On Veterans Day we celebrate great people who were in the U.S. Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines. Veterans help the U.S.A by serving and protecting us. Veterans have also helped people after a hurricane. Veterans, thank you so much for helping so many people.
Is there an important veteran that you are celebrating today? Talk to us in the comments, we always enjoy hearing from you.
The founder of basketball was James Naismith. They played with two peach baskets that were hung with a nail at the YMCA. They had 13 rules to play the first basketball game They played with 18 players. That seems like a lot of players to have on the basketball court. A player named Williams R. Chase made the ball in the peach basket and he was the first player to score in a basketball game. The named their new name sport basketball. One of the earliest NBA teams was Celtic's, the year was 1914.
What do you think? Do you agree with J's opinion or do you think there are some players missing on the list? Let us know in the comments.
We didn't mean to leave you hanging! It's time to complete the Top 10 Best 80s Movies countdown. Let's refresh by looking at #s 10-5:
9. Child's Play
8. E, T, the Extra-Terrestrial
7. The Terminator
6. The Indiana Jones series
5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Onto the rest of the countdown...
4. Star Wars saga (Empire Strikes Back, 1980; Return Of The Jedi, 1983)
Perspective is a good thing. Since the release of “The Phantom Menace”, claims and counterclaims of just how Episodes II and III will eventuate has taken the spotlight off of the “original” Star Wars films, making them part of a cohesive whole, rather than separate trilogies. When you look back on it, I can say both of the sequels to A New Hope managed to be just as good as the ‘77 masterpiece. Empire Strikes Back not only had a good story but left an impact by demanding an encore. Return Of The Jedi was the best film of the Star Wars series (despite the corny forest battle involving the Ewoks and Empire).
3. The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate Kid is a true gem of a film that at times is shamefully underrated. Ralph Macchio, who looks like he should be on a magazine advertisement, brings a number of wide-ranging emotions to his character’s role that first may seem quite perfunctory as opposed to being dramatic. But the real reason we watch The Karate Kid is for Mr. Miyagi. Pat Morita brings grace and drama to a role that could have been quite typical. The Karate Kid is certainly a movie that deserves more attention than the little it receives.
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
What more can be said about Ghostbusters that hasn’t already been said? Ghostbusters is one of the most financially successful and biggest comedies of the 80s. Not only is Ghostbusters funny, it manages to include some truly scary scenes (and not just those loose-your-popcorn moments). The special effects hold up well, besides some obvious studio sets and models. What really creates this film’s world is its stunning cinematography. Manhattan, perhaps the pinnacle of Gothic architectural evolution, is brilliantly utilized here to create a sense of menacing grandeur. After watching Ghostbusters, I couldn’t imagine the thought of evil spirits or Gods coming from another universe!
And before I get to number 1 I’d like to give a few honorable mentions...
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club is a bit odd about some high school students who take serving detention to the next level with fun dances, jokes, and somewhat clever humor. I just found it a little bit cheesy at times, but thought I would give it a mention.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Beverly Hills Cop is a powerful, 'Los Angeles style' kinda movie. I thought it was a great movie, but it just didn’t quite meet my standards for being a great 80s movie. If some people like it, that’s great for them.
The Goonies (1985)
I wanted to put The Goonies on the list because it has its moments of being humorous. The Goonies isn't terrible, but it doesn't quite make the list for me.
Aliens has been the most stunning 80s movie I ever saw. While is does appeal to a lot of people, I didn't find it as incredible as I thought I would.
And with that being said, the number 1 Best 80s Movie is…
1. Back To The Future (1985)
Back To The Future is such an inventive and exciting piece of filmmaking that it’s nearly impossible to forget this movie even existed back then. The casting, from Marty McFly to Doc Brown, was absolutely perfect, and the performances were spectacular. I first saw this film when I was 14. One of the many great things about Back To The Future is that it really makes you think; you can have in-depth conversations about the plausibility of the story-line and spend hours discussing the film. The story is well thought out, is delivered clearly and entertainingly, and the movie, as a whole, is so much FUN that time-traveling discrepancies can be forgiven. Clever and humorous references litter this fun flick; references which are further improved upon in the sequels and views of the same scenes from different angles, different perspectives and different timelines abound make this the perfect film to watch. I consider Back To The Future the number 1 Best 80s Movie.
Even with these movies coming from the golden era of movies, this doesn’t mean that movies nowadays aren’t that good. Even today, we’re getting more and more groundbreaking, thrilling, and powerful movies that will live on forever. At the end of the day, I realize that we can see these movies when we need them most, despite the fact that they are 30 years old. I’m glad we have these movies to enjoy over and over again!
Do you think I missed a particularly good 80s movie? There are so many good 80s movies out there that were so big that they couldn’t make the list. Post to this blog and let me know your thoughts in the comments. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll be writing soon.
Coming from Naperville, it’s clear that just like any other town, Naperville likes to be a tourist destination. I’ve lived in Naperville since 1999 and I’ve seen some really great destinations. It hasn’t been just restaurants, it’s been the buildings and scenic destinations. Destinations for most cities and towns are what make people have an interest in coming to the town. This blog will be one of my more unique blogs as it’s not exactly going to involve pop culture like my other blogs. So, let’s check out the Top 10 Best Naperville Destinations. And if you don’t like these destinations, that’s okay, we’re all entitled to our own opinions. I’m glad you can see the good in other Naperville destinations that I’m not able to. So, onto the countdown!
