Trivia – April 2017

Monday Apr.3,10,17 and 24 at 5:45pm. REGGIE’S-21st and State. Second game starts about 6:30pm in this unique format. Great food and drink and people-come out and play.

Tuesday Apr. 4,11,18 and 25 at 7 pm. JACK’s-3325 Ridge Rd. Lansing. Fun and intense match with great food and drink and staff. Any team can win-but there is room for your group-ample parking.

Wednesday Apr.5 at 7:30pm. SHEFFIELD’S-Dyer, Indiana. Fun bar, fun people-come play.

Thursday Apr. 6 and 20 at 8 pm. THE SOCK-93rd and Roberts Rd.Great staff and food with award winning pizza puffs-drinks and people. See you there.

Friday Apr.7 and 21 at 5:45pm. game 2 at 6:30-MADD ANTHONY-3350 W. 47th St. Fun games with great food and drink and people-come celebrate the weekend.

Monday Apr. 10 and 24 at 8 pm. WISE OWL-Van Buren and Racine-Right off UIC campus funplace with unique menu and great staff-come play.

Wednesday April 12,19 and 26 at 8 pm. MOODS- Portage, Ind. Great people and food and drink and game-take a road trip.

Thursday April 13 and 27 at 7 pm. OLIVER”S-6250 W. 159th St. Oak Forest-Big atmosphere with great staff and food and drink-see you there.

Monday April 17 at 8 pm. BALLPARK PUB-514 W. Pershing Rd. Very close to south side MLB gamesite-very fine food and drink and people-come take a look.

Trivia – March 2017

Wednesday March 1,15 and 29 at 8 pm. MOODS-Portage, Ind. Great people and food and drink-take a road trip someday.

Thursday March 2,16 and 30 at 7 pm. OLIVER’S-6150 W. 159th St. Oak Forest. Spacious pub with big menu of food and drink and fun. Great staff and space.

Monday March 6,13,20 and 27 -first game about 5:45pm;game 2 about 6:30pm. REGGIE’S-21st and State. Great place for music and food and drink. Sometimes
we are on the roof top-yes.

Tuesday March 7,14,21 and 28 at 7 pm. JACK’S-3325 Ridge Rd.-Lansing..Crown jewel of the trivia circuit with great competition, food , drink, and people-try it.

Wednesday March 8 and 22 at 7:30 pm. SHEFFIELD’S-Dyer, Indiana–I am back to play with original and new players-room for you to eat ,drink and answer.

Monday March 6 and 20 at 8 pm. BALLPARK PUB-514 W. Pershing Rd. Cozy spot to eat and drink and play-room in the game for you and friends.

Thursday March 9 and 23 at 8 pm. THE SOCK-93rd and Roberts Rd. Hickory Hills Fun place with great staff and food and drink. Big and fun location.

Friday March 10 and 24 -first game-5:45pm-2nd-6:30 MADD ANTHONY – 3350 W. 47th St. Unique club with big menu and great drinks and staff. Come unwind after a tough work week.

Monday March 13 and 27 at 8 pm. WISE OWL-Van Buren and Racine-Right off UIC campus with fun menu, drinks and party staff. Come eat and drink and play.

My Dad, My Hero

Raymond Benkowski

My Dad will always be my hero. He had so many admirable traits that I can only try to live up to his very high standards.

It started with honesty. My dad was absolutely B. S. proof. He looked you in the eye and told you what he thought-and sometimes it came out rough. But you always knew where you stood. If he was really mad at something and you fixed it – he was immediately OK. He was not a grudge guy. My Dad had a few altercations with his brothers -in-law over the years,but in recent weeks when discussing prayers, he revealed that he prays for his sisters’ husbands every night. To prove it he rattled off their last names- Lopez,LoChirco,Pluzycki,Kendzierski,Holubek, Candos and Weaver.

Actually, our talk about prayers confirmed what I had not thought about lately-my Dad’s spirituality. My Mom died in 1985, but to this day he honored her wish of not using God’s name in vain–when angry he says Gosh dammit.

My Dad was a great protector. On my uncle’s farm when I was 6 years old, an angry cow began chasing me, my Dad and my two cousins. As the cow got closer and we were running for our lives, my Dad threw me and my little cousin over the fence and he and my older cousin flipped the fence just before the cow crashed headfirst into it.

