An Open Letter to the Chicago Bulls

Open Letter graphic (Chicago Audible design)

Note from Jack: The following is the latest in a series of open letters to the owners of Chicago’s major sports teams, asking them to release stronger, more tangible statements opposing police violence, specifically against Black lives.

We started June 8, with a letter to the McCaskey family, published jointly on Windy City Gridiron, Chicago Audible and Da Bears Blog, along with a letter to Jerry Reinsdorf and White Sox management published at both South Side Sox and South Side Hit Pen.

On June 9, Bleed Cubbie Blue joined us with an open letter to the Ricketts family.

Today, Locked on Bulls and other members of the Bulls community are publishing an open letter to Jerry, Michael and Nancy Reinsdorf. You can read it on Medium, and below.

— Jack Silverstein, June 11, 2020

Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Chicago Bulls”

6 Rings: the true story of the Chicago Bulls dynasty


1996 Bulls GOAT

Twenty years ago, the dynasty ended.

The Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson won six championships in eight seasons and reshaped the NBA forever.

My latest story celebrates their final game together, Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, and completes (for now, I guess) an ongoing series of pieces that I have written over the past 13 years on what was easily my favorite era as a sports fan.

Here, all together, are those pieces about “YOUR World Champion Chicago Bulls!”

I will never get tired of hearing that. Continue reading “6 Rings: the true story of the Chicago Bulls dynasty”

A Look Back At Michael Jordan’s Flu Game 20 Years Later

An unknown stat makes that legendary game even more impressive and helps explain why fans get angry when stars rest.

(Originally published June 8, 2017, at the now defunct

If you want to fully understand Michael Jordan’s “Flu Game,” you first have to understand one of Michael Jordan’s greatest statistics: 357.

It’s a stat that is rarely discussed. The number most associated with MJ, besides 23, is 6. As in “6 rings.” Once upon a time, MJ’s career was defined by a melange of numbers. People thought about 63 and 69. They pictured him in 9 and 45. They were astounded by 7, and later 10, for his scoring titles. They grimaced at .202 and glowed with pride over 72–10.

Now, it’s 6. The only number of consequence. The one MJ chased more than any other. The one to which he drunkenly crooned after reaching it in 1998. He started counting after the first championship, flashing victorious fingers. Two in 1992. Three in ’93. Four in ’96. Five in ’97. Six in ‘98.

No number in NBA history serves as more of a mic drop in current hoops debates than MJ’s 6. The figure may be augmented in different ways, like “6–0” (his Finals record) or “6 for 6” (his Finals MVPs). But, unquestionably, 6 is the number. He likes it like that.

I like it too. I also like 357. Continue reading “A Look Back At Michael Jordan’s Flu Game 20 Years Later”

We are the champions. The Cubs are the champions.


To know why a Cubs win can elicit fireworks on a Wednesday night and grandparents giggling and strangers hugging on the moonlit streets of Chicago, Illinois, you have to first know what broke those people. Mine was Game 7, 2003. I couldn’t drink after that game. I was in college and I was too sad to drink.

I called my parents on my walk home that night and kept muttering variations of “I thought they’d do it. I really thought they’d do it.” My mother comforted me. Then my father took the phone, heard me out, and said:

“Just wait till it gets bad.” Continue reading “We are the champions. The Cubs are the champions.”

Radio, TV, and podcast appearances, 2015-present

Me and Laurence Holmes for my Score debut, July 15, 2016. Thanks Laurence!

Radio, TV, and podcast appearances

(titles are links)

2015 – present

9 FEB 2023 — On Devin Hester’s Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy, with Laurence Holmes on “Football Night in Chicago” on NBC Sports Chicago

6 FEB 2023 — On Devin Hester’s Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy and a look at the candidacies of Peanut Tillman, Lance Briggs, Olin Kreutz, Ruben Brown and Randall Cunningham, with Bill Zimmerman on “Bears Banter” on Windy City Gridiron (video) and Audacy (audio)

20 JAN 2023 — On George McCaskey’s evolution on Black hiring with regards to Kevin Warren, with Laurence Holmes on “Bernstein & Holmes” on 670 The Score

