***Guest Column***

Each week many of you send me responses to my column. They range anywhere from “Great column, Brian!” to “What the heck were you thinking, Brian!” and everything in between. I read all your responses. And even if we are diametrically opposed on a given issue, I absolutely appreciate your comments!

That being said, I am honored to be your State Representative and your voice in Springfield. That’s part of the reason why I write this column – so I can hear your responses. So I say this: “Keep them coming.” Keep sending me your comments, and I’ll keep writing this column.

Last week we talked about how Illinois needs a complete overhaul. In baseball terms, we called it a complete rebuild. Allow me to glean one more thing from the Cubs in this week’s column. When the Cubs rebuilt their team they also rebuilt their stadium. The stadium had become a relic (in both good and bad ways). The facilities were completely outdated, and fans complained that they were afraid the stadium would collapse.
***Guest Column***
How about them Cubbies ?

The Chicago Cubs are - almost indisputably - the best team in baseball. Hard to believe that the team that was once the punchline of so many sports jokes is now at the top of the Majors. Not more than a few years ago the Cubs were still known as the “Lovable Losers” of baseball. In fact, I was once told by a Cardinals and a Sox fan that C-U-B-S stood for “Completely Useless By September.” Not this September.

Allow me to use the Chicago Cubs as a metaphor for the state of Illinois because I just see far too many similarities. I know what you’re thinking, “Leave it to a politician to make baseball political,” but I promise you there is a valid point to be made.

Let’s back up a bit. The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. That’s by far the longest drought in American baseball. After years of trying the same “strategies” for building a team, the Cubs became the laughingstock of Major League Baseball. Finally, the Cubs were purchased by a new family - the Ricketts - that wanted nothing more than to win. The new owners understood that a ground floor rebuild was necessary, and they fully committed to the rebuild.
This Sunday is the fifteenth anniversary of the horrendous attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. This day is now known as Patriot Day and is a National Day of Service and Remembrance for the victims. Even though much has changed in the world since that day let us not forget all those lost and their families.

Now, over the past couple of weeks I have been mulling over a topic that has been making headlines – an NFL quarterback has chosen to kneel for the National Anthem instead of standing up and putting his hand on his heart like the rest of his teammates. Why? The man points to what he perceives to be racial injustices within the judicial system.