While we laid on the ground with our hearts beating out of our chests and wood splinters flying everywhere,the cow just stopped and stared at us. My Dad had literally saved our lives. And I never remember him telling the story. I wrote it for first grade-how I spent my summer vacation. The teacher said I had a great imagination. I said something like I cant make that shit up.

My Dad was a hard worker. I would hear him getting ready for work between 6 and 6:30 am every day. No matter how sick he was, he never missed work. He had this amazing system of eating soup and sleeping 12 hours and healing. I know he prayed;and it worked. My Dad also did big projects on weekends –installing air conditioning, tiling the basement and kitchen, putting up paneling with no formal training in any of those areas. He would watch his tradesman friends do a project and REMEMBER what they did. It was amazing. It also cost less-which leads to-

Money Saver. The best 2 items about thrift involve other Benkowskis. My Dad bought discount cans of soup from my uncle. These dented cans were perfectly tasty, but we got them for super cheap. We always had an amazing variety of soup growing up and it was a good feeling. The not so good feeling came when my Dad brought home some brightly colored t-shirts one summer. They looked good-EXCEPT they had AUDY HOME stamped in permanent ink on the bottom. For those who do not know-it’s where bad kids used to go. I told my Dad my worry about people seeing AUDY HOME on my shirts. He told me not to worry-just tuck it in my pants. About the second day of wearing it, the shirt came out of my pants while playing baseball. My friends start saying “delinquent” and “criminal”. I said that they did not realize my aunt was ripping off these shirts from the AUDY HOME. They said ” yeah, right.”

My Dad liked to have fun. He was always singing songs, doing dances, and teasing people that he beat in pool or cards. My Dad was skilled at sports. He earned the nickname “Zeke” for White Sox star of the 30s Zeke Bonura. One day my Dad broke a window witha batted ball the same day that Bonura did something good. My Dad had the nickname for 80 years. We would sing along with his discs when I visited him at Franciscan Village the last 2 years. In fact, the day before he died, October 11th, we sang Happy Birthday on a phone machine to his grandson-my nephew. I hope they save that recording.

I could go on and on, but I’ll just wrap it up by saying I got a lot to do to live up to Raymond Benkowski’s great legacy. Real quick- he was a great husband-36 years with my Mom and 26 years with my step-mom. They were great for him and greatly responsible for him making 89 years.

Love ya, Pops-give me a sign now and then when you see something good.

Cubs in drivers seat, Sox look beat and Bears offense takes heat

The Cubs might be in the best place since 1906. A virtual lock to get into the play offs they just need to rest people in 2016. A great lineup with power, depth both with hitting and defense;and solid pitching.-what more can you ask for? An experienced manager with a sense of humor and direction. Just staying healthy and winning some games is the goal for the last 5 weeks. It’s a situation baseball teams seldom have, but it is a fact for 2016-so Maddon and company-JUST DO IT.

Meanwhile, the Sox look kinda beat. I know that some young players like Anderson and Rodon are playing there guts out, but some others are not running full speed.
Robin Ventura is not getting the most out of this team. Hitters over the last 5 years have come here and gotten worse. Not every guy that the front offive finds is a bad player-somebody is not pressing the right buttons. It seems like Ventura likes self starters-maybe like himself. Did not need much direction-College Player of the Year All-Star, Gold Glove at 3B, 18 Grand Slams-a Natural. But how does he relate to the average guy who needs help and video and constant reminders? No thanks.

Once when I asked about working on lineup changes Robin told me “well I’m not here at 1 o’clock”-excuse me for thinking this multi million dollar job could involve a little overtime during the 8 months out of the year that you actually work.

More recently, I asked what Robin learned in over 700 games of managing in the major leagues-Robin said that since he played in the majors, he had insight into what players are thinking and their problems..THAT IS NOT WHAT I ASKED.

These press sessions are like ass kissing filibusters that lasted 10 minutes when they were winning and are down to about 5 now-get finished before Pat aggravates me—like I did two months ago with 2 follow up questions about bad fielding and bad pitching-Robin says “That’s it”and walks out of the dugout.

It reminded me of my childhood friend who didn’t like the way I was playing soldiers. Except we were 8 years old….Enjoy the final month watching players who care and the other guys padding stats on salary drive-Avisail Garcia.

Don’t forget the Bears-yet…The 1985 Super Bowl Champs lost 3 practice games.

John Fox was very vanilla with his practice schemes-maybe more creativity is on the way—-offensive line health and defensive pass rush are gigantic. Am I crazy to think 9 and 7? Come to a trivia game and tell me your ideas.