16 JAN 2023 — On George McCaskey’s evolution on Black hiring and the modernization of the franchise with regards to Kevin Warren, with Steven Negishi on The Double A Team podcast

5 JAN 2023 — On Virginia McCaskey turning 100 along with a look at the Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacies of Devin Hester and Lance Briggs, with Alex Shapiro on Football Night in Chicago on NBC Sports Chicago

1 DEC 2022 — Featured NFL historian for “American Football” podcast series covering the early days of the NFL, produced by HISTORY Channel, SMAC Entertainment / Michael Strahan and Misher Films, and narrated by Kate Mara, released on Audible (here me in the trailer,  with excerpts from episode 7 on Red Grange and episode 8 on the 1926 fight for Red Grange)

8 SEP 2022 — (newspaper interview) On the Philadelphia Eagles’s history of Black quarterbacks, story by Jeff McLane in the Philadelphia Inquirer

3 AUG 2022 — Playing Tecmo Super Bowl against Weekend Gabe on Gabe Plays

18 JULY 2022 — On Steve McMichael’s Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy, with Nicholas Moreano, Kevin Kaduk and Will DeWitt on CHGO Bears on CHGO

15 MAY 2022 — On the legacy of Frank Thomas, with Deremy Dove and Jose Ruiz on Bigger Than the Game

7 FEB 2022 — On Brian Flores’s discrimination lawsuit against three NFL teams and the NFL, with Santita Jackson on “The Santita Jackson Show” on WCPT

2 FEB 2022 — On Bears diversity history, George McCaskey’s evolution and how they tie into the Brian Flores lawsuit, with Dan Bernstein on “Bernstein & Rahimi” on 670 The Score

6 AUG 2021 — On Scottie Pippen’s claims that Phil Jackson was racist, with TPJ on Bulls Fan Pod

1 JULY 2021 — On Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals and John Paxson’s shot, with Deremy Dove and Jose Ruiz on Bigger Than the Game

11 MAR 2021 — On a variety of Chicago sports topics — including Michael Jordan and George Halas — with Kirk Buckner on The Buck Stops Here of the Not in the Hall of Fame

29 OCT 2020 — On the odds of Peanut, Briggs and Kreutz for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Bears’ 1936 throwback jerseys, with Brendan Sugrue on The 46 Pod

6 MAY 2020 — On the Richard Esquinas – Michael Jordan gambling controversy, with Laurence Holmes on the House of L Podcast

15 AUG 2020 — On all things Bulls dynasty, with Rashawn Franklin on The Rashawn Franklin Podcast

19 APR 2020 — On The Last Dance and the Bulls dynasty, with Pavy and TPJ on Hoops N Brews

29 MAR 2020 — On the Bulls dynasty, with Mark Carman on WGN Radio

18 MAR 2020 — On Michael Jordan’s comeback, with four-time NBA champion and Bulls legend Will Perdue, and Tony Gill, on NBC Sports Chicago

31 JAN 2020 — On the 1984 Bears and the origins of the Gatorade shower, with Mike Lowe on WGN TV

2 OCT 2019 — On the Bears’ 1936 throwback jerseys, George Halas and the NFL’s 12-year ban on black players, with Greg Braggs and Joey 2 Scoops on Chi Fans in The Stands

27 SEP 2019 — On the Bears’ 1936 throwback jerseys, George Halas and the NFL’s 12-year ban on black players, with Sarah Spain and Jordan Cornette on “Spain and Company,” ESPN Radio

26 SEP 2019 — On the Bears’ 1936 throwback jerseys, George Halas and the NFL’s 12-year ban on black players, with Kyle Means on Regal Radio

26 SEP 2019 — On the Bears’ 1936 throwback jerseys, George Halas and the NFL’s 12-year ban on black players, with Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, Sports Illustrated (written article, and though he did not use the interview we did, I want to include this here)

25 SEP 2019 — On the Bears’ 1936 throwback jerseys, George Halas and the NFL’s 12-year ban on black players, with James Wickham on BBC

Continue reading “Radio, TV, and podcast appearances, 2015-present”

Dec. 3, 2010: A Cub to the last

From November 2010 to May 2011, I wrote for a site called “The Sports Blog Network,” a sports website launched by Chris Reed. The site folded, as websites do, and at some point in the past year (maybe longer?) the content was removed.

