SPORTS MEDICINE: Drew Brees poster boy for wreck of a football season | John Doherty

Name: Walter Payton

Best decade: 1970s

Nickname: Sweetness

Position: Running back

Seasons played with Bears: 13

Career Highlights: Walter Payton might be regarded as the greatest Chicago Bear of all time and one of the best to ever play, according to fans and media. 

Payton’s professional origin began in 1975 when the Bears selected him in the first round of the NFL Draft. He was the fourth overall pick.

The Bears hadn’t had a winning season or a great running back since Gale Sayers retired in 1972. Payton was a gift the Bears needed from the football gods. 

However, his rookie season showed otherwise. He finished with 679 yards and seven touchdowns, but led the league in yards per kickoff return.

Payton was ready to improve for the following season. 

In 1976, Payton rushed for 1,390 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. He played in the 1977 Pro Bowl and won the MVP award for the game. 

Payton’s early years of improving never stopped. In his 1977 season, Payton rushed for 1,852 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He was the league’s leading scorer that season. 

On October 7, 1984 Payton broke the NFL’s career rushing record. 

In 1985 — the best year in the history of Chicago football — Payton rushed for more than 1,500 yards and helped the Bears get to Super Bowl XX. 

Mike Ditka, who coached the winning Super Bowl team, said that one of the biggest regrets he made in his life was not letting Payton score a touchdown in the game, using quarterback Jim McMahon and defensive tackle William Perry to run the ball instead.

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SPORTS MEDICINE: Take heart from latest COVID-19-related news | John Doherty

Dr. Sean Swearingen is a cardiologist with Community Care Network in Munster, who works with the athletic department at Purdue Northwest. He explained what “mild” symptoms of COVID-19 are and what they are not.

“It is symptoms that are not in any way inhibiting their day-to-day function and they are for less than 10 days,” he said, “then that is what falls in the category of mild symptoms and they don’t need any further cardiac workup. From the patients I have (had tested), they haven’t had to be hospitalized but they have had relatively significant symptoms where they have been out of commission for several days, haven’t been able to attend their online classes (because) they’ve been so fatigued. To me, I would consider that moderate symptoms.”

Symptomatic or not, cardiac tested or not, all athletes who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 need to be cautious as they return to sport, according to Swearingen.

While I questioned the Big Ten’s 21-day minimum in comparison to the ACC’s 10-day minimum in this space earlier this month, Swearingen finds it more than reasonable.

“The 21-day Big Ten protocol (allows) for a week-long ramp period in the final week,” he explained. “I am a big supporter of this — a gradual monitored increase in activity allows for another layer of safety so that players can be monitored for signs and symptoms before they are putting themselves at risk in full-on competition. The monitored physical activity is just as important as the testing itself and it seems like a lot of people are ignoring that final part in the guideline, the gradual increase in activity.”

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Fitness Diary: Fox White House Correspondent John Roberts

Fox News White House Correspondent John Roberts. Photograph courtesy of Fox News.

Welcome to Busy Bodies, where we ask busy Washingtonians how they balance health and fitness while working crazy hours, raising a family, and meeting the demands of the daily hustle. Know someone who’s killing the fitness game while getting it done (maybe it’s you)? Email [email protected]washingtonian.com

John Roberts is the chief White House correspondent for Fox News, which, under normal circumstances, is a busy job. It’s a very busy job during the pandemic: The 63-year-old McLean resident often finds himself working 12-hour days, which leaves little time for hobbies or exercise during the week.

But, with three stents in his heart due to blocked arteries Roberts attributes to years of smoking, the journalist makes it a priority to eat well and sweat when he can. He bikes, plays golf, and wake boards with his family on the weekends. Sadly, it seems like his glory days as an athlete are behind him, though: “Winning the hockey championship when I was 11 years-old was the pinnacle of my athletic career,” he says. “It’s been all downhill from there.”

Roberts golfing. Photograph courtesy of John Roberts.

Here’s how Roberts gets it done:

“I typically get up at about 6 AM and leave for work at about 7 AM. I’ll bring a couple of low-sugar yogurt cups with me and a healthy lunch (typically leftovers from dinner the night before). I’ll usually stop in at the Starbucks next to my garage on Pennsylvania Avenue and grab a breakfast item. The spinach-feta wrap is my go-to choice. It fills me up–though with fewer than 300 calories. For dinner, we eat a lot of chicken or fish. As I have three stents in my heart, we try to eat low-fat meals and go easy on the salt.

