s women sports journalists fought to gain access to the sweatiest and grossest place in sports. Earlier this year, WBEZ's Cheryl Raye Stout proclaimed her gratitude to former Chicago Bear Jim Harbaugh for questioning the policy to not let women into locker rooms. If we had to rank the feminist battles of the 20th Century, and some people like to do that, this might not be in the top 10. But it no less important than other glass ceilings that continue to be shattered.

I had the honor to speak to award-winning journalist Christine Brennan about the early part of her career, what the future holds for women sports journalists and how young women can take inspiration from her generation's battle.

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Interview Thu Jul 12 2012

Interview: Dave Zirin on Politics, Sports & the Politics of Sports

dave_zirin.jpgDave Zirin is not your typical sportswriter. He is a regular contributor to The Nation, the host of the Sirius XM Radio show, Edge of Sports Radio, and has written six books and numerous articles about the intersection between sports and politics. I spoke with Zirin after a talk he gave at the Socialism 2012 conference about the levels of violence in pro sports. We discussed a range of topics including Howard Zinn, his new book, and his candid thoughts about sports team owners (and one prominent Chicago owner in particular).

When did you start thinking about politics and sports and the relationship between the two?

I was a sports-freak growing up in New York City. I played basketball, baseball. I only really started to think about politics and sports in 1991. It was during the first Gulf War and the halftime show at a game I was at at Madison Square Garden involved one of the mascots beating up somebody in an Arab costume. Everybody was chanting "USA! USA!" and my best friend in high school just happened to be Iranian. He was on the basketball team and he was strongly against this war that I didn't know or understand or even care about what was happening.

Seeing that at a game rocked my world a little bit, and had me thinking more about the politics of sports. It's been something I sort of nursed for years and paid attention when athletes spoke out politically.

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Jason Prechtel

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