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AL HAMNIK: James "Jim" Dye thrived at Griffith courts in its hey-day

Griffith's outdoor courts were mecca for the area's best high school and college players.

20 hours ago
AL HAMNIK: Bears are destined to break our hearts

AL HAMNIK: Bears are destined to break our hearts

CHICAGO | The Bears, top to bottom, are like a bad marriage. You stay together for the kids and because you have a lot invested in the family.

October 19, 2014 6:30 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Colts special teams are certainly that

AL HAMNIK: Colts special teams are certainly that

It seems like such a simple task. Kick the ball 10 yards and then jump on it like it's a gold bar.

October 18, 2014 4:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: We can't be afraid to blow the whistle on bullies

AL HAMNIK: We can't be afraid to blow the whistle on bullies

With Indiana high school football playoffs just a pooch punt away, this should be a happy time for all players and fans of the game.

October 14, 2014 6:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Thibodeau to keep foot on the pedal

AL HAMNIK: Thibodeau to keep foot on the pedal

CHICAGO | Tom Thibodeau is so stubborn. He could be on the top floor of a burning building, with the crowd below yelling "JUMP!" and he'd take the stairs down out of spite.

October 13, 2014 7:15 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Lakeshore Classic vying to be a destination event in NW Indiana

AL HAMNIK: Lakeshore Classic vying to be a destination event in NW Indiana

Chuck Hughes loves his city. He worries about it like a wayward son. He wants the best for Gary and its youth.

October 11, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bulls' Mirotic cut from same cloth as Toni Kukoc

AL HAMNIK: Bulls' Mirotic cut from same cloth as Toni Kukoc

Bulls fans are going to love Nikola Mirotic. What a refreshing new face in professional basketball and sports in general.

October 07, 2014 7:30 pm

AL HAMNIK: NBA East may have crowded dance floor

CHICAGO | Many of the major "books" in Las Vegas have the LeBron James-enriched Cleveland Cavaliers and Derrick Rose's improved Bulls as favorites to win the Eastern Conference.

October 06, 2014 7:45 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bulls' E'Twaun Moore wants kids to focus on a plan

AL HAMNIK: Bulls' E'Twaun Moore wants kids to focus on a plan

The sad headlines continue. The news is depressing. Eventually, we become numb to what's happening around us and barely glance at these stories.

October 04, 2014 5:45 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears need 'quick amnesia' moving forward

AL HAMNIK: Bears need 'quick amnesia' moving forward

LAKE FOREST | Excuses are like the obnoxious brother-in-law who stops by for a "short" visit and brings a U-Haul.

October 01, 2014 5:00 pm

AL HAMNIK: Bulls' Moore anxious to prove his worth

CHICAGO | Big auditions have left many in tears when that official list of cast members is tacked onto the stage door.

September 29, 2014 7:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: Cutler not alone in Bears' blame game

AL HAMNIK: Cutler not alone in Bears' blame game

CHICAGO | Jay Cutler may as well stick his jaw out and invite the critics to punch away.

September 28, 2014 6:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Pro football must regain the public's trust and respect

AL HAMNIK: Pro football must regain the public's trust and respect

I dashed into a local food establishment for a quick bite last week and immediately was approached by a father and his young son, neither of whom was smiling.

September 20, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Brandon Marshall answers past abuse questions in awkward fashion

AL HAMNIK: Brandon Marshall answers past abuse questions in awkward fashion

LAKE FOREST | The Bears didn't want him to, Brandon Marshall insisted, and their star wide receiver held a rambling 45-minute press conference Thursday to "vent" over a documentary ESPN did two years ago and ran again this week concerning his past transgressions.

September 18, 2014 7:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: E.C.'s Moore a good insurance policy for the Bulls

AL HAMNIK: E.C.'s Moore a good insurance policy for the Bulls

This is the perfect fit, like pizza in college, Italian loafers on the Magnificent Mile, Jose Abreu batting cleanup.

September 16, 2014 7:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: Minnesota Twins' Jordan Schafer fits hero role nicely

AL HAMNIK: Minnesota Twins' Jordan Schafer fits hero role nicely

Jeff Konopasek probably didn't know he had this many friends who cared.

