Monsters of the Midway: Issue #4


Courtesy of Ian Happ’s Twitter

By Ethan Babicz

As the baseball season was in the midst of spring training and football was preparing for the upcoming draft, the Coronavirus pandemic struck all sports swiftly and proceeded to shut down nearly every sport in its wake. It is tragic that something of this magnitude has occurred and I wish for the swift end to this pandemic so that we may all enjoy the world of sports again. Nevertheless, sports have adapted to this situation and still find ways to bring their magic to us. 

Due to the virus canceling MLB games for the foreseeable future, the MLB has launched a fun competition among the 30 teams called “MLB The Show Players League.”

It is a competition utilizing the video game “MLB: The Show 20.” One representative of each of the 30 teams joins a game where the players play each other in three-inning games with the team they play for and live stream their games. 

At the end of the season, the teams with the eight best records will advance to the playoffs and play for the title. It is a very innovative move by the league and so far has been a major success among the players competing and the fans watching their favorite teams. 

Representing the Cubs is center fielder Ian Happ and up to this point has been up and down. Currently, his record stands at 8-8 and he is outside of the top eight in the playoff picture. His matches are fun to watch due to him using the nicknames for his fellow teammates as he plays and the tense moments that he has battled through to win some of his games. If you have the time, be sure to go watch his streams. He usually streams three to four times each week on Twitch at ihapp_1.

While the MLB runs that fun competition, the NFL has been teeming with interesting off-season moves, including the Bears. This included many re-signings of current players, but they also made some big trades and free-agent pickups like tight end Jimmy Graham from Green Bay, linebacker Robert Quinn from Dallas, and most notably, quarterback Nick Foles from Jacksonville.

Now, as confirmed by General Manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy, there is a real competition for the starting quarterback spot next year between Foles and the current starter Mitchell Trubisky. If I were Nagy, I would have Foles start next season because I believe Trubisky still needs some work done on his mechanics. Plus, Foles has some natural advantages on Trubisky, such as much more experience (including playoffs), a Super Bowl victory against Tom Brady and the Patriots, a 4-inch height advantage, and a 20-pound weight advantage. 

Overall, Foles is the backup the Bears should use with the strategy they tried back in 2017 with Trubisky learning under a veteran backup. Only this time, Foles is a much better veteran backup than the previous, Mike Glennon, which forced Trubisky into the starter role much sooner than he should have.

However, even with the pickup of Foles, the Bears still have one glaring problem with their offense: the offensive line. 

Hopefully, with the draft coming up in the next couple of days, they are wise and pick up some of the best offensive linemen they can. 

With the pandemic currently causing a nationwide quarantine, people have realized how much they miss sports and want them to come back. Fortunately, the MLB has kept the baseball fans and players entertained with the players league and the NFL has had an exciting off-season to watch. Hopefully, we as a nation can return to normal and enjoy the wonderful world of sports again.