Ifly is sort of the new “thing” that Naperville has to offer. While not popular with me, I can see why Ifly is becoming popular. You know how you can feel the pressure when we have the thought about actually skydiving? Well, Ifly takes the fear out of that. They put you inside a simulator and I actually think the thought of that is pleasurable and not as fearing as the thought of actual skydiving. All I can say is, “Doesn’t technology get better and better as the years move along?"
9. Naper Settlement
As much as Naperville claims to be a historical town, I sometimes think it’s not. Naper Settlement is more of a tourist attraction. It serves as an elementary school field trip destination (because I went there from second through fourth grades for a field trips). At Naper Settlement, they do give good insight of what Naperville was like, from the old schoolhouse, the blacksmith, the fire station, and even churning butter. You can’t help but just admire the taste of history that Naper Settlement provides. Naper Settlement is also a wedding destination because of the chapel on the grounds where people have been getting married for years. Naper Settlement remains one of Naperville’s historic landmarks.
8. Top Golf
Thinking about the sport of golf just amazes me. While it’s not entirely thrilling to watch, it’s far better to play it. Top Golf has decided to take the pleasure of playing golf to the next level. As a golfer myself, I usually take more pleasure in hitting balls on the driving range rather than playing an actual game or putting. I think Top Golf is aware of this because 90% of Top Golf seems to be a driving range. Keep in mind that Top Golf is among one of the more expensive places in Naperville.
7. Millennium Carillon
Remember how people will always say that the Willis Tower is the tallest building in Chicago? Well, I’m considering calling the Millennium Carillon the tallest building in all of Naperville. Truly, there is no taller building in this city. At the heart of the Riverwalk is the Millennium Carillon, a building full of musical bells that ring every hour. Generally I find this pleasant. I attended Naperville Central High School and every hour I would be able to hear the Carillon’s bells go off. It’s easily noticeable because it’s height is tall enough to be seen from your bedroom window. I find the Carillon to be peaceful and beautiful because of its delightful sound and feeling whenever it is played. They do give tours of the tower and if you’re lucky, you’re allowed to ring the bells. I often wondered as a child if there was an actual person operating the bells up in the tower every hour or if it was an automatic player. Either way, I still enjoy seeing the tower’s view from my bedroom window.
6. Hotel Indigo
Hotel Indigo opened on the Naperville riverwalk. I actually wanted to put this at number 9 but I realized how much effort they were putting into the new hotel. Generally, Naperville isn’t as scenic as Downtown Manhattan or Downtown Chicago and isn’t entirely worth staying more than 3 nights. Hotel Indigo will be opening within 2 months and although I have doubts about the hotel’s opening, I think that Hotel Indigo will be a popular destination in Naperville.
5. Morton Arboretum
Many people may disagree with me about this one because it borders between Lisle and Naperville, but I personally think it still counts as being in Naperville. The Morton Arboretum is just blissfully wonderful, peaceful, relaxing, and feels like someone should be out in the fields painting a picture. The Morton Arboretum is the Botanic Gardens of Naperville as it is devoted to nature and flowers. The Morton Arboretum finds interesting ways to draw visitors such as statue art and special flowers from around the world. The Morton Arboretum is beautiful for walks, hikes, and bike rides. You can also get tickets to ride their tram. The restaurant has just enough to offer to fill your stomach. The gift shop does have enough items to turn your house into the next Botanic Gardens because half of the items sold are usually have something to do with nature. I personally think the Children’s Garden is among the best for young children. Winding paths lead you through various trees and special displays of origami. I highly recommend Morton Arboretum even if you’re not a nature person.
4. DuPage Children’s Museum
Ah, this museum, I can easily say that it almost deserves the number 1 spot. The DuPage Children’s Museum introduces the wonder of creativity to young children in the most fascinating ways and it’s a play place where children can entertain themselves. There’s everything to stimulate a child’s mind: bubbles, playing with light, building tools, controlling air, and creating puzzles. The activities challenge kids creatively, from the water area to the huge light bright. DuPage Children’s Museum also provides different classes involving art and music. All the interactive exhibits are just enough to be very unique and allow children to stay active while their parents aren’t around. Long story short, it’s a nice, open, and pleasant place to be. The most interesting part of the DuPage Children's Museum is that the museum overlooks 5th Avenue Station, which means kids can watch passenger and freight trains go by while they’re exploring.
3. Hollywood Palms
When Nova 8 closed back in 2007, it was described as a major disappointment by my family. I didn’t think another theater would be able to top Nova 8. Little did I realize that Hollywood Palms would bring a completely new experience when it comes to going to the movies. Generally at the movies, we buy the basic same thing over and over again, But Hollywood Palms is above and beyond when it comes to the movie experience. We have can choose to purchase popcorn and soda but we also have appetizers such as “Moe Sticks." Most of their meals are usually named after famous movies. I personally go to Hollywood Palms not just for the food but for the theater rooms themselves. Unlike most movie theaters, the rooms in Hollywood Palms are devoted to a certain theme: the jungle, the Wizard Of Oz, and the ancient Egyptian theater (I personally consider the kids theater to be the best). For more classy dining at a theater, Hollywood Palms is up there.
