THEY NEED TWO MORE statues outside of the United Center.
One can be called "Hope."
The other could be named "Rebuild."
In the wake of the NBA and NHL drafts last week, the competitive sides of the Bulls and Blackhawks have little else to offer.
Neither has been in the playoffs since 2017.
Neither has won a postseason series since 2015.
Yes, the media lathered.
That's a key part of their jobs.
It's as much about audience expectations and maintaining cordial working relationships with team managements as it is about providing appropriate perspectives to more knowledgeable fans.
Hawks GM Stan Bowman -- who in many other organizations would be living on borrowed time -- even followed with veteran personnel moves.
He now has enough defensemen to prevent sneak attacks from both the gentrified on West Madison and the traffic-snarled on the Eisenhower.
Bulls ops master John Paxson once again went through all of the proper dances steps, said no wrong things and deep in his basketball brain knows this is an outfit that's miles from nowhere.
If kiosk betting were available at the UC, the wiser man would wager the Blackhawks will be the first of the two to get some real new mojo workin'.
As the St. Louis Blues proved during their brutish rumble from January trash can to Stanley Cup in calendar year 2019, things in the NHL can flip on a shrewd coach and some mean checks.
The addition of top draft choice Kirby Dach only stokes the dewy-eyed.
After all, wasn't it Dale Tallon's back-to-back picks of Jonathan Toews (2006) and Patrick Kane (2007) that truly began the direct run to three Stanley Cups?
As for the Bulls, they settled for keen teen Coby White, who brought his North Carolina enthusiasm along with a Little Richard-meets-Morris Day 'do to make the cameras smile.
He also brings his proclivity for burner-paced turnovers, a dandy predictor for a young man who is supposed to quarterback a distressed NBA team out of its horse latitudes.
There's "Rebuild, Chapter Endless."
So maybe they should also add a third new statue outside the UC.
This one would pay homage to the current paying fan.
Not to the corporate suite dilettantes. Not to the entitled in the great seats.
But to the current paying fan.
And that one would be called, "Weary."
FOX ANALYST ALY WAGNER is calling for a national holiday Friday as the American women try to get past France in a World Cup quarterfinal at Parc des Princes in Paris (Fox-32, 2 p.m.)
OK, fine, break out the brie and Chambord. But this is the match many soccer rabids were hoping would be for the championship.
Instead, in a non-prime viewing hour, razor-toed Megan Rapinoe and crew will try to beat le' club that has won 17 of its last 18.
The U.S. was very fortunate to grit out a 2-1 win over Spain in the knockout round of 16.
Rapinoe's two penalty kicks were the difference. The second came after a review so long that it seemed like an NFL playoff game anywhere but in New Orleans.
Fox is happy because the network is claiming a ratings gain of 21 percent over the 2015 WWC.
The U.S. is up as a bouncy favorite (app. median -135) with the o/u hanging once again at a most intriguing 2½. France 2-0 would be a killer.
STREET-BEATIN': A summer wind of bettable L-Vegan college football win totals are being tightened with Lynyrd Skynyrd League leaders Clemson (11½), Alabama (11) and Georgia (11). Regional notables: Ohio State (10½), Michigan (9½, which could mean bye-bye Jim Harbaugh), Notre Dame (8½) and no-champagne Illinois (3). … Even informed speculators seem to be getting ahead of the North Side swerves of September with projections that Joe Maddon's next managerial stop will be with the Mets, the Phillies or the Nationals. In Pa.-bred civility and potentially brain-frying daily media engagement, he has been a remarkable ambassador. … No great surprises in reader feedback about the future of Len Kasper and Jim Dashaies as Cubs TV p-b-p team. A completely unscientific majority circled Kasper as "a nice guy but boring" while Dashaies retains the perception of periodically generating fresh thought. … Most interesting would be a "Chicago Baseball Jeopardy!" match for charity between Kasper or Deshaies, Steve Stone and the masterful Paul Sullivan. James Holzhauer or Ruta Lee could host. … WGN-AM (720) alum Cory Provus checks into Guaranteed Rate on Friday in his eighth season as radio lead for the gravity-defying Twins (first of three vs. Sox, 7:10 p.m.). The 40-year-old North Shore native would likely be on the shortlist if Pat Hughes ends his run in the Cubs booth anytime soon. … Google "MLB vote" before 3 p.m. Thursday to click on James McCann as an AL All-Star starter. The White Sox catcher has been hitting over .400 since the start of the deuce last week vs. the Cubs but is in tough against Yankees slugger Gary Sanchez. (ESPN will announce the starting lineups beginning Thursday at 6 p.m.). … The Steve Dahl Broadcast Tree was shaking all over this week with chatty Tom Thayer filling in for Mike Mulligan on WSCR-AM (670)'s ad nauseam morning show and Garry "Ringo" Meier resurfacing to try and draw a lucid caller on WLS-AM (890)'s a.m. snoozer. … And ESPN's John McEnroe minced no volleys when asked about an American winning men's singles at Wimbledon beginning next week -- which hasn't happened since Pete Sampras in 2000 -- telling media: "I think the odds are pretty low … and we only have an hour to talk about it."
• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.