I’m not sure anyone would have predicted how poorly all of the Chicago sports teams would do this year. It was just a few years ago that the Cubs were kicking butt, the BlackHawks had just won the Cup, and the Bears…still had a ways to go. They looked great last year though and seemed like they might be turning corner. Jump to now, and all of them are riding the struggle bus to say the least. I had a few thoughts on each of them, and figured why not put them down on the blog I haven’t used in over a year!
First up – the Bears.
What can you say about this season but OOF. The have a coach who refuses to give up the play calling and a quarterback who has regressed beyond any one’s expectations. I’ll own up to having been on the Trubisky hype train after last year. Not mention all the talk about the steps forward he had taken from the coach. That really blew up in a lot of people’s faces and an offense that score isn’t going to go very far. The one saving grace is that the defense, while not other worldly like last year, has still been solid and kept the Bears from getting completely torn apart.
Next up – the Cubs.
Last season was a complete grind to watch on TV. You never knew if you were going to watch the good team the Cubs had the potential to be, or the mess that never stood a chance. The two brightest spots were easily Nico Hoerner and Nick Castellanos, because they both provided a nice jolt into the team that helped make the Cubs fun to watch again. The team still has great players but most definitely needs a shake up, and some additional help. Unfortunately, I’m not sure either will come this off season. The Ricketts have already started putting the “we’re not going to spend big” message out there, and putting together a trade for a star player is never easy. At this point, I’m guessing the they make a few minor trades and sign a couple cheaper free agents, and ride the “Hope are current players get better” train all the way to next season.
Now, lets talk about the BlackHawks.
I had a decent amount of hope going into this season. Not the “THE HAWKS WILL WIN THE CUP!” hope, more of the “The Hawks will be a playoff team!” hope. That’s looking less and less likely though. Of the games I have watched this year, they’re just getting out played by most of the teams. They get beat to the puck constantly, and the shots they allow are ridiculous. The only thing that has kept them from getting blown out several times is the spectacular goal tending of Lehner and Crawford. Without those two, the goals allowed in a couple games would have been double digits. The best part of this season has easily been the young players making their way on to the team. Dach, Nylander, and Boqvist are fun to watch, even if you’re occasionally cringing at some of the mistakes they make. Along with Debrincat and Strome, they are the future of the BlackHawks, and it doesn’t look to bad. There is still some time for them to right the ship, and hopefully they do, but that window is closing quickly.
Finally, I’m going to mention the White Sox.
This is the team I know by far the least about, but also the team I feel like could be the best in the near future. They have several good young players that have made their MLB debuts, and some more on their way. Again, much like Cubs, I believe it will hing on if the ownership