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Sports Saturday

This You Gotta See: Bears-Rams, Illinois-Iowa and Jimmy Butler’s latest ‘first’ against Bulls

Butler lost by one point in his first visit to the United Center in a Timberwolves uniform. He lost by one point in his first visit to the UC in a 76ers uniform. He’s back Friday for his first visit to the UC in a Heat uniform. Do you see where we’re going with this?

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks
Well, well, look who’s coming back to town.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

SUN 17

Bears at Rams (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5): The Bears looked like world beaters during last season’s 15-6 squashing of the red-hot Rams — then a sparkling, Super Bowl-bound 11-1 — and their fancy-pants offense. Now? We’ve got two disappointing teams that are in all-out survival mode. Come to think of it, that could make for some high drama. Angst! Tension! Hut! Hike!

MON 18

Bucks at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH): Does it really have to be so complicated for Jim Boylen and his wet-behind-the-ears squad? Just hang around until the fourth quarter and then tell Coby White to do that thing where he makes so many three-pointers, it leads “SportsCenter.”

Chiefs at Chargers (7:15 p.m., ESPN): A mismatch? Think again. The Chargers are only 4-6, but their losses have come by a puny average of 4.8 points. And you know what? That number would’ve been even lower if only Matt Nagy and Eddy Pineiro … oh, never mind.

TUE 19

Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois (6:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU): It hasn’t been a great debut season for NIU coach Thomas Hammock, but the Huskies have played in some nutty games and still have a shot at a .500 finish. And not to be overlooked, where the heck else are you going to find football on a Tuesday?

Hurricanes at Blackhawks (7:30 p.m., NBCSCH): Their first meeting this season was a hideous 4-0 display that marked the fourth straight loss for a Hawks team seemingly going nowhere. And speaking of which: Are the Hawks going anywhere?

THU 21

Colts at Texans (7:20 p.m., Fox-32, NFL Network): Boy, last Sunday’s Colts loss at home to the awful Dolphins sure was a stinker. The only way Frank Reich and company can erase the stench of that one is with the very upset they need if they’re going to have a chance to unseat Houston in the AFC South. (What, you were expecting a crack about the Bears drafting Mitch Trubisky instead of Deshaun Watson?)

FRI 22

Heat at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH): Jimmy Butler lost by one point in his first visit to the United Center in a Timberwolves uniform. He lost again by one point in his first visit to the UC in a 76ers uniform. Do you see where we’re going with this? That’s right, Heat by 30.

SAT 23

Illinois at Iowa (11 a.m., BTN): You want to doubt Lovie Smith’s Illini? Yeah, well, take a number, pal. A win here would be the surging Illini’s fifth in a row, all against Big Ten opponents. Are we allowed to call Rutgers a Big Ten opponent?

Penn State at Ohio State (11 a.m., Fox-32): It could’ve been one of the two or three biggest games of the year in college football. Instead, in the wake of the Nittany Lions’ Week 11 loss at Minnesota, it’s one of the two or three biggest games of the year in the Big Ten. That’s not so bad, is it?