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Ten Foot Mailbag: Why We Don't Want Jim Belushi

By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Thursday was Day 1 of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, and both the Cubs and White Sox drafted guys that will propel them toward somewhere between multiple World Series titles and the embarrassment we're all used to.

The Cubs selected a guy with a name that suggests brotasticness and my high school yearbook picture. The Sox continued to try to keep the number of African Americans in baseball from ebbing and also a guy who needs double meanings explained to him.

Bleacher Nation and South Side Sox have much more extensive breakdowns for you, but in the meantime, remember Matt Murton? He was the outfielder years back for the Cubs that made me not ashamed to be a Ginger until after about a week of seeing him play. Well, he's in Japan these days and is known as record-breaker Matt Murton, which oddly enough is what your girlfriend's tattoo on her back actually says. The Cubs sort of have a history of their players finding better luck in Japan.

Anyway, here's a video of Murton hitting a walkoff homer sometime between Tuesday and Thursday (I'm not doing the time zone math). It's extra special because he whiffs on the first pitch, decides that's the fault of his bat, delays the game to fix that, and then destroys the next pitch—thug as hell. Plus, I will not be able to see a home run for a while without yelling "SAYONARA HOMERUUUUUUUN."

Weekend. Don't be prejudiced.

On to your correspondence.

Because he acts like some meatball ambassador for Chicago and its sports teams without permission. The guy washed ashore of fame in his brother's wake, had decent success in TV and film in 1980s (he's an SNL alum with no great moment or character, though, which is difficult to pull off), floundered in the 1990s until he reached obscurity, and lucked into an awful sitcom that many stupid people watched enough to let it run for eight mind-boggling seasons.

He lives in Los Angeles and has for quite some time and was raised in Wheaton, which couldn't be more opposite of the city. Nothing about him is representative of Chicago. But dolts buy into his "I'm a regular guy of below average intelligence who will die of a heart attack like you" shtick like that's something to be admired, and he keeps getting camera time.

He plays to the basest of Chicagoans. He writes a stupid column where he subliminally shills for a pharmaceutical company while stroking your Chicago food pride ego or promotes his club while telling you to be subhuman and assault people (but donates the writing fee to charity, so it's totally okay). He shows up conveniently at sporting events either because he's been invited for no good reason and will be given a spotlight—such as doing the Seventh Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field or being a massive tool during Shoot the Puck—or because he's just a bandwagoner. Some people treat him like they're getting to witness half John Belushi and half an SNL Superfan.

And if his off-screen misappreciation was confined to just Chicago, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But nationally people think he's beloved by more than just idiots. That's a problem. Jim Belushi is a fat, stupid whore who pretends to be Chicago's son when it benefits him, and I don't want to be remotely defined as a Chicagoan by him.

When he's traded to the Kansas City Royals and becomes their cleanup hitter.

For the sake of science and art I went and tried it after you asked. As a noted McRibian I was skeptical about any other rib-like sandwich being even close to equal.

Actually, I ordered two because I needed a better sample size (and I'm a slob). The sandwich isn't elongated like the McRib; rather, it's more round and has more of an actual grilled pork color, too. The bun is one of those soft, chewy bakery style ones that McDonald's switched to recently for its sandwich, too. Way better than a regular bun. Burger King's doesn't come with onions, which was fine by me because I'd have asked for none anyway. The pickles they use are sweet instead of dill, and I'd normally frown on that, but they work well with the barbeque sauce. BK's tasted more like a rib sandwich you'd get at a Maxwell Street type joint—meaning pretty damn good. I was pleasantly surprised, though I'm not as critical as my colleague Daym Drops.

They want to clear Joe's name. And I totally get that, even though they haven't gone about that very well (though I'm not sure there is any right way to go about doing so in this case). I certainly hope it never happens, but if one of my loved ones was involved in a massive scandal, I would have a difficult time compartmentalizing my personal feelings and objectivity. We all would. It's pretty rare to see a relative of an accused wrongdoer on the news say "Oh, yeah, he totally did all that stuff." Every single person who has written or talked extensively about the story since the Sandusky news broke would be completely shocked if any of the Paternos were to say something to the effect of "I love Joe, but he really screwed up and deserves a crumbled reputation." We grasp at any straws to affirm that those we love are not bad people or not capable of something heinous—especially our parents.

And though they'll never admit it, it's a money thing, too. Joe Paterno is a brand, even in death. The value of that brand is terribly low at the moment. And rebuilding good PR costs money. While the family says they'll donate any net proceeds of their lawsuit against the NCAA to charity, I'm sure there are business interests that stand to be impacted by whether or not a court document can declare or even imply that Joe Paterno is free of any ethical or moral wrongdoing.

And here's your Angry Penn State Fan of the Week:

[Note: this person's emails were in bold font and various font sizes. I'll spare you.]

From: Steve
To: me

Tim (University of Iowa alum),
Re: University of Iowa – Sandusky like Coach still coaching?
Reaction to your article : Baffoe: Penn State Fans Not Directing
Their Anger At The Right People - CBS Chicago
I think "IF" you are a Christian you would "FIRST and FOREMOST" think about casting a stone "IF" you are living in a glass house. Hmmmmm. Think about that.

As recently as November 8, 2012, an internal investigation conducted at the University of Iowa revealed allegations that a senior member of athletics department academic staff employed for a span of 13 years, traded tickets for sex and inappropriately touched student-athletes. In an investigative report stemming from a formal harassment complaint, the alleged perpetrator left the university, but was rehired by the administration even though they were aware of troubling allegations of harassment. For years, the athletic administration failed to act to protect their student-athletes and potential victims (O'Leary, 2012). Thus, the question begs, whether the Iowa case involving athletic administration differs significantly from the Penn State case. While the facts may differ, the questions of gross administrative misconduct and lack of institutional control linger.

 Do your research and you will find out that the Victim #2 that supposedly connected Jerry Sandusky to Penn State does NOT agree with Mike "the redhead" McQueary's stories (none of the four stories). He says...NOTHING happened in the shower OR on Penn State land BUT Jerry did abuse him off of Penn State property Where did Jerry meet and abuse Victim # 2? Hmmmm Some place called SECOND MILE. Have you researched OR written about them?

Do your homework before you talk or crawl back in your hole with the rest of the "Rush To Judgment" media vermin. Yes, we are angry because YOU folks have trashed a man who did it RIGHT! We do NOT agree with how our University Administration has handled this entire sad occurrence starting with canceling JoPa's conference which would have probably answered "ALL" of these nasty questions and quieted the innuendos and reaches and stretchs to find a reason such as the Freeh report.

I suggest that YOU talk to Bob Costas, Franco Harris or even John Ziegler and see what they have to offer for your consideration BEFORE you pen another Penn State related story. Have a GREAT day and week.

Steve S. – JoPa backer and Penn Stater for LIFE!

[address and phone number omitted]


WE ARE .....ONE TEAM ! behind all of our Coaches, Teachers and

                       discoveries to better this world!

YOU ARE a negative bottom feeder obviously....get a LIFE ! Enough said!

From: me
To: Steve

I'm not an alumnus of Iowa nor do I have any loyalties to the school. Graduated from Governors State. Thanks for reading.

From: Steve
To: me


Alumnus or NOT ...where are your articles on that subject and the inactivity of the NCAA on that incident? Be fair in your reporting is ALL we ask – the truth NOT innuendos, stretch's, conjecture OR what is popular or makes good reading.

Have a GREAT day.

Steve S.

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 to @TimBaffoe 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.

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