Bears to put brakes on tailgating

It’s a time-honored tradition, and tailgating at NFL games always has been a useful tool for the sports fan.

You can either celebrate how well your team is playing or enjoy your favorite beverage before noon while sitting on a flimsy canvas chair in an asphalt parking lot and be able to take your mind off how much your team stinks.

But in Chicago, there’s a trend starting that’s probably going to make the rounds in the NFL. The Bears announced that fans tailgating outside Soldier Field who don’t have a game ticket would have to leave the lots at kickoff.

It’s part of the NFL’s effort to avoid unruly behavior. Those who must leave the Soldier Field lots can come back after the game.

And to report abusive or foul language in the stands, there’s going to be a new program involving text messages.

It’s called “Help Stop UnBEARable Behavior.”

TAKE A LETTER —

Nothing in baseball is too obscure to keep track of.

If Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox leads the American League in home runs, he’ll be the first with a surname beginning with the letter Q to do so. There has not been a home run champion whose last name began with I, Q, U, V or X.

LIVE FROM N.Y. — The “Saturday Night Live” set will be NBC’s domestic headquarters during the Olympics, according to USA Today.

If Chevy Chase does “Weekend Update,” we’ll know something’s fishy.

POCKET CHANGE — If he ties Mark Spitz‘s record of seven gold medals, swimmer Michael Phelps can win a $1 million bonus from Speedo, according to a report from CNBC, which said the money “is going to come out of Speedo’s pocket.”

Interesting. Do Speedos have pockets?

AIR FAIR GAME — On CBS’s ‘Late Show,’ David Letterman weighed in on the topic of the air quality at the Olympics: “Are you excited about the Summer Olympics? Of course, they’re being held in China, in Beijing, and everybody in Beijing already has Olympic fever. Or as it’s also known, bronchial asthma.”

SELF PARKING — As part of Bill Self‘s 10-year deal to continue to coach basketball at the University of Kansas, there’s a “retention payment” of $500,000 due Self every single year he stays on.

Oh, he also gets 50 free tickets to every home game … as if he couldn’t afford them.

SORT OF A PSL — You don’t have to take this sitting down.

There will be 16,000 of Shea Stadium’s seats for sale after the season, the stadium’s last one, and they’re going for $869 a pair, according to Newsday.

Seat sales could total as much as $14 million.

ELECTORAL KNOWLEDGE — Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas, on his blog, wrote of the election: “At the end of the day, our votes don’t really matter. … If (Al) Gore wins by thousands of votes and (George) Bush is president eight years later … come on.”

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