Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents while looking for work. No, they're working fine jobs in the city ... and living at home with their parents.
Spencer was born in DeKalb, Ill., went to high school in Arizona then returned to the Midwest and graduated from Illinois State University. He then spent some time searching for the lost city of Z in the Amazon (no luck, but contracted a nasty rash) before scaling Mt. Everest with a sherpa named Vicki (did not reach summit, ate too much beef jerky the night before).
When Spencer is not covering sports, watching sports or writing about sports, he's busy trying to keep his manhood about him while living with five females -- his wife and four daughters. The family has lived in Oak Park since 2002.
Spencer's loyalties reside with the Cubs, the Bulls, the Bears, Illinois State and Indiana men's basketball, Penn State football and Coors Light.
An accident that involved a fire hydrant and a loose bicycle chain when he was 8 years old prevents Spencer from remembering sports statistics, so don't ask him how many home runs Jody Davis, the man with the grandslam bat, hit -- Google it.
We all can. You can. I can. LeBron James can. We all can go home again. A lot has been made about the man's decision to return to Cleveland, the place he left for the glitz and glamour of Miami and the opportunity to win an NBA title.
Tricia Liston is now among the elite. Well, she always was among the elite really, but now it's official. She joins special athletes hailing from this community like Iman Shumpert, Eric Kumerow, Emery Lehman, Dani Tyler, Ellis Coleman, Becky Wilczak, Kenneth Sitzberger and others who have reached the pinnacle of their sport.