Richard Roeper Blog

Archive for July, 2009

From the home office at the Metrodome, Mark Buehrle.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Phillies cheer for Wise and Buerhle. Pretty cool.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Hope they never dance into divorce court.

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Yes this is dorky, but this is also kinda sweet and funny and touching. God bless these kids.

I’m just wondering if somewhere in America at that same time, an all-black wedding featured the wedding party dancing down the aisle to the tune of “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”

Probably not.

Congrats to Mark Buehrle.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Great game! The White House is on Line 1.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Mark Buehrle had to cut short his post-perfect game press conference to take a phone call.

From the president.


Pervy Post Exploits Sideline Siren. And now ESPN overreacts.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

ESPN\’s retribution

ESPN says it’s banning New York Post reporters from appearing on its programming, in retribution for the Post running screen caps of the illegally shot videotape of Erin Andrews naked in a hotel room(s).

Wait a minute. You’re going to punish the beat reporters and columnists from the sports section because of a scummy move by the news editors of the papers? It’d be one thing if one of the Post’s sports guys or gals made the decision to run the photos in the paper or on a blog. Sure, go ahead and ban him. But it’s petty and vindictive for ESPN to issue this ban.

Let’s say ESPN ran a feature mocking a particular team or player, and the team was livid about it. How would Team ESPN feel if  that team banned EVERYONE from ESPN from the locker room and team functions? It wouldn’t be fair and it wouldn’t be right.


Talk about having your (cheese)cake and eating it too.

The New York Post ran a story about the “peephole pervert” who took video of ESPN’s Erin Andrews naked without her knowledge.

Next to the online version of the story: screen caps of the video.
“ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews was the innocent victim of a perv-camera-wielding sicko,” reads the caption under a screen cap of Ms. Andrews, with a black bar across her naked chest.

There’s been a lot of mixed-messaging in the media since the reports first surfaced late last week about the grainy video footage of Andrews. You’d read a sports blogger condeming the illegal exploitation of the ESPN sideline reporter–and then he’d link to the video. At least one European TV station reported on the story while running the video, unexpurgated.

I’m sure I’ll hear from folks saying that by even mentioning the New York Post story, I was alerting more people to a chance to leer at Andrews.

There have been times when I’ve commented on a controversial or objectional video or a photo—and the Sun-Times has run the item in question on the site, or I’ve posted a link on my own site. I’ll hear from readers saying, “You’re saying this is wrong but you’re sharing it with everyone!” You always try to navigate the line between, “Here’s what I’m talking about,” and further exploiting the situation.

In the Erin Andrews case, it’s an easy choice. You don’t run screen caps or post links to the video. (And a warning to those who are already thinking about Googling “Erin Andrews naked”–for the last few days, anyone doing so has opened themselves up to a possible computer virus. Have fun explaining that one to the boss or the wife.) It’s unethical–and every time Andrews’ attorneys are made aware of another site running the video, they’ve been vigilant in demanding its removal.

I’ve also seen a lot of talk on the Internet about how Andrews has exploited her good looks for years on the sidelines of America’s sporting events–wearing tight sweaters and sexy dresses. Last year there was a lot of fuss and holler when sports blogger Mide Nadel wrote about Andrews “saunter[ing] around the [Cubs] clubhouse [in Milwaukee], flitting from one Cubs player to another. Her skimpy outfit–designed to accentuate her, um, positives–had players leering at her. Some made lewd comments under her breath. Others giggled like 12-year-olds.”

I’ve even seen suggestions that the entire story is a publicity stunt, concocted by Andrews. That’s beyond ludicrous.

Of course Andrews and ESPN and the entire sports world are aware she’s an attractive woman. I’m sure none of her employers has ever advised her to put on 40 pounds and go for a mousier look.

So what. That doesn’t give anyone the right to violate the woman’s privacy with an illegal videotape.

Meet me at the Willis Tower.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

In my column in today’s Sun-Times, I talk about my recent excursion to the newly renamed Willis Tower and the Sky Ledge.

Sears Tower no more.

Some bonus photos from the day:


The view from the Willis Tower, looking north.

The view from the Willis Tower, looking north.


Sun-Times Building, as seen from Willis Tower.

Sun-Times Building, as seen from Willis Tower.






All the signage has been changed.


Sears still has some signage at Madison and Dearborn.

