Greg Couch

Greg earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary in RollingStone.com and The Guardian. Couch penned articles and columns for CNN.com/Bleacher Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for FoxSports.com and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.

Latest from Greg

Reader's Pass
Greg Couch

Couch: Wimbledon Is Federer’s Last Chance For A Major

This is it for Roger Federer. Last call. Wimbledon starts today, Federer’s tournament. And at 39, coming off two knee surgeries, and two years since he was relevant — as opposed to ceremonial — he has thrown everything toward this year’s tournament. He aimed for it, he trained for it, he rehabbed for it. He even treated the French Open, a major, as practice for it. And now the draw has lined up for him, as he’s on the opposite side of Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal has decided not to play at all. The truth about Federer goes unspoken in tennis circles because it’s hard to see him this way. Everyone has known this day was coming, but no one was accepting that it would ever actually be here. It is unlikely that Federer will ever win another major tennis championship. But if he does have one last chance, then this is it. This is the one. He starts Tuesday against Adrian Mannarino. “I know if I get rolling, I get into the second week, which is the goal here right now, that I get stronger and stronger as every match goes by,’’ Federer said in a pre-tournament press […]

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MLB
Greg Couch

Couch: Cubs’ No-Hitter Suggests Sticky Stuff May Not Be The Problem After All

Let’s call this Revenge of the Pitchers. Earlier this week, baseball pitchers were throwing a tantrum over the idea that they were all cheating. I mean, they were, in fact, all cheating by putting sticky stuff on the ball. They don’t seem to deny that. But the indignity of having umpires check their gloves, hats and belts set them off anyway. So Oakland A’s pitcher Sergio Romo dropped his pants in anger when an ump checked him. You think I’m hiding something? Go ahead and check! A bench-clearing fight nearly broke out when Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi accused Washington pitcher Max Scherzer of going to his hair to possibly put sticky stuff on the ball. Well, the pitchers got their best revenge Thursday night in Los Angeles: The Chicago Cubs, using four pitchers, threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers. Revenge is so sweet. Batters simply cannot hit pitchers this year, and there threatens to be a league-wide record low batting average and high strikeout rate. That means a baseball game is now three long hours of nothing happening. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, in panic mode, put an end to that by cracking down on the cheating pitchers and instituting strip […]

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MLB
Greg Couch

Couch: Spider Tack Scandal Just MLB’s Latest Embarrassment

Here’s a little baseball history: During World War II, when playing against the Navy service team, Joe DiMaggio hit a home run. That’s when the legend began. No, not DiMaggio’s. He was already a star. But the opposing pitcher threw down his glove and chased after DiMaggio as he circled the bases, mimicking the way he ran. That pitcher, Max Patkin, soon gave up playing and became known for 50 years as the Clown Prince of Baseball, traveling to stadiums, clowning around, copying players, juggling and dropping his or players’ pants. So baseball finds itself here again, channeling Patkin, to resolve its sticky-substance, cheating-pitchers scandal. Baseball is worried about its integrity, and the solution? Have pitchers drop their pants on the field. Yes, that makes commissioner Rob Manfred baseball’s new clown prince. It happened Tuesday, when umpires approached Oakland A’s pitcher Sergio Romo to see if he might have some banned sticky substances somewhere on him. Romo tossed his glove and hat to the field, whipped off his belt and, yes. . . Dropped his pants to his knees. LOL. Good stuff, baseball. There is rampant cheating in baseball, where pitchers are putting a glop called Spider Tack on the […]

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Reader's Pass
Greg Couch

Couch: Kavanaugh’s Last Word Leaves NCAA Good As Dead

You’ve got to give the NCAA credit. They ran this scam much longer than anyone would have imagined. They sold it so well. Remember? Amateur sports were about purity and not being tainted by the evils of money. Ha! That way, our education system — Haha! — pulled in billions of dollars in revenue from football and basketball, got so tainted and greedy and dirty and didn’t have to share any of it with these pure, virginal athletes. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t exactly bury amateur sports or kill off the NCAA, but just about. The path is clear now. The justices ruled unanimously that the NCAA can’t limit college athletes’ compensation to tuition, room, board and scholarships. They didn’t rule that athletes could be paid, but only that they can get more benefits if those benefits are “education-related,’’ like a computer or an internship. But that’s clearly just step one in this dance. Amateurism and the NCAA are now dead on arrival in future lawsuits. The NCAA is “not above the law,’’ Justice Brett Kavanaugh said. “Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the […]

