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Blackhawks and Blago facing opposite odds
By Chuck Goudie | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 6/14/2010 12:04 AM | Updated: 6/14/2010 10:37 AM

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LAS VEGAS - When the Blackhawks lost a couple of games during their Stanley Cup Finals series, the oddsmakers here didn't blink an eye.

The Hawks were 3-1 favorites against Philadelphia and didn't disappoint.

Depending on who they re-sign and how the goalie situation works out, they should be formidable favorites to repeat.

ODDS ARE: In this city where you can wager on the outcome of just about anything, history puts the odds 3-2 against Rod Blagojevich winning his case.

Five Illinois governors have been prosecuted for crimes alleged either in or after they held top office. Otto Kerner, Dan Walker and George Ryan were convicted. Len Small and Bill Stratton were acquitted.

UNDER THEIR NOSES: Almost 1,000 of the world's top investigative reporters missed a great story during last weekend's annual conference which I attended. Just a few miles from the Paris hotel in Las Vegas, the site of the convention, a home has just gone on the market described as the "most infamous mobster house in Sin City history."

It was owned by the late sports handicapper Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, a hoodlum deployed by the Chicago mob in the late '60s to oversee Vegas gambling rackets.

His home overlooks Las Vegas Country Club and is equipped "with many of Rosenthal's original personal touches, including bulletproof doors, secret compartments, gold-plated sinks and smoked-mirror ceilings."

The current owner is reportedly connected to Tony "Ant" Spilotro, the ruthless gangster who met his demise in an Indiana cornfield.

The movie "Casino" was based on Rosenthal's life. The house is listed for $725,000 and "has the feel of a 1970s Vegas mafia nightclub" listing agent Aaron Auxier told the International Property Journal.

"There is so much history attached to this property-and much of it is written in blood," he said.

Presumably, the carpets have been shampooed.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Worst place to try to watch the Hawks win the Stanley Cup? Almost any bar in Missouri, even though Illinois shares some of its border.

After listening to Game 6 on the radio, we arrived in Missouri for a family trip just before the historic overtime period was starting. Walking into a sports bar, all the TV's were tuned to the Cardinal's baseball game. The Stanley Cup game hadn't been on all night.

When my wife asked a manager to please switch just one TV to the Hawk's game because it was going into OT, he said "I'll have to ask the customers. Is the Cardinal's game almost over?"

So much for Missouri living up to its nickname of the "Show-Me State."

OFF THE ROAD AGAIN: How many cars have to run up on the northwest corner sidewalk at Randolph and Dearborn in downtown Chicago before the city fixes what is wrong? There needs to be some speed enforcement. Vehicles drive way too fast on both streets. And here's a novel thought: maybe the city "traffic aides" could spend more time in the intersection directing the flow and less time on the corners talking on cell phones.

SPEAKING OF PHONES: The slowest job on Earth may be that of a telephone installer on any college campus. After decades of almost every dorm room having a hard-line phone, now students all have cell phones and don't want something they never use.

For a few years, college administrators say nervous parents would pay for the wall phones to track their student-away-from-home. But now even they have succumbed to "progress."

Now only if technology would enable parents to send an escalating charge of electricity via cell phone - until the sweet kiddies answer.

A QUESTION FOR TODAY: If British "BP" Petroleum was still the American "Amoco" Oil Company, do you think they might care a little bit more about fouling up our coastline?

A QUESTION FOR YESTERDAY: If Chicago-based Amoco had done to Britain's White Cliffs of Dover what BP has done to the Gulf coast, would we have dropped the bloody ball?

A QUESTION FOR TOMORROW: If the news media are held in such low esteem, according to public opinion polls, why is it that everyone wants to be a journalist these days? From bloggers and YouTubers to CNN I-reporters, it seems as though millions of novice writers and photogs are trying to be content providers.

As someone who has been employed in the field for 38 years, let me offer this observation concerning what is news:

Bad decisions make good stories.

Just ask Milorad Blagojevich.

A QUESTION FOR THE AGES: How do you turn 30 years of work into 8½ minutes?

That is what ABC 7 News Editor Annie Esp managed to do in her humbling video time capsule of your columnist's TV work in Chicago. At the very least it proves that I wasn't born with gray hair.

The unmerited tribute is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1w8B1tcx_M

• Chuck Goudie, whose column appears each Monday, is the chief investigative reporter at ABC 7 News in Chicago. The views in this column are his own and not those of WLS-TV. He can be reached by e-mail at chuckgoudie@gmail.com and followed at twitter.com/ChuckGoudie