Posts Tagged ‘Hilton’

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

Michael Phelps is a man who truly needs no introduction. Michael Phelps is to swimming what Devin Hester is to kick returns in football or what the Red Baron was to combat aviation The Olympic gold medal record setter and swimmer extraordinaire Michael Phelps was in Chicago yesterday and I had a front row seat at his press conference and live chat for the 2016 Channel at the Hilton Towers on Michigan Avenue. You can listen to the audio at this link

One topic Phelps discussed was the Michael Phelps Foundation and some of the foundation’s objectives. “One of the biggest things for me is to raise the bar in the sport of swimming. I would like to try to get as many people as possible around the country and around the world as comfortable as they can be in the water, so we can cut down the {number of} drownings in America and all over the world,” Phelps said.

For more Chicago sports analysis and talk go here.

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The Sports Bank, NBC5 Street Team 2008 continues to be an eventful and exciting time for the Chicago Blackhawks organization and their fans. Last month Patrick Kane was named NHL Rookie of the Year; the team made a huge splash in free agency by signing All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell, and on July 16th it was announced that the Chicago Blackhawks will host their rival the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in NHL Winter Classic 2009 on New Year’s Day. No two NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against each other, and their 701st meeting will be just the third outdoor game in league history. Also, the first annual fan convention will take place at the Hilton Towers on Michigan Avenue this weekend. Event festivities include autograph and photo sessions with current Blackhawks stars such as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, former stars like Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, and Tony Esposito, Q&A sessions with current Blackhawks management, broadcasters and alumni, coaches and front office staff detailing their Stanley Cup strategy, exhibitions, interactive games, a live HawkCast (podcast) taping.  $50 weekend convention passes sold out in mere hours. Opening Ceremonies will begin Friday at 5. Saturday festivities run 9 am – 7pm and Sunday 9 am – 2pm.

For more on hockey nerd heaven, I sought the opinion of Stan Bowman, Assistant General Manager, Hockey Operations. Bowman is a frequent guest on “Hawkcast,” the team’s official weekly podcasts, an authority on player scouting and development and even housed Patrick Kane during his rookie year.  His father Scotty Bowman is the all-time winningest head coach in NHL history. In my exclusive interview, Stan Bowman described this weekend’s convention thusly: “In hockey no team has ever done it before and just the reception we’ve gotten from it in that it sold out so quickly and lots of people wanting tickets and people wanting to come see it. It’s going to a good setup for everybody. It’s similar in style and format to the Cubs convention; obviously John McDonough is the one who pioneered the concept back in the early 80s, and it’s taken off to the point where it’s a big event and that’s where the hockey one is going too.”

For the full Bowman interview click here. For more Chicago Sports analysis and discussion click here.

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