September 15, 2014 5:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: This Bears' reserve now a 'center' of attention

AL HAMNIK: This Bears' reserve now a 'center' of attention

The center isn't just a guy who snaps the ball to the quarterback, then becomes a human shield against defenders who want to do him harm.

September 13, 2014 6:00 pm Related
AL HAMNIK: 'Neanderthal gene' running wild in pro football

AL HAMNIK: 'Neanderthal gene' running wild in pro football

Professional football has many athletes who already are living on the edge, who can't control the "neanderthal gene" we hear so much about.

September 09, 2014 6:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears' Conte just can't escape that cloud of doom

AL HAMNIK: Bears' Conte just can't escape that cloud of doom

CHICAGO | Shades of Mike Brown.

September 08, 2014 5:45 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears now facing a world of worry

AL HAMNIK: Bears now facing a world of worry

CHICAGO | You knew what Bears coach Marc Trestman was going to say before the playing field had cleared.

September 07, 2014 8:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Questions still plague Bears teams past and present

AL HAMNIK: Questions still plague Bears teams past and present

With a new Bears season set to open, chances of a Super Bowl championship are thinner than mission soup.

September 06, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: "Ice Bucket Challenge" videos mean more than face time

AL HAMNIK: "Ice Bucket Challenge" videos mean more than face time

MERRILLVILLE | If you plan to be in one of the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" videos that have gone viral around the country, ask yourself this question as you towel off.

September 02, 2014 5:15 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Durant's outrageous shoe deal doesn't tell the whole story

AL HAMNIK: Durant's outrageous shoe deal doesn't tell the whole story

This is a great job, don't get me wrong.

September 01, 2014 5:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Colts have fans feeling just a bit uneasy

AL HAMNIK: Colts have fans feeling just a bit uneasy

If you're a diehard Colts' fan, you may be pacing the floor at night like an expectant father. Sorry for your angst.

August 30, 2014 5:15 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Bears' rookie QB finally gets a shot on center stage

AL HAMNIK: Bears' rookie QB finally gets a shot on center stage

The ball boys got more face time during Bears training camp at Olivet-Nazarene University.

August 26, 2014 7:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears making little leeway in finding Forte's backup

AL HAMNIK: Bears making little leeway in finding Forte's backup

Yes, it was just a preseason game, a glorified practice, and doesn't count in the standings, fortunately.

August 25, 2014 5:30 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Bears' Marshall and 'Silky' McKinnon cut from same cloth

AL HAMNIK: Bears' Marshall and 'Silky' McKinnon cut from same cloth

Back in the day at the old Halas Hall, wide receiver Dennis McKinnon drove a new pearl Lexus with his nickname "Silky" stenciled over both door handles.

August 23, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears need to solidify their return game and quickly

AL HAMNIK: Bears need to solidify their return game and quickly

LAKE FOREST | If there's one thing Bears fans absolutely must understand, even more than the weird spelling of Micheal Spurlock's first name, it's this:

August 19, 2014 7:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: USA Basketball, Magic, Santonio Holmes all strike a nerve

AL HAMNIK: USA Basketball, Magic, Santonio Holmes all strike a nerve

Allow me to get something off my chest.

August 18, 2014 6:30 pm

AL HAMNIK: Bears' Shaun Draughn happy to feast on crumbs

Matt Forte is a tough act to follow. We all know that. It's like prime rib and Spam. No contest.

August 16, 2014 5:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: The read on QB Jay Cutler -- cooler under fire now

AL HAMNIK: The read on QB Jay Cutler -- cooler under fire now

BOURBONNAIS | Emotionally, Jay Cutler is flat-line.

August 12, 2014 6:45 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears' tight end Miller 'looking' like a keeper

AL HAMNIK: Bears' tight end Miller 'looking' like a keeper

BOURBONNAIS | Fans at Bears training camp say Zach Miller sure looks like a tight end. Unshaven. Tattoos. Tough as rawhide.

August 11, 2014 6:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears backup QB Clausen growing up before our eyes

AL HAMNIK: Bears backup QB Clausen growing up before our eyes

CHICAGO | The kid looked pretty good, didn't he?

August 09, 2014 6:45 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears depleted receiving arsenal can't rattle Cutler

AL HAMNIK: Bears depleted receiving arsenal can't rattle Cutler

BOURBONNAIS | Poor Jay Cutler. He must feel like he just had his wallet lifted at the casino.

