David Schuster and the Evolution of Chicago Sports

Many would envy the experience David Schuster has had in his near-three-decade-long career covering Chicago sports. He’s witnessed NBA Championships, a World Series and a Stanley Cup. He’s met and interviewed almost every big-time Chicago athlete in recent history. Most of all, he’s experienced firsthand what makes the Chicago sports landscape so vivacious and special.

Schuster, who has been with CBS for ten years, isn’t shy to say that Chicago is the best sports city in the world. Fans are incredibly passionate, though not necessarily more so than any other city. Chicago sports fans have their own kind of passion, a certain dedication to the teams and athletes themselves. Loyalty, though, is very strong in Chicago – just ask Cubs and Sox fans.

Naturally, what Schuster enjoys most about his job is the opportunity to witness major moments in Chicago sports and experience that passion firsthand.

“I’m on the front lines of history every day, covering sports that a lot of people would like to be at themselves,” he said.

That history includes seven no hitters, two perfect games, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, six NBA Championships, a World Series and a Stanley Cup, to name a few.

Of course, those events wouldn’t be possible without the athletes and Schuster has spoken with his fair share.

Over the years, some of Schuster’s favorite athletes to interview include Ryan Dempster, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jonathon Toews and Mark Buehrle, all for different reasons. Walter Payton was another, as he always played jokes on his teammates and reporters. Obviously, a big highlight was covering Michael Jordan’s entire career.

“He’s the greatest athlete I’ll ever hope to be around,” Schuster said of Jordan. “Every time he did something in a game, he astounded not only me, but everybody. He’s the best that will every play basketball probably.”

Like Jordan, some of Chicago’s best athletes have come and gone, but Schuster believes today’s athletes do have a few advantages. For one, athletes today are more technologically savvy. They often use social media to communicate with fans and bridge the gap between them. While that can sometimes get athletes into trouble, most use it to their benefit. Also, the technology we have today helps increase athlete performance.

“Athletes are obviously better [today],” Schuster said. “The reality is that the athletes of today’s era, every era, are better. I think the great athletes of yesterday still would perform at the same level of today, but I just think overall…the athlete is better because there are just so many technological advances for the athlete to be better.”

Overall, Schuster thinks Chicago sports teams are headed in the right direction.

While the White Sox are showing promise, the Cubs have nowhere to go but up. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer aren’t doing anything anyone else wouldn’t do in gutting the organization. Schuster thinks the Cubs will be contenders in five years when they bring up all the young guys from Iowa. However, they need pitching badly and all their good prospects will be a waste without it.

As for the Bulls, Schuster says that Derrick Rose’s injury has pushed the organization back two years and they’re going to have to bring in a new generation of players. They’re going to have to turn over the organization by the time Rose is healthy to contend for a championship and Schuster isn’t sure Marquis Teague fit into the equation.

However, there may be some hope for the city in the Bears after their disastrous collapse last season following Jay Cutler’s injury. If the defense can hold on one more year and Forte can perfect his running/passing attack, the team could easily be contenders for a title.

If fate swings in favor of those passionate Chicago sports fans, Schuster will hopefully add a few more championships to his resume in the very near future.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University, David Schuster is a Chicago native. After working for a few national entities, he found his way to ESPN and then CBS. Now, Schuster is CBS’s main sports reporter in the field, covering all sporting events and press conferences, and is also involved in WSCR radio. He also has partial ownership in Real Urban BBQ, a restaurant located in Highland Park and Vernon Hills (coming soon).

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