Cubs pitchers and catchers are due to report in 9 days. Of course this Sunday it’s all about football as we close the NFL season with Super Bowl 45 in Dallas. Bears fans can be excused for not having the usual interest in the game. The NFC championship loss to arch-rival Green Bay no doubt felt as if Ray Lewis took a 15 yard run then delivered a free shot to the solar plexus. So if you’re not into this Sunday’s match-up of the Steelers and Packers, just remember by the time the Super Bowl kicks off, it’ll be less than one week until the Cubs officially return to Mesa.
Speaking of football, I asked a question on the BOS – Wrigleyville West facebook page after the Cubs signed Villanova dual-sport star Matt Szczur a few days back. The question was, after the two guys with interestingly spelled S names (Samardzija and Szczur) who is the next best football player in the Cubs organization? Just to be clear, I’m talking American football because we all know Carlos Zambrano among others loves the futbol. Some of the Cubs who are already down here at Camp Colvin have often been warming up by tossing the pigskin. I can tell you, some of these guys throw a pretty good football. The arm strength isn’t only Major League with the little white ball.
|Fitch Park doing double duty|
Getting back to the question, I asked Ryan Dempster yesterday who was the next best football player on the Cubs after Samardzija? Of course Dempster couldn’t leave that one alone, quiping Samardzija was ‘only about the third or fourth best football player on the Cubs roster’. Then Dempster said ‘that’s a good question, I’m not sure’.
I did a little research and found out Marlon Byrd was a stud football player at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia taking All-State honors in both football and baseball. Byrd looks like he could play linebacker in the NFL right now. New Cubs pitcher Matt Garza also played some high school football at Washington Union High in Fresno helping his team to a 9-3 record during his senior year.
Cubs pitcher Justin Berg was seen wearing his Green Bay Packers baseball cap yesterday. Given the fact that he was born and raised in Wisconsin, I guess it’s understandable. I have cousins up in the same neck of the woods as where Berg is from in Cheeseland and they have the same affliction.
No matter if you’re excited about the Super Bowl, just watching it for the commercials or ignoring it altogether – We’ll be watching our team soon enough. Here’s some pics I took yesterday of the guys tossing the pigskin at Fitch Park.
|Reversing roles, Koyie Hill pitching to Dempster|
|Dempster using his famous Kangaroo hop to make the grab|
|Dempster throwing long|