August 05, 2014 8:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: Kansas star Ron Loneski made his entire life a competition

AL HAMNIK: Kansas star Ron Loneski made his entire life a competition

Calumet City native Ron Loneski loved to compete, was absolutely obsessed with it.

August 04, 2014 3:14 pm
AL HAMNIK: Some great Heisman history coming to Munster

AL HAMNIK: Some great Heisman history coming to Munster

Randy "Fox" Peters is having friends over Sept. 19 for some sports banter in his Munster basement, a converted Notre Dame football shrine that shames the campus bookstore.

August 02, 2014 6:00 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: It's time for the Bears' D.J. Williams to pony up

AL HAMNIK: It's time for the Bears' D.J. Williams to pony up

BOURBONNAIS | Linebacker D.J. Williams is a pretty good football player when he's not suspended or injured.

July 29, 2014 7:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Early returns favor Williams, Weems at Bears training camp

AL HAMNIK: Early returns favor Williams, Weems at Bears training camp

BOURBONNAIS | When Devin Hester literally burst onto the Chicago sports scene eight years ago, media joyfully declared there was a new "23" in town.

July 28, 2014 7:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: Bears searching for a nasty side at training camp

AL HAMNIK: Bears searching for a nasty side at training camp

BOURBONNAIS | Rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller forgot all about Friday's two early interceptions of backups Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen, and that's good.

July 26, 2014 9:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Rebooted Bulls not thinking Grant Park rally just yet

AL HAMNIK: Rebooted Bulls not thinking Grant Park rally just yet

CHICAGO | It might not be reason to break out in dance, but seeing Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau smile for extended periods of time is so refreshing.

July 19, 2014 5:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Hobart's Steve Balash fighting against a cowardly foe

AL HAMNIK: Hobart's Steve Balash fighting against a cowardly foe

Steve Balash is a lifelong Hobart guy and you know all about these Brickies. They're born making a fist.

July 15, 2014 7:00 pm
AL HAMNIK: Melo's 10-day shopping spree nothing more than ego trip

AL HAMNIK: Melo's 10-day shopping spree nothing more than ego trip

 Carmelo Anthony lied. What, you're surprised?

July 14, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Meet 2 local ladies living life to the X-Treme

AL HAMNIK: Meet 2 local ladies living life to the X-Treme

I once wrestled a black bear at Southlake Mall. His name was Victor. He stood 7 feet tall, weighed 600 pounds and his breath could stop a train.

July 12, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Callahans already planning a second 9-1-1 Slugfest in Hammond

AL HAMNIK: Callahans already planning a second 9-1-1 Slugfest in Hammond

The black eyes are no longer purple and puffy. The fat lips have healed. The bloody noses have stopped.

July 08, 2014 5:15 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Hammond's 'terrific trio' went the distance for 39 years

AL HAMNIK: Hammond's 'terrific trio' went the distance for 39 years

There is room for others on the big stage. That's what makes sports so appealing. It's not a snooty, private club with VIP parking only.

July 07, 2014 6:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: Mariners strive for 'Mac' attack mode

AL HAMNIK: Mariners strive for 'Mac' attack mode

CHICAGO | White Sox manager Robin Ventura says Seattle Mariners' counterpart Lloyd McClendon has a "fun" side.

July 05, 2014 9:45 pm Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: Bulls' draft pick Doug McDermott has some red flags

AL HAMNIK: Bulls' draft pick Doug McDermott has some red flags

I feel like the event planner who wished for rain.

June 28, 2014 5:30 pm
AL HAMNIK: Pierre Thomas won't let fear knock him off his game

AL HAMNIK: Pierre Thomas won't let fear knock him off his game

Admit it. You love watching the National Football League because it's a brutal ballet of uncanny skill, bloodlust and fingernails-in-the-couch drama.

June 24, 2014 6:30 pm Video Photos

Photos

AL HAMNIK: 'Mello' learning glory trumps dollars in today's NBA

AL HAMNIK: 'Mello' learning glory trumps dollars in today's NBA

We all want to leave some sort of legacy.

June 23, 2014 5:15 pm
AL HAMNIK: VU's Bryce Drew preparing to rock and throw

AL HAMNIK: VU's Bryce Drew preparing to rock and throw

You've seen the sequence over and over.

June 21, 2014 6:00 pm
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