Good morning, Chicago!
Yes, the newsletter is coming at you a day late. I’ll be honest: I had written about half of a column tearing my hair out over the Bulls on Sunday night and just couldn’t bring myself to send it out to you. Everyone’s already anxious enough with the coming holidays and impending blizzard, why keep piling on?
That said, if you want some self-flagellation about our 11-18 basketball team, there’s the usually-optimistic Big Dave losing his mind and Mark K. finally calling for a rebuild after the Bulls’ embarrassing loss to Minnesota.
And look, there are not a lot of ways to positively spin a Chicago sports scene that disappointed again and again in 2022 and is currently experiencing a collective 18-game losing streak among the three in-season teams.
But I’m otherwise in the holiday spirit and trying to maintain an even keel of good cheer.
For Chicago sports fans, getting to that point rests on two facts.
- Justin Fields is our quarterback.
- It can’t get any worse than this … probably.
Every championship video needs an opening sequence of the bad times. And there’s a chance 2022 could be that starting point for our teams. If we look back on this year fondly, it may be for the Bears finally getting a quarterback, the Blackhawks tanking for a generational player in Connor Bedard, the Cubs moving along some high-end prospects while building up the middle and the White Sox being freed from the second Tony La Russa era and moving on to a bounceback season in 2023.
(Sorry Bulls, I’m not quite ready to see the positives in your latest meltdown just yet.)
But we know all about hope in Chicago. We’ve endured 108-year droughts and lousy ownership to enjoy the careers of Michael Jordan, Walter Payton and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. It’s why we’re still showing up to games and getting into our feelings over the crummy seasons. It’s why a guy like Paul “The Road Warrior” Zywicki attends 400 straight Bears games home and away in search of being at the Bears’ next Super Bowl date.
So as we head toward 2023, let’s hope this year is only the precursor to something much bigger and better. Something that will make us feel like watching our team this past year has been worth it.
One note: This is the final issue of the CHGO Newsletter for 2022. I appreciate you allowing me in your inbox every week and I really appreciate your support of CHGO in our first year. Have a great holiday and I’ll see you back here in January.
The perfect gift for the Diehard in your life
The Week Ahead
• Short week for the Bears, who are lined up for their eighth straight loss with the Bills coming to Soldier Field for a Christmas Eve date on Saturday. Sunday’s 25-20 loss to Philadelphia put the team back into the second spot in next April’s NFL draft.
• Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews played in their 1,000th game together on Sunday night, the 11th set of NHL teammates to do so. They can add to that total this week with the Blackhawks‘ home dates against Nashville (Wednesday) and Columbus (Friday). The team has lost seven straight games.
• The Bulls are on a four-game losing streak and will try to reverse their vibes in Miami tonight. Revenge opportunities against Atlanta (Wednesday) and New York (Friday) are on the horizon.