I loved the work I did there and appreciated the opportunity Chris gave me (thanks man!) so I am reposting all of those stories on ReadJack.


A Cub to the last

Originally published on Sports Blog Network December 3, 2010

I never understood the bru-ha-ha over Ron Santo’s heel click.

Three cheers for #10.
Three cheers for #10.

It is, when you think about it, the most benign of celebrations. When I think of heel clicks, I think of Bugs Bunny cartoons and old men bowling. If Derrek Lee or Paul Konerko let loose the occasional heel click, we’d chuckle and call them “old-timey.” If Dorothy had jumped while trying to return to Kansas, and if, instead of being a young girl on her way home, she was a third baseman for the 75-44 Chicago Cubs in the summer of ’69, the baseball press would have chalked her up as a gloater and suggested she stay in Oz until she learns some manners.

Santo was the embodiment of that ’69 club. As my dad tells it, the 1969 Chicago Cubs were a rollicking good show, deft and powerful, afraid of no one. The same, he tells me, could be said of Santo.

Fitting then that it was Santo’s heel click that baseball pundits pegged as the karmic catalyst for their fateful collapse, and that of all the players who could have been waiting on-deck when fans at Shea Stadium released a black cat upon the field, that it was Santo who watched this curs-ed kitten prance on by…

The heel click and the black cat. The saddest single season of a possibly cursed, definitely bummed out franchise, and when the memories of ’69 flood back, we think of Ronnie. Continue reading “Dec. 3, 2010: A Cub to the last”

The ReadJack Derrick Rose Archive

The Wait: April 29, 2012 – October 29, 2013

He’s back.

After nearly 18 months of basketball inaction — including absences from 17 playoff games and the 2012 Olympics — Derrick Rose returns to the hardwood tonight against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. As such, I am compiling my full Derrick Rose archives, which includes all stories about him or peripherally about him. Enjoy!



*** UPDATED FEB. 25, 2015, unfortunately *** Continue reading “The ReadJack Derrick Rose Archive”

RedEye archives, 2012 – 2013

RedEye archives

(all titles are links)

2012 – 2013


NOTE: Some of the below links no longer work, either because the story is offline or the URL has been changed. Google turns up a lot of these stories, so if you want to read one that isn’t working, you can definitely search, and I can help you find whatever you’re looking for. Hit me @readjack. Thank you for reading!

— Jack, March 11, 2017

“The Rising Star” mural at Harold’s #45, Western & 79th St., by Charles Pruitt.

21 MAR 2012 — On Brandon Marshall and NFL violence

3 APR 2012 — On Derrick Rose, LeBron James’s arms, and Harold’s Chicken

22 APR 2012 — Profile on Andrew Shaw

29 APR 2012 — On Derrick Rose’s ACL and the nature of being a sports fan

8 MAY 2012 — On the Bulls’ nightmare postseason Continue reading “RedEye archives, 2012 – 2013”

People With Passion: Jon Greenberg

A People with Passion series

Chicago journalism

December 6, 2011: Jon Greenberg

Jon Greenberg, ESPN Chicago.

A Bucktown apartment, ESPN on the screen, twitter on the computer, and two shelves packed with sports books. I take a long scan of those shelves; seemingly every book that pops into my head is there. Friday Night Lights, Playing For Keeps, the Jordan Rules, Summer of ’49…

When I first read Jon Greenberg’s column on ESPN Chicago, I assumed he was a born-and-bred Chicagoan. A north shore suburbanite, probably. He had a feel for the city that felt authentic. Turns out, Greenberg grew up a Pittsburgh fan in the near-border town of Steubenville, OH. His worst moment growing up was a Game 7, but it wasn’t the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals, but rather the 1992 National League Championship Series.

In the 17th installment of my Chicago journalism People With Passion interview series, ESPN Chicago columnist Jon Greenberg discusses his path to ESPN, his love of Royko, his understanding of Chicago sports fans, and why “don’t write for free” is faulty advice. Continue reading “People With Passion: Jon Greenberg”