Sears still has some signage at Madison and Dearborn.


A souvenir store on Michigan Avenue reflects the changing signs of the times.

A souvenir store on Michigan Avenue reflects the changing signs of the times.

Worst first pitches—and some tips to stay off this list.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

In today’s column in the Chicago Sun-Times, I talk about Barack Obama’s first pitch at the All-Star game last week, and the pressure civilians and celebrities alike feel when they’re asked to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a ball game.

The pressure of the first pitch

The whole first-pitch thing is supposed to be fun, but I know celebrities that have turned down the offer rather than face the prospect of trying to throw a ball 60 feet, six inches in front of tens of thousands of fans who will cheer lightly if you make a decent toss, and laugh out loud if you mess up. Poor Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate of the Howard Stern show talked about his first pitch for weeks leading up to the event and even had a long conversation with a sports psychologist—and then his worst nightmare was realized when he short-armed a wild pitch in front of a huge throng at Citi Field.

As someone who survived the experience, a few tips:

There’s no point in practicing beforehand unless you’re going to do it from a regulation pitching mound. A lot of folks make the mistake of walking off the approximate distance between the pitching rubber and home plate and playing catch with a friend. Then, on the big night, they’re standing on the mound, which is a very different sensation than throwing on a flat surface. Your natural instinct is to throw the ball ‘down’ from the mound—-which is why so many pitches travel about 55 feet before dribbling sadly to the ceremonial catcher.

Don’t try to be fancy. Do not pitch from the stretch or launch into an elaborate wind-up. On the other hand, don’t throw flat-footed. Just take a small wind-up and throw the ball overhand (not three-quarters or sidearm), aiming at the catcher’s head. That way, if you’re even a foot lower or a foot higher than your target, he’ll catch it on the fly.

Follow through, just like you were taught to do as a kid. A lot of first-pitchers short-arm the ball, aiming it at the target. That’s a surefire recipe for throwing the ball two feet to the left of the catcher.

If you feel the need to ‘cheat up’ a bit, do it. You don’t have to throw from the pitching rubber if you’re worried about getting it there on the fly. It’s a lot better to throw a strike from 57 feet than it is to bounce one in from the rubber. That said, you can’t cheat as much as Dick Cheney did:

Just remember: no matter how bad your toss, you can’t do worse than the mayor of Cincinnati.

And if you’re not a celebrity, you’ll probably survive even a lousy first pitch without it turning into a YouTube moment. Probably.


As for the worst first pitches of all time…

Chris Rock is really lucky. His first pitch at Yankee Stadium is the stuff of legend—but there seems to be no video record of the disastrous effort. Rock and Adam Sandler took the mound, promoting their remake of “The Longest Yard” (talk about disasters), and those who were there say it was immediately obvious Rock hadn’t played much baseball as a kid. Maybe he hadn’t played ANY baseball as a kid. It may be the only public appearance Rock has done in the last 20 years that wasn’t recorded. (If anyone has access to the video, please share!)


Others have not been so fortunate. Their lame tosses live on in YouTube infamy…

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

In descending order of awfulness, the worst first pitches of all time (we’re giving Chris Rock a break because I’ve yet to see video evidence of his folly):

10. Dick Cheney

9. Annika Sorenstam

8. Mark Wahlberg

7. Kim Kardashian

6. Trent Edwards

5.  Adam Carolla

4. Mariah Carey

3. Gary Dell’Abate

2. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory

1. Carl Lewis

New on DVD.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

From USA Today:

White Sox Memories

***1/2, 2009, Shout! Factory, unrated, $20
Missing are second baseman Nellie Fox’s old TV commercials for Favorite Chewing Tobacco, but there still is enough here to make grown South Side Chicagoans cry.
Back story: After upsetting the Cubs in the 1906 World Series, it’s on to 1919’s Black Sox Scandal; tales of shortstop Luke Appling fouling off countless pitches; 1959’s “Go-Go” Sox; owner Bill Veeck’s exploding scoreboard and, much later, Disco Demolition Night; “winning ugly” in the ’80s; the 2005 World Series win; booth royalty Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Harry Caray; all-time position picks; film critic Richard Roeper plus fellow fans Michael Clarke Duncan and George Wendt.
Extras, extras: Postseason finales; no-hitter ninth innings; Jim Thome’s 500th homer; more.

HP remixed.

Friday, July 10th, 2009

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