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Olympics
Greg Couch

Couch: The Brightest Star On Father’s Day Is . . . A Mom

As they came to the back nine of the U.S. Open Sunday, golf’s homestretch, Bryson DeChambeau was in the lead with Brooks Koepka  close behind, and NBC and Open officials and pretty much the entire golf industry and the sportsworld praying for those two feuding stars to emerge together, and. . . You know what? Nevermind. Forget those guys. Their feud is petty and fake and done for social media anyway, played out where real men apparently take their problems today: Twitter and Instagram. In the end, DeChambeau choked historically and Koepka choked, too, to a lesser degree. They were embarrassing after all that buildup. And the coolest story of the day on Father’s Day was a mother: Allyson Felix, American hero. If you missed it Sunday, Felix showed us what sports are about. Relentlessness. And courage. And a fighting spirit. And the power of one. And the strength of a mom. She did it with her 3½-year old daughter, Camryn, watching her in the stands in Eugene, Ore. Felix rounded the final turn in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in fifth place, needing to finish in the top three. She had taken the early lead in the […]

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NFL
Greg Couch

Couch: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Is Right: Bears Are Holding City For Ransom

I get the appeal. When you live in the suburbs, you get lots of free parking. I have a three-car garage and don’t even keep a car in there. You can walk slowly, wear bright-colored clothes if you want or even white socks with flip flops! So the Chicago Bears announced Thursday that they had put a bid on the land in suburban Arlington Heights, site of the most beautiful horse racing track anywhere, Arlington Park. The idea would be to build a new Bears stadium there, theoretically with a roof so they can redefine Bear Weather as 68 degrees and predictable. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says it’s all a negotiating ploy by the Bears as they try to get more out of their current deal at Soldier Field in the city. That would include more renovations. Apparently, the half billion dollars in tax money that was put into remodeling Soldier Field for the Bears 20 years ago just didn’t go as far as the Bears would’ve liked. But Lightfoot notes that the Bears are locked into a lease through 2033, and aren’t going anywhere. So who knows how this will come out. It’s going to have to work its […]

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Golf
Greg Couch

Couch: DeChambeau-Koepka Rivalry Is A Bonus This US Open Week

We should have known when the Golf Channel interview with Brooks Koepka was leaked. Leaked, as if this were a highly sensitive issue that someone didn’t want out. Koepka lost concentration during an interview because his rival Bryson DeChambeau walked behind him in the picture and snickered or sneered or burped or something. And the story of golf in the weeks since then has been the great, heated rivalry between two stars. It’s great for golf! It’s what golf needs! The other focus of golf, Phil Mickelson winning the PGA Championship, doesn’t have legs. He turns 51 today, after all. That’s more than seven in dog years. So enjoy the Koepka-DeChambeau show, but just know that you’re being played. My guess is that most people know that already, but don’t really care. It’s fun watching a fight with the tough-guy modern weapon of choice: the tweet. Koepka and DeChambeau are getting so much from that leak. The Golf Channel, too. And golf itself.  The U.S. Open starts Thursday, and Koepka and DeChambeau are the favorites. There were reports — and denials — that tournament organizers asked Koepka and DeChambeau to play together, but both said no. Where did that story […]

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Media News
Greg Couch

Couch: Scottie Pippen Is Latest High-Profile Sports Figure To Put The ‘Me’ In Media

Years later, after he had retired from Gotham and moved to Florida, Robin realized that Batman had taken all the credit all along and never treated him like an equal. Sidekick? How insulting! So it was time for one thing: A tell-all. That’s where we are now with Scottie Pippen, who said on Twitter that he’s writing the book Unguarded to straighten the record. You’d think he’d have gotten the hint when they built a statue of Michael Jordan outside of the United Center, but not one of Pippen. Maybe he thought his was still coming? But it took until he saw “The Last Dance’’ that it finally hit Pippen:  The documentary was giving Jordan all of the credit for the Chicago Bulls dynasty.  And as preposterous as that complaint sounds, it does make me smile for one reason alone: It’s not my fault. It’s not the media’s fault. The mainstream media can just sit back and enjoy this one, while a story-teller is called out for not telling the story in the exact way the subject wanted it told. In this case, Michael Jordan is the lamestream media, the bad guy, the biased jerk, the ass. Ha! The thing […]

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