“I usually get in [to work] at about 7:30 AM and stay until 7 PM. I joke that in my business, a half-day is 12 hours long. I try as often as possible to work five days a week so I can spend the weekends with the family. We have 9-year-old twins who were only 4 years-old last week. Time goes so fast, there is not a minute to lose.

“My particular business puts a premium on looks, so keeping fit and trim is almost part of the job. I also don’t like how I feel if I put on a few pounds. My ‘accountability buddy’ is my wife Kyra [Phillips, an ABC News correspondent], who is only too happy to shame me about my ‘pot’ if I get a little out of control. She bought me a Peloton a couple of years ago, but I have to be honest in saying that it hasn’t been getting as much use as it should.

“I have always been a sports enthusiast and like staying in relatively decent shape. I still enjoy things I did as a kid—cycling, tennis, golf (I like to walk), hiking, water-

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St. Charles dentist Dr. John Mason receives Barth Award

You might say Dr. John Mason was a quick study upon his arrival in St. Charles in 1987 when adding his name to the dental practice of Dr. John Dickens on the east side of the city.

He absorbed a lesson he knew he was cut out for, in learning about the various organizations and causes throughout the area that needed volunteers.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Mason credits former TriCity Family Services board president Pat Crull with giving him an idea of how the agency operated and how area volunteers helped various organizations.

“She encouraged me to get involved (with the agency), and that relationship started in the 1990s and continues to this day,” Mason said.

Mason has carried that love of helping others to this moment, and it has earned him TriCity Family Services’ 36th annual William D. Barth Award for community service.

“The description of the Barth Award and its focus on community giving is meaningful, and I recognize many recipients with whom I have much respect,” Mason said during a virtual recognition announcement Wednesday night. “Personally, I understand to be recognized in this way, there is a supporting cast of mentors and advocates. My parents and grandparents were exceptional mentors, and I witnessed their giving hands in all areas of community giving.”

Mason came to St. Charles after completing his dental degree at Northwestern University and a residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. In the past 33 years, he has compiled an impressive list of community commitments — the American Cancer Society, Bunco for Breast Cancer, Dentist with a Heart, Feed My Starving Children, Hands of Hope board, Knights of Columbus, Lazarus House, and Living Well Center. In addition, he’s been involved in St. Pat’s Emerald Evening, the St. Charles East Kick-a-Thon, Special Olympics, St. Charles Makes a Difference, St. John Neumann Catholic Church, St. Charles Education Foundation and being a TCFS board member.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

He has also provided free dental services to patients at the Tri City Health Partnership. Kim Lamansky, executive director of Tri City Health Partnership, nominated Mason for the Barth honor.

“Almost every day, I meet someone who is very giving in what they do, and it is an inspiration,” Mason said. “The relationships I have developed through TriCity Family Services, Lazarus House and Tri City Health Partnership has nurtured friendships and sincere advocates.”

Those advocates throughout the years “have been instrumental, I know, in this award coming my way,” Mason added. “It is with deep thanks to all of you, I accept the award and sincerely appreciate it.”

To the coach:

When starting a journalism career as a prep sports writer, you have to rely on athletic directors and coaches to cooperate and provide insight that can help the rest of your career.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

I was lucky to have that in the Tri-Cities area, and that’s why it’s always sad to see

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SPORTS MEDICINE: Something to be SAID about managing workload | John Doherty



Kawann Short

The Panthers’ Kawann Short, an E.C. Central grad, has played a key role on the defensive line.



Jim Hunsley



The big, bold and colorful mural on the outside wall of Columbus Drive Gyros hits you like a storm surge while entering the building.

It’s a life-size painting of hometown hero Kawann Short, defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers, in his No. 99 uniform and holding the Super Bowl 50 trophy triumphantly in his right hand, an event that was not to be.

Throughout Northwest Indiana, there were banners, posters and pep rallies throughout the city in support of the E.C. Central grad. Social media kept him in touch daily with the Region, as if he were standing at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard, taking it all in.

One particular banner stretched across Columbus Drive at Alder Street, proclaimed: “East Chicago is proud of our hometown Kawann Short. We are East Chicago — Super Bowl 50. Go Panthers!”

That 10-by-10-foot mural at Columbus Drive Gyros was painted Jan. 28 by the artist known as Fhat Cousins, who worked on his labor of love for eight hours.

“I’m 6-foot, and I still have to look up at it,” said restaurant owner John Troupis. “It’s a win-win for the city because it went viral on social media. People are always pulling up, taking pictures of it.

“Kawann loved it and ended up sharing it (on social media). It lit a fire under everybody to join the celebrating.”