2. Centennial Beach
Centennial Beach is a "family approved" destination. Beaches generally have a wide range of space and plenty of room to run. But if you’re looking for a much more smaller, relaxing beach to lounge at, Centennial Beach is definitely your destination. Centennial Beach is perhaps among the perfect destination for both adults and kids. Unlike most beaches, Centennial Beach has everything you need for a summer day: grassy and sandy areas, trees for shade, chairs, food, a volleyball area, the option to bring your own food and cooler, grills, plenty of parking spaces, reasonable prices, umbrellas, a shallow end with sand, life jackets for little kids, and three diving boards for low, medium, and tall heights. I think Centennial Beach has everything from the snack bar, the safety break in between, and it is the perfect walking distance from downtown Naperville.
1. Naperville Riverwalk
Out of most things that make Naperville the tourist destination it is, the Riverwalk is the Willis Tower of Naperville. With shopping stores around the area and the recent addition of Hotel Indigo, people from neighboring cities and villages including drive to see this area. I’ve lived in Naperville since 1999 and I haven’t seen anything more popular in Downtown Naperville than the Riverwalk. You can learn a lot about the town just by walking up and down the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is quaint, peaceful, and a great place for a nice walk, it even has paddleboats and a cafe. The only downside of the Riverwalk and is that it gets crowded in late spring and early summer. The Riverwalk is just a nice location to walk around and explore Naperville.
When looking back on the history of Naperville throughout its 186 year existence, we’ve seen tremendous improvements and change. We’ve gone from being a small village to becoming a huge scenic destination. With the additions of Hotel Indigo and the Apple Store, we can see that Naperville is determined to become a fierce tourist foe for many cities and I can envision more and more improvements in years to come.
Do you think I missed a particular Naperville destination? Believe me, as most of us have lived here for a long time, I’m sure there’s a thousand destinations that couldn’t quite make this list, so let me know in the comments. And a special thanks to Ms. Anderson, who has allowed me to write these blogs throughout the year. I share my sincere gratitude and thanks to all the staff here at Connections who’ve supported me in writing these blogs. For the last time of the 2016-2017 year, thanks for reading and I hope to be writing next year soon.
And from the Connections team to T, it is a pleasure. We love seeing your writing grow and supporting you in developing your voice. It gives us great pride to share your thoughts and views with our community and world.
It’s time we look at what might be perhaps one of the best animation companies of all time, Pixar. Pixar’s animation style is what rakes in the money for the company but what makes it uniquely special is their protagonists and antagonists in all of their films. Some of these characters are so well detailed that they manage to live forever. So let’s check them out today in the Top 10 Best Pixar Heroes And Villains. And more than ever, if you don’t like these heroes or villains that’s okay, we’re all entitled to our own opinions and I’m glad you can see the good in others that I’m not able too. For a heads up, I’m going to be doing a mix describing both the protagonist and antagonist perspectives and roles in their movies, Onto the countdown!
10. Riley Herself (Inside Out, 2015)
Riley herself is not only the protagonist of Pixar’s 2015 film Inside Out but she also poses as the antagonist. Now that sounds pretty ridiculous and lousy when you first hear it, but it turns out the magic of Pixar managed to make a great hero/villain all in the same main character. In reality, it’s Riley’s conscious mind that becomes the villain. This is due to the fact that Joy and Sadness leave her memory, and she slowly sinks into this despondent state of sadness and displeasure, and we watch her personality traits slowly fall apart without Joy or Sadness running in her mind. In the movie, we learn that we do need a mix of sadness, happiness, anger, fear, and disgust in our lives, we can’t live our best life without all of them.
9. Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks (Cars, 2006)
As much as I despise the shameless marketing-merchandise tool that Pixar is, I can safely say that both Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks are the two perfect main characters for the first film. At first, even as the main protagonist Lightning McQueen starts off as a self-centered jerk, often shunning those around him and hogging all the media to himself, he eventually cleans up his act and starts becoming a more respectable and likable character. As the antagonist, Chick Hicks is a self-centered jerk, who is unapologetic and only thinks about winning, often to the point of nearly getting others killed in the final race.
8. Wall-E and AUTO (Wall-E, 2008)
Wall-E takes the smallest of items, turning them into something useful. while being the only person living on current Earth while the humans gorge themselves silly out in outer space on a ship helmed by the Captain. AUTO, our villain, appears to be the Captain’s main computer who runs the show because the Captain has become so morbidly obese that he’s incapable of doing anything anymore.
7. Nemo And Darla (Finding Nemo, 2003)
This duo isn’t really that complicated. Nemo is a lively active fish that is kidnapped by a diver who learns that life without your Dad is rough. The diver intends to give Nemo as a last-minute birthday give to Darla, his niece, who taps on fish tank glass and shakes bags containing a fish while screaming at the top of her lungs. I don't believe Darla is a bad kid, I believe she is a bad pet owner.
6. Remy & Linguini And Chef Skinner (Ratatouille, 2007)
Ratatouille is about a rat who befriends a garbage boy who then gets promoted to being a chef and together, they become successful at making the restaurant 10 times better than it was. Remy, the rat, is able to control Linguini, the human, by helping him make delicious dishes. Ratatouille overall is the kind of movie that bumps up my spirit whenever I’m in a bad mood.
