Known as the Windy City, Chicago is home to some of the greatest sports fans in the world. But Chicago isn’t your normal sports city. The success of the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox means everything to those who call the Chicagoland area their home. The passion the residents of the Windy City feel for their teams is unmatched and hard to understand unless you are from Illinois yourself.
With the Bears 2012-2013 season leaving fans sick to their stomachs, and the Cubs and White Sox still about a month from Opening Day, most Chicagoans have switched their focus to the Blackhawks and Bulls.
Chicago sports fans dedication to their teams has shown this winter, with both the Blackhawks and Bulls leading their respective leagues in attendance. Both playing their home games at the United Center, the Blackhawks and Bulls are arguably the top two beloved teams in the “The Second City”. However, the tales of both these clubs current seasons are completely different.
The Blackhawks are the story of the NHL this year. Riding a 22-game point streak, the “Hawks”, as just about all Chicagoans refer to them as, seem to be unbeatable in regulation. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks took the city by storm. Their 2013 point steak, which White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko called “more impressive” than the Sox 2005 playoff run, has once again captured the attention of all Chicagoans.
And than there’s the Bulls.
When Bulls guard Derrick Rose tore his ACL last spring, the whole city seemingly went into a depression. Unfortunately, that depression remains. Rose, who most thought would be back by now, has yet to play this season. There have been signs of a near return, but Bulls fans are still stuck wondering if their MVP will play at all this year. Although the Bulls still remain a playoff team without their star point guard, their chances of any kind of run at a NBA Championship rely on Rose returning.
A diehard Chicago sports fan myself, I thank God we have our Blackhawks right now. Their unbelievable 2013 success is saving a city of avid Bulls fans from sports suicide. If it wasn’t for the Blackhawks putting together a NHL record breaking point streak to start a season, Rose still being absent from the Bulls would have a much greater negative impact to Chicago sports fans’ psyche.
Don’t get me wrong, the Bulls struggles and Rose not being healthy enough to play yet still affects Chicagoans massively. Every Bulls loss still brings epic frustration. However, the three periods of Blackhawks hockey each Chicago sports fan is blessed with just about every other day, is starting to become a lifesaver.
As of right now, Rose remains out, the Blackhawks keep winning and Chicago sports fans continue to wear their loyalties for their teams on their sleeve. Rose not being on the court and the Blackhawks refusing to lose in regulation are bound to come to an end at some point. However, Chicago sports fans will never lose their devotion for their teams.
A dark cloud formed over the Windy City when Rose went down. And although this dark cloud remains, the Blackhawks have given the city of Chicago some much-needed sun light.
Matt Malecha is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha.