By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Bears training camp is underway! Oh, we’re getting so close to being free from the suck of summer. The White Sox are surprisingly good, but they aren’t filling the crevasse in my sports soul that the Bears leave teeming with awesome.

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One tiny request, though, of the local media. I understand that you have to feed the beast, but must that be tweeting and blogging and reporting on every single individual play that occurs in practice? Every Cutler pass. Every Brandon Marshall matchup. Every hit by an overzealous rookie. I don’t care about practice TDs or INTs. I want to know more or less about position battles, how the rookies are faring, and if there are injuries. Lance Briggs picking off a Cutler throw in Bourbonnais doesn’t move my meter, and it shouldn’t for any fan. I love you, Bears media, but I can do without the minutia.

Tell ‘em, A.I.

On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.

First, killing two birds with one stone…

do you think the ’92 team breezed through the olympics partially because international basketball was horrible then? #TFMB—@rgallik_10


Here’s the hot question: In a match-up between the 1992 Dream Team and 2012 USA Olympic team, who wins?—@HuskyCaucasian

International hoops weren’t exactly horrible in the early ‘90s. Recall that ‘Merica won only bronze in 1988. By a very hasty count via Wikipedia, there were about 35 foreign-born, non-Canadian (sorry, that’s America, Jr.), non-US citizens that had been on an NBA roster at some point by 1992. Of course, basketball in America was superior, but internationally it wasn’t like putting Cubans in the giant slalom.

The 1992 Dream Team coasted because they were the greatest collection of players put together ever at that time. Opponents really stood no chance. Since then other countries have been able to prepare a little more for their inevitable losses (except for the 2004 group of clowns of whom we shan’t speak) and have added more current and former NCAA and/or professional players. Like the American game, the international game is better now overall than 1992, even though it wasn’t awful then, just way behind the US.

Regarding the 1992 vs. 2012 team debate, thinking that a team of pros from twenty years ago can beat a team of pros from today is a bit ludicrous. The game and athletes have evolved so much since 1992 that there wouldn’t be much of a chance for Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and crew. Nobody on the ’92 team stops Lebron James in any consistent manner, and conversely James likely owns those guys on the defensive end. Nobody on that team keeps up with Russell Westbrook’s motor. John Stockton, Christian Laettner, and Chris Mullen don’t make the 2012 team. Sorry, short shorts enthusiasts.

I know that we love to be nostalgic and hate to admit that the great teams from previous eras probably couldn’t hang today, but it’s just true. The 1985 Chicago Bears would get crushed by the 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars (¡ESCANDALO!). The Dream Team was the best of their time. It’s not their time anymore, and the style and pace (and defensive rules that guys like Jordan and Stockton couldn’t get away with today) of pro basketball have changed. It’s pretty simple.

And did you see the USA/Nigeria game on Thursday? It was like Carmelo and Co. were exacting revenge for every spam e-mail all of us have ever received. At least Nigerians now love me.

what act do you most want to see at Lollapalooza? What was your favorite of past acts, jerk? #TFMB–@QuadCityPat

Well, here’s my tentative schedule for the weekend. I say tentative because I never end up following my plans to a T. I’ll end up running into a group of people I know who convince me to join them at a different stage. Or friends of mine working the beer tents will be located too far away from one of the stages (cheap to free festival beer wins always). Or it will rain, and I’ll leave.

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Anyone who’s ever attended a Lollapalooza knows that compromises have to be made on which acts to see because at some point there will be two acts you like playing at the same time. But this year’s schedule pisses me off more than that of previous years, mostly Saturday and Sunday.

I’m a big Jack White fan. He’s closing on Sunday, the weakest lineup day of the weekend. By Sunday I will likely be near death because going all three days is beyond exhausting. Saturday has the Red Hot Chili Peppers—who suck… yes they do… no, quiet, they suck… deep breath, they’re not good—and some Swedish DJ I’m not seeing because I’m not into ecstasy or statutory rape. Jack White would be perfect in lieu of one of them, but the Lollapalooza planners I guess figure the two biggest tastes on Saturday night are trailer park heroes and people who huff Windex. I’d also prefer that Black Sabbath wasn’t up against the Black Keys. Black Sabbath isn’t a favorite of mine, but I’d like to be able to say I saw them before Ozzie Osbourne becomes a complete raisin.

The Black Keys are my No. 1 this weekend. They are the poster children right now for great rock, and they will likely melt my face.

The best sets I’ve seen at past Lollas in no particular order are: The xx, Spoon, Cut Copy, TV on the Radio, Phoenix, The Killers, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Black Keys, Lupe Fiasco, Weezer, Pixies, Kanye West, Iggy Pop, The Flaming Lips, The Raconteurs, Arcade Fire, Wilco, Big Audio Dynamite, Fitz and the Tantrums, Gnarls Barkley, Radiohead, Cold War Kids, Ben Harper and Relentless 7, Eminem.

There have been many disappointments in years past, but none greater than The Beastie Boys having to pull out in 2009 due to Adam Yauch’s cancer diagnosis. I had never looked forward to seeing a band more. Now Yauch is dead, and I’ve never seen the Beasties live and never will.

Everyone going to Lollapalooza this weekend, please be safe and smart and don’t ruin my good time. Thanks. Also, the phone reception usually sucks, but I’ll try to tweet as many brief reviews and humorous pics and videos as possible.

why are you the only one on cbschicago’s list of online sports columnists wearing a tie, and are you zubas father?—@JWink09

I’m wearing a tie because I’m the only person in this joint with any class. You also must consider that this is the online branch of 670 The Score. The on-air people are borderline lepers dressed in rags and bandages (and Zubaz if you’re McNeil). Most of the people on are worse because they’re more invisible. As technophile dorkwads, they have no social skills, let alone etiquette as far as dressing to have their picture taken for business purposes. My picture was taken on a 99 degree day, too, so that’s not even close to me at my best.

And, no, I’m not Sam Zuba’s father. It is true since he’s only twelve years old that I could have sired him, but is there anything in both our appearances that suggests a relation? Plus, he’s from Rockford. It was only recently that the government stopped using women from Rockford to get prisoners at Gitmo to talk.

Tim, I find you having no more character or moral fiber than Sandusky. Your inability to see past your blind hatred of Paterno and PSU, that obviously existed well before these horrible crimes were revealed, has left you with zero credibility. Your the one who needs to do us a favor and SHUT UP.  Your nothing more than a sanctimonious hack—Chip

Are you Chip Caray? You sound like Chip Caray. I don’t know if you’re Chip Caray, but I have no proof that you’re not.

Let’s break this one down:

  • I am the equivalent of a serial child rapist because I’m calling out Paterno and Penn State in the same way all other sane people who aren’t a part of your little brainwashed cult are.
  • I have zero credibility. I wasn’t aware I had any beforehand.
  • I hated Paterno and PSU prior to 2011. Didn’t know that either. I guess the Paterno coffee mug I won in intramural football freshman year of high school wasn’t maybe my favorite prize ever at the time, and I guess I wasn’t rooting for the Nittany Lions in every Big Ten matchup unless it was against Iowa in years past. Silly me.
  • Two incorrect uses of “your.”
  • Sanctimonious? Looking down on pederasty and those who facilitate it—like yourself—is sanctimonious? Fine, I’m sanctimonious then. But you, Chip, are a head-in-the-sand fosterer of evil and all that is wrong with college football fandom. You put football above decency, and you’re an awful, pathetic person.

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.

Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

Tim Baffoe

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Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.