5. Flik And Hopper (A Bug’s Life, 1998)
A Bug’s Life tells us about Flik who is an inventor trying to inspire the rest of the towns folks to try out his new inventions. Flik's general cheerful personality was what I enjoyed about him the most. Flik simply tries to be that positive upbeat guy throughout the film, until he knocks over the grasshopper’s food after Flik’s invention backfires on him. And thus we meet our villain… Hopper. I think what was so unique about this movie that made me remember it was THE BIRD. Even though she was only given what seemed to be only 10 minutes of screen time, she managed to be the ONLY character I remembered watching this movie when I was 4. I think it was even better seeing Hopper get devoured in the end. I think generally this film has a great storyline about an aspiring inventor and crazed dictator all rolled together in one movie.
4. Carl And Charles Muntz (Up, 2009)
Up has been the most heartfelt Pixar movie I’ve ever seen, I have never seen Pixar go to so much detail in the first few moments of a movie. After Ellie’s death, Carl sinks into depression and despondency, becoming grouchy and longing for his adventure to Paradise Falls. From Carl’s perspective, he’s mostly viewed as the antagonist in the beginning, but eventually he has a change of heart during his adventure and learns to stop being sad over Ellie’s death. As for Muntz, I found out that he was the villain all along, after he was unable to find the most legendary creature he promised the media. I thought it was obvious from that point that he was going to be the villain, along with the fact that he had a talking dog army at his disposal.
3. Sulley, Mike, Waternoose And Randall (Monsters INC, 2001)
There’s something special about Monsters INC. Is it that Billy Crystal was Mike Wazowski? Or was it the fact that it was just the perfect film for all ages to enjoy? Monsters INC. begins as this big powerhouse corporation that Waternoose inherited from his family. Randall gives the plot away when he leaves Boo's door behind. In the end, Waternoose's crimes is exposed and the bad guys loose their jobs. Sully saves the franchise, turning children from having screams to having laughs. And let’s face it, laughs are better than screams.
2. All The Toy Story Heroes And Villains: Woody, Buzz, Sid And Scud (Toy Story, 1995); Al McWiggin and Stinky Pete (Toy Story 2, 1999); Lotso (Toy Story 3, 2010)
This one is a bit of a hard decision because just like all three films being contenders for the Top 10 Best Disney Movies blog, I had to put all of them on my list. Each character has their own speciality of evil, from the toy torturers Sid and Scud, to the greedy and uncaring fiends of Al McWiggin and Stinky Pete, and to the ruthless dictator Lotso. Woody And Buzz start the saga off despising each other, but then go on to become the best friends they are now. From the first Toy Story it was evident that Woody was starting to become the villain after he’d been replaced by Buzz, but then we are introduced the real villains, Sid and Scud. When we get to the third film, we meet one of the most darkest villains of the series. Lotso. Lotso may look plush and cuddly, but in reality he’s a toy’s worst nightmare. Lotso became the ruthless dictator of Sunnyside Daycare, turning a once promising place for abandoned toys into a prison camp. You'll have to watch the movie to see how it ends!
1. Mr. Incredible and Syndrome (The Incredibles, 2004)
The Incredibles was groundbreaking for Pixar. In the past, Pixar had been used to relying on happy-go-lucky movies like Monsters INC. and Finding Nemo, each having a good story and not-so-dark spirits behind it. The Incredibles managed to be Pixar’s first ever PG movie, notably for its violence and cruelty. In the beginning, the Supers have a pretty easy life, stopping crime, and being idolized for their acts. One fan in particular, Buddy Pine worships Mr. Incredible. Only Mr. Incredible rejects him. After this, an endless barrage of unnecessary lawsuits filed by ungrateful citizens results in Supers having to conceal their identities and adapt to a normal life. Mr. Incredible cannot tolerate this as he once was the most powerful superhero the city had and he began desperately longing for his glory years. After he takes on the Omnidroid, he learns that his former biggest fan, Buddy Pine, has become Syndrome (the villain) in his attempt to get revenge. It’s a pretty clever story of the Incredibles and how action packed the movie turns out to be. And, we're getting a sequel. I’m hoping that we get the same action-filled experience. I consider Mr. Incredible and Syndrome to be the best Pixar Hero/Villain.
Throughout Pixar’s 31-year existence, they’ve given us some of the most iconic Disney movies we’ve seen. We live with them, we die for them, and hold high expectations for the next upcoming film. Pixar has been giving us a strong lineup of heroes and villains, making the villain as equal or somewhat different than the original villain of its predecessor. But I know that Pixar needs to have boundaries because it’s meant to be a family-friendly movie studio. Pixar is both perfect for all children while giving parents the thumbs up to let them know their child is capable of being old enough to watch the movie of their choice. Do you think I missed a particular Pixar Hero/Villain despite the ones I’ve listed? If you think there’s a hero or villain you’d like me to know about, let me know in the comments. And as always thanks for reading, I’ll be writing soon…
It’s time to take a look at some revolutionary gems of old time cinema: 80s movies. Personally, I think the 1980s were the golden era for movies because there are movies that withstood for decades being the best there ever was. These movies had something uniquely special about them that managed to make them better than the movies of today. Let’s check out the Top 10 Best 80s Movies, and more than ever, if you don’t like these movies, that’s great, we’re all entitled to our own opinions and it’s just my usual, silly personal opinion. I’m always glad you can see the good in other 80s movies that I’m not able to.
Onto the countdown!
10. Caddyshack (1980)
Crudeness doesn’t come much more, well, crude, than 1980s sublime “Caddyshack”. It’s a little bit of a surprise that writer/director Harold Ramis was involved. I’ve never been a huge golf fan and the only movie about golf that would appeal to me is Happy Gilmore. But, Caddyshack is old enough to be considered a classic. This is how the National Lampoon/SNL movies should work but rarely are seen. Chevy’s flaky Ty Webb and Bill Murray’s degenerate groundskeeper are unforgettable characters among a bevy of memorable parts.
9. Child’s Play (1988)
I know this one’s going to stir controversy, but never has a movie like Child’s Play taken horror movies to the next level. It was billed horror movie, but it’s hard to categorize it as such, especially by 1980s standards. When people think of Chucky nowadays, they think of him as a living, foul-mouthed, psycho doll complete with body modifications and a punky bride in a movie that mostly consists of funny one-liners and dark humor. However, when Chucky was first introduced in the Child’s Play saga back in 1988, he was a real thrill that redefined the horror genre and spawned a series of imitators. It’s breathes new life into horror because unlike many psycho killers who are usually human, Chucky is a DOLL. Tom Holland crafts this very original tale written by Don Mancini, where a dying sociopath uses voodoo to transplant his soul into an inanimate toy. Karen Barclay, a single mother, gets the possessed toy for her son Andy, not knowing what spirits are hidden deep inside. The movie moves at a very good pace, despite its slow start; it has that 80s feeling and it's surprisingly violent for its time (it was released when rules in the MPAA were turning a bit stricter). It has great special effects and a very creepy atmosphere inside it’s urban landscape. It might not be your taste because of its gruesome horror; but, it’s a movie I certainly don’t mind watching.
8. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Everyone by now gets lost in nostalgia from time-to-time. Many of us vividly recall the days when the most important thing you had to do in an afternoon is find a place to stay cool or make sure that all of your friends were willing to go on whatever adventure you wanted to embark on.. E.T. was an instant classic and one of Steven Spielberg’s golden gems that he directed behind Jaws and Star Wars. E.T. is not a good movie, it’s a movie that lives in people’s hearts forever, young and old. It tells the story about an alien who gets lost on earth and wants to find his way back home. Gertie gets his friends together and they try desperately to get the alien back home. The movie is moving, heart-breakingly sad, yet phenomenally uplifting at the same time. When I first heard of this movie, I never imagined it would be this moving and powerful seeing it at age 12. Every moment in this movie is a dazzling amusement and I think what gave it all the success it had was the amazing soaring over the moon moment. It’s those kinds of images that people who haven’t seen the movie still know exactly what it is. What I think makes E.T. so powerful is the heart-wrenching way makes me realize how bad people wish they want to be kids again. E.T. is one of those more special movies that lives with me and I give Steven Spielberg all the critical acclaim he deserves.
7. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator is a classic, good-versus-evil struggle, with little in the way of grey clouding the issue. The Terminator is an unstoppable, brutal, remorseless killer, and it perfectly suits Arnold Schwarzenegger's limited acting abilities. Coupled with his chiseled features, Arnold is the best choice for the role. This is the movie that blasted then new comer’s Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, made James Cameron a name in Hollywood, and gave a new meaning to a possible dark future that gave us nightmares. I remember the first time I saw this movie, it was my first rated “R” movie, and man did this movie leave such an impact on me.
A Cyborg Assassin by the name of the “Terminator” is hunting down Sarah and he proves to the audience that this programmed assassin isn’t just your usual psycho killer; he feels no pain, has no emotions, and will never back down unless the mission is accomplished. The Terminator is one of the most popular suspenseful movies I can think of and I think this this movie is really something special. The effects are kinda-iffy, because they're 80s standards, but for the time and even to this day, I think the special effects are much better than the CGI in modern cinema. The reason why Arnold’s most famous quote, “I’ll be back”, is so famous is not just because of his accent, but because you almost knew it was coming. The Terminator is one of those movies I highly recommend because it’s an incredible film that is sure to deliver entertainment to the fullest.