E.C. Central and middle school football players watched the 2016 Super Bowl in the high school’s mini-theater, with a pre-game video message delivered by Kawann Short.

“I’ve seen so much of the love coming from home. It’s sincere and coming from the heart,” he said by phone prior to the game. “East Chicago isn’t very big. It has only about 30,000 but they respect people who get out and do things with their lives.

“And when you do, they gladly jump on board and support you 100 percent.”

The 44th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Short went from five sacks combined over his first two seasons to an eye-popping 11 in 2105-16 — a team record for defensive tackles — before the NFL championship game.

But what really jumps out to students of the game is 11 sacks, 55 tackles and three forced fumbles by a 4-3 interior lineman who also is a fierce pass rusher on the edge.

Short has transformed from a player who flashed across the screen once a game to a surefire Pro Bowler.

“I’m just out here doing what I’m doing and trying to help this team win. It’s the only thing I can ask or work for,” said the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Short.

Short has partnered with Athletes for Charity, HealthLinc and the East Chicago Fire and Police Departments to create academic incentives to benefit youth. He’s launched a Youth Literacy Project to deliver books and academic incentives to children in need of encouragement when it comes

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John Dick elected to National Academy of Medicine

Dr. John Dick, a professor in the department of molecular genetics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

The NAM is one of three academies that comprise the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States. Each year, the NAM elects up to 100 members, including 10 international members, recognized for their achievements in health and medicine.

A Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Biology, Dick is globally recognized for his discovery of leukemia stem cells, made possible by an assay he developed. The assay involves transplanting cells from human adult bone marrow, normal or cancerous, into an experimental model to gauge cancer initiation. Using this approach, he revealed that only a­­ small subset of these cells was capable of initiating leukemia and was the main cause of disease relapse. These contributions have helped shape the understanding of cancer and reveal new strategies for curing the disease.

“The University of Toronto congratulates Professor John Dick on this richly deserved recognition,” said University Professor Ted Sargent, vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives. “He has revolutionized our understanding of leukemia.”

Read more about Professor Dick

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SPORTS MEDICINE: COVID-19 craziness clouds concussion certainty | John Doherty



Kawann Short

The Panthers’ Kawann Short, an E.C. Central grad, has played a key role on the defensive line.



Jim Hunsley



The big, bold and colorful mural on the outside wall of Columbus Drive Gyros hits you like a storm surge while entering the building.

It’s a life-size painting of hometown hero Kawann Short, defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers, in his No. 99 uniform and holding the Super Bowl 50 trophy triumphantly in his right hand, an event that was not to be.

Throughout Northwest Indiana, there were banners, posters and pep rallies throughout the city in support of the E.C. Central grad. Social media kept him in touch daily with the Region, as if he were standing at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard, taking it all in.

One particular banner stretched across Columbus Drive at Alder Street, proclaimed: “East Chicago is proud of our hometown Kawann Short. We are East Chicago — Super Bowl 50. Go Panthers!”

That 10-by-10-foot mural at Columbus Drive Gyros was painted Jan. 28 by the artist known as Fhat Cousins, who worked on his labor of love for eight hours.

“I’m 6-foot, and I still have to look up at it,” said restaurant owner John Troupis. “It’s a win-win for the city because it went viral on social media. People are always pulling up, taking pictures of it.

“Kawann loved it and ended up sharing it (on social media). It lit a fire under everybody to join the celebrating.”

E.C. Central and middle school football players watched the 2016 Super Bowl in the high school’s mini-theater, with a pre-game video message delivered by Kawann Short.

“I’ve seen so much of the love coming from home. It’s sincere and coming from the heart,” he said by phone prior to the game. “East Chicago isn’t very big. It has only about 30,000 but they respect people who get out and do things with their lives.

“And when you do, they gladly jump on board and support you 100 percent.”

The 44th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Short went from five sacks combined over his first two seasons to an eye-popping 11 in 2105-16 — a team record for defensive tackles — before the NFL championship game.

But what really jumps out to students of the game is 11 sacks, 55 tackles and three forced fumbles by a 4-3 interior lineman who also is a fierce pass rusher on the edge.

Short has transformed from a player who flashed across the screen once a game to a surefire Pro Bowler.

“I’m just out here doing what I’m doing and trying to help this team win. It’s the only thing I can ask or work for,” said the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Short.

Short has partnered with Athletes for Charity, HealthLinc and the East Chicago Fire and Police Departments to create academic incentives to benefit youth. He’s launched a Youth Literacy Project to deliver books and academic incentives to children in need of encouragement when it comes

Read more