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Sports trip to Chicago results in ‘perfect day’

Last week I took a group of twelve sports journalism students to Chicago to meet up with professionals, alumni, and take in a couple of games (Cubs lost, Bulls won).

OU alumnus and Voice of the Bulls Chuck Swirsky (left), with the #ScrippsSports “team” in front of the Scotty Pippen statue at the United Center.

It was a great success. On Saturday, the Cubs broke a six-game losing streak*, the Bulls clinched home-game advantage for the playoffs, White Sox pitcher Philip Humber pitched a perfect game (on the road), and the Blackhawks won in overtime to extend the Stanley Cub playoffs. Not a bad day to be in Chicago with a dozen Bobcat sports journos.

But that was just one of the measures of success. We also spent part of the trip visiting the Associated Press, orchestrated by our very own alumnus, Jay Cohen (BSJ ’99), now a sports editor/reporter who will spend part of his summer covering the Olympics. Way to go, Jay.

We also met up with our alumnus Jon Greenberg, now a columnist for ESPN Chicago. He gave us a tour of the ESPN facilities and introduced us to several his colleagues who gave us the low down on covering Chicago sports, ESPN style.

OU alumni Jon Greenberg and Jay Cohen. NOTE: Both Jon and Jay interned with the AP in Israel on a Fleischer Scholarship during their time at OU.

Sports reporter Neil Hayes not only gave us a tour of the new game room at the Chicago Sun-Times, but he spent an hour+ talking about his career, the books he’s written or co-authored, and what it’s like to cover the Bulls, the Fighting Irish, the … well, you get the picture. All of this on the same day he later covered the Bulls win over Dallas. He was at court side. We were 20+ rows above the action, in section 308.

We also met up for dinner with the legendary Jim Litke (left in above photo), a long-time AP sports columnist and a great “pickup” arranged by Jay (thanks, Jay). All in all, it was a great trip.

*At the Friday afternoon game at Wrigley we witnessed a shellacking at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds, the sixth of the six-game streak. For good measure, the windchill factor was approximately 40 degrees.

April 24, 2012

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