6. The Indiana Jones Series (Raiders Of The Lost Ark, 1981, Temple Of Doom, 1984, Last Crusade, 1989)
What more can be said about the Indiana Jones series that hasn’t been said? It’s evident that this one was a hard choice for me to make. All 3 movies were well worthy of making the list and just like Toy Story, Indiana Jones followed the process of making the sequel and three-quel just as good as the original. Every time I watch one of these movies, I’m left breathless. The beginning of each manages to be the best opening sequence I can think of. Indiana Jones is the best character to have ever hit movie screens in the 80s. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did an amazing job casting Harrison Ford, who was already wowing audiences everywhere with his role as Han Solo from Star Wars. And, they managed to boost his credibility and popularity 10 times more than any other actor I can think of. Honestly, I was really gunning for Raiders Of The Lost Ark because that movie gave Indiana Jones the success it has today. Raiders Of The Lost Ark took a simple idea that people would have from watching Saturday afternoon movies and made it larger than life. This film never stops for you to take your breath. It’s filled with characters that have their own personalities that shine through and moments that live in our minds forever. It finds the youngster in all of us and bombards us with this silly, whip-cracking, average, incredibly determined archaeologist and only asks for us to have fun.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
This movie was (almost) a launchpad for Matthew Broderick and made him “Ferris Bueller” forever. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a movie that can be seen throughout the years without dating too badly. Sure, the music and props signify a time of discontent and bad hairdos, but the idealistic teenager simply wanting to ditch school has never been made more daringly and charmingly. The message was, “how much could Ferris get away with?" And rightfully so. Ferris was able to outrun a lot of trouble, especially behind Mr. Rooney. Everything about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was ultimate cinema GOLD, from the postmodern “conversations” with the audience to the little back stories which seem to shape the overall canvas of the film itself. While Alan Ruck was way too old to play in this movie, at least he proved to be a great opposite to the cool, laid-back, nonchalant Ferris. The dialogue was so well received that it has been printed on shirts and recited at parties by true fans of the film, I don’t blame them. The movie’s concept of Ferris wanting a day off from school, putting himself and his friends in constant mayhem and jeopardy, made the film. Ferris shows just how worthy “living your life before it passes by” can be and I hope in the near future I don’t get on the phone with Mr. Rooney.
What are your thoughts, ideas, and feedback? Do you agree or do you think T missed a film? Should E.T. be lower (I think so) or are you wondering if The Breakfast Club and The Goonies made the list ? What about Stand By Me? Talk to us in the comments, we'd love to hear from you!
Here they are, T's thoughts on the best Cubs players of all time, counting down from #4 to #1. Who do you think T picked for #1? Read and find out...
4. Billy Williams - Born: June 15, 1938.
Played for: Chicago Cubs: 1959-1974, Oakland Athletics: 1975-1976.
There was a time when good ol’ Sweet Swingin’ Billy patrolled left field at Wrigley Field for 16 years from 1959 until 1974, hitting 392 home runs and having 1,353 RBIs. Williams ranks right up there with many of the Cubs greats such as Ron Santo for the simple reason that he was out there playing every single game no matter if he was injured or sick. Billy played at least 160 games every season from 1963-1970 and had at least 687 plate appearances in each of those seasons. While Williams did play the last two seasons of his career with the Oakland Athletics, he is still looked at as the greatest Cubs’ players of all time and like Santo, gets recognized with a statue outside Wrigley Field.
3. Ryne Sandberg - Born: September 18, 1959.
Played for: Philadelphia Phillies: 1981-1981, Chicago Cubs: 1982-1994, 1996-1997.
What more can be said about Ryne Sandberg that hasn’t already been said? There is no arguing that Ryne Sandberg deserves number 3 on this list after 15 great seasons with the Cubs. Sandberg made the Cubs a hit in the 1980s with his everything: batting, fielding and when he approached the plate, everyone held their breath as he finished taking practice swings. Sandberg hit 282 home runs and knocked in 1,061 runs from 1982-1997. Sandberg is best remembered for June 23, 1984 when he hit two game-tying home runs off St. Louis Cardinals’ closer Bruce Sutter. The legend of Sandberg will also be remembered for the fateful Saturday afternoon in 1994 when he announced a retirement after becoming the highest-paid player in baseball. However, somewhat like Michael Jordan, his retirement was short and he returned to the Cubs’ dugout in 1996 and played two final seasons. There is no better second basemen in baseball history than Ryne Sandberg.
2. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo - Kris Bryant Born: January 4, 1992; Anthony Rizzo Born: August 8, 1989.
Kris Bryant played for: Chicago Cubs: 2013-present; Anthony Rizzo played for: Chicago Cubs: 2012-present.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have built up that sort of Patrick Kane-Jonathan Toews 'duo'. They’ve brought the Chicago Cubs the one thing they thought they’d never, ever do: bring a World Series victory to Chicago. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo might be what has rejuvenated this franchise. Before Rizzo and Bryant’s arrival, the team was in its mediocre stage like it had been in previous years. Together, Rizzo and Bryant took a once mediocre franchise and made it a winner. The 2016 World Series was one for the ages. Even if you weren’t a fan of the Chicago Cubs or the Cleveland Indians, you saw one of the most exciting series' in baseball. Both teams have a great fan base with both fighting championship droughts, a history of legends, and perhaps the best stadiums around. If you ask me, I find Kris Bryant to be the greatest on the team; he has the exact same personality traits as Patrick Kane - energetic, loud, wild, and doing whatever it takes to win. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were a bit of a hard decision for me and thankfully these two will be sticking around for a while.
It turns out there was an even better player than Rizzo and Bryant. This player is well remembered for his time in Chicago and with that being said, here we go. The number 1 Best Cubs Player is…
1. Ernie Banks - Born: January 31, 1931 Died: January 23, 2015.
Played for: Chicago Cubs: 1953-1971.
Oh Ernie Banks, you’ve touched so many Cubs fans, we can still hear Jack Brickhouse shouting your name as you round the bases after hitting the game winning run. You never walked out on the Cubs even during times when the Cubs faced adversity. Ernie Banks is the best Cub that ever played; he was never traded, the Cubs kept him for over a decade and a half. There can be no doubt that Ernie Banks would be number 1 on this list, it’s pretty clear right away that none other than “Mr. Cub” will forever hold this position. Banks played his entire 19-year career with the Cubs with 512 career home runs from 1953-1971. Banks won the MVP Award in 1958 and 1959 and was a consistent force in the middle of the Cubs’ lineup for his entire career. Banks hit 40 or more home runs each season from 1958-1960. Banks' role on the team is what’s earned him a prominent statue outside Wrigley Field that was specifically crafted in the position that he was famous for batting in. There are many players who could have topped this list; but, Banks is the only one that played his entire career with the Cubs, without being traded. Banks is definitely going down as the greatest Cubs’ player of all time.
*Sigh* I think we need to be clear that this reign of great Cubs players will go on forever. Despite guys like Banks, Santo, and Sandberg having been noted for being the greatest that ever played, there needs to be room for more great Cubs players that will attract the attention of those fans, both young and old. The franchise has been in existence since 1876 and has seen many Hall Of Fame players step onto Wrigley Field in a Cubs uniform and there are more to come. Every single player on this list made their mark in Chicago for a long time and will be remembered for their achievements in years to come. I honestly had to look hard for these players because JEEPERS, there’s just so many great legends.
Do you think I missed a particular great player? I know throughout the Cubs 100 year franchise there’s been more greats that can fit on the list. Let me know in the comments if you think so. And, as always, thanks for reading and I’ll be writing soon.
2016 was a remarkable year for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs did something that ESPN thought they’d never do: Win The World Series (OR EVEN WIN THE PENNANT!). The Cubs World Series victory will perhaps be the best victory Chicago Cubs fans’ have ever seen. The most important part of that victory was the players who got them to the championship. Even before 2016 there was always a great lineup of Cubs’ players (even if they were part of that “Loveable Losers” era of the Cubs). So we’re going to check them out today in the Top 10 Best Cubs Players. And more than ever, if you don’t think these are the greatest players, that’s great, it’s just my usual personal opinion to which we’re all entitled. I’m glad you can see the good in these players that I’m not able to. Anyway onto the countdown!
10. Mordecai Brown - Born: October 19, 1876, Died: February 14, 1948.
Played for: St. Louis Cardinals 1903-1904, Chicago Cubs 1904-1912, Cincinnati Reds 1912-1913, St. Louis Terriers 1913-1914, Brooklyn Tip-Tops 1914-1915, Chicago Whales 1915-1916, Chicago Cubs 1916-1916.
Mordecai Brown is one of the fewest players remembered as a member of the 1907-1908 World Series’ victories of the Chicago Cubs. There should be no Cubs top ten lists that could possibly leave out Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. Brown earned his nickname for losing two of his fingers in a farming accident in his youth and while working in the mining community of Nyesville, Indiana. Mordecai spent his youth on the baseball diamond where he used his oddly-shaped hand to throw one of the greatest curveballs in baseball history. Brown pitched for the Chicago Cubs for over a decade compiling a 188-86 record with a 1.80 ERA. Brown started in 241 games for the Cubs and had 206 complete games which in this day and age could possibly never be repeated. He was on the team’s last two World Series championship teams in 1907 and 1908, winning 49 combined games over those 2 seasons. Brown also led the Cubs to the 1906 World Series (despite losing to cross state rival Chicago White Sox) with a 26-6 record and a 1.04 ERA in 277 ⅓ innings. Brown should always be remembered as being a leader in the last time Cubs fans saw a World Series before 2016.
9. Sammy Sosa - Born: November 12, 1968.
Played for: Texas Rangers: 1989-1989, Chicago White Sox: 1989-1991, Chicago Cubs: 1992-2004, Baltimore Orioles: 2005-2006, Texas Rangers: 2006-2007.
One of the most controversial choices I’ve put on my list, Sammy Sosa, despite his performance enhancement drug issues and cork in bat incidents, has been one of my most favorite Cubs players. Sammy Sosa was the player that always made me go outside when I was young, pick up my wiffle ball and bat, and start swinging for the trees in the park outside of my backyard. Sosa’s biggest accomplishment will always be his amazing season in 1998 and big home run years that followed. Sosa hit 66 home runs and knocked in 158 runs for the Cubbies in 1998 to lead the Cubs to their first playoff appearance since 1989. He added 63 home runs in 1999 and had 64 dingers in 2001. Sosa played 13 seasons in Chicago with a team-record of 545 home runs along with adding 1,414 RBIs in 1,811 games. I originally wanted Moises Alou at number 9; but, when I tossed out the idea, I slammed my Chromebook lid on my fingers because my mother is still mad at Alou for the “incident”.
8. Greg Maddux - Born: April 14, 1966.
Played for: Chicago Cubs: 1986-1992, Atlanta Braves: 1993-2003, Chicago Cubs: 2004-2006, Los Angeles Dodgers: 2006-2006, San Diego Padres: 2007-2008, Los Angeles Dodgers: 2008-2008.
I realize that Greg Maddux is more popularly remembered for his time on the Atlanta Braves. I will admit he accomplished much more with the Braves having brought them their first and only World Series title in their franchise’s history. But aside from his time in Atlanta, Maddux will be more remembered for his time with the Chicago Cubs. Maddux spent a fair amount of time with them in the late 80s and he did make a comeback in 2004, but didn’t get as far as he did with the Braves. Maddux would be a lot lower on this list if he would’ve stayed in Chicago for his entire career. Maddux pitched 10 seasons with the Cubs from 1986-1992 and then again from 2004-2006 with a record of 133-112 and a 3.61 ERA during his time in Chicago. Maddux won the first of his four straight Cy Young Awards with the Cubs in 1992 before leaving as a free agent after that season. It is a move that has haunted Cubs fans ever since, and feels almost as bad when Bill Wirtz threw away Bobby Hull for profit (it feels even worse after seeing what Maddux did as a member of the Atlanta Braves). Maddux's return in 2004 was met with great praise and fanfare and he was rewarded with a 2014 Hall Of Fame induction as one of the top five right-handed pitchers of all time.
7. Kerry Wood - Born: June 16, 1977.
Played for: Chicago Cubs: 1998, 2000-2008, Cleveland Indians: 2009-2010, New York Yankees: 2010-2010, Chicago Cubs: 2011-2012.
I find Kerry Wood to be one of the most friendliest Cubs I’ve met. When I first met Wood at an autograph signing in 2012, he seemed like he wanted to talk to me for HOURS and that was perfectly okay with me. Looking back on it, when Kerry Wood first stepped on the Wrigley Field mound in 1998, he was looked at by Cubs’ fans as the pitcher who was destined to take the Cubs to a long-awaited World Series title. Wood's 20 strikeout performance in his fifth career start raised even more expectations and while he didn’t get the Cubs a title, he is looked at today as one of not only the greatest Cubs’ pitchers of all time. Wood pitched 12 seasons for the Cubs with an 80-68 record, 35 saves as a reliever, and a 3.67 ERA. While he was constantly on the move having pitched for 2 other teams later in his career, Wood will always be a member of the Cubs’ family and have a place in the hearts of Cubs fans around Chicago.
6. Fergie Jenkins - Born: December 13, 1942.
Played for: Philadelphia Phillies: 1965-1966, Chicago Cubs: 1966-1973, Texas Rangers: 1974-1975, Boston Red Sox: 1976-1977, Texas Rangers: 1978-1981, Chicago Cubs: 1982-1983.
Like the Batman and Robin duo, there was the Ron Santo and Fergie Jenkins duo. Jenkins was perhaps the ace of the 1969 Cubs staff, pitching 10 seasons for the Cubs with a 167-132 record and a 3.20 ERA to go along with 154 complete games. Jenkins won 20 games for 6 straight seasons from 1967-1972, including a 24-win season in 1971 where he had a career-high 30 complete games with 39 starts. However, Jenkins faced a series of legal issues but was always out there for his team every fourth day and started 42 games during that fateful 1969 season. However, it would end at the hands of yet another curse along with the Billy Goat. Jenkins' outstanding performance led him to a Hall Of Fame induction and he ended his career on a high note with the Cubs in 1983.
5. Ron Santo - Born: February 25, 1940 Died: December 3, 2010.
Played for: Chicago Cubs: 1960-1973, Chicago White Sox: 1973-1974.
Ron Santo is the first Cubs player I think of whenever anybody mentions the Chicago Cubs. There is no other player on the Chicago Cubs that Cubs fans young and old know other than Ron Santo. Santo may have been the longest player to have ever played for the Cubs, spending 14 seasons before being traded to crosstown rival the Chicago White Sox. Not only recognized for his achievements at the plate, Santo also managed to be the team’s commentator on the radio from 1990 until his passing in 2010. Ron Santo struggled with diabetes throughout his life and held a walk in Chicago since 1979 to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Santo hit 337 home runs and knocked in 1,331 runs for the Cubs while playing 3rd base. Santo's death was a devastating heartbreak, shattering the hearts of millions just as much as Walter Payton. But despite Sanot's death, his legacy will live on with his own statue outside Wrigley Field and is still idolized as perhaps the greatest Cubs player that ever played.
We enjoy T's thoughts at Connections and want to know what you think, Cubs fans. Talk to us in the comments!
Connections Cares is the philanthropic arm of microConnections. When the Connections students and staff created microConnections last year, we agreed that a significant part would include giving back to our community. This was important to us as a large part of what we do is because of our community partners and support. Connecting Families exists because of the community agencies that partner with us and donate their time to offer ongoing education about adult services in Illinois to our team and families. We are thrilled to have our products available for sale in Naperville and this is due to Peace and the Alive Center. A significant part of our vocational and internship program would not exist without our more than 50 community partners. Our families support all that we do in many ways – they offer plants and tools for our garden, donated our Snack Shack sign, and support our fundraisers to name a few. We strive to give a minimum of 10% of microConnections profits back to the community in the form of fleece blankets, dog toys, dog treats, pet blankets, and bookmarks. In 2016, Connections Cares made the following donations:
Connections Cares is proud to share that these donations total approximately $1,000. Additionally, Connections installed The Snack Shack using microConnections funds and community donations. Lastly, Connections is proud to share that we raised the funds to complete the installation of our sensory garden this spring. We are thankful for NCUSD 203, our families and community for all of your support, we couldn't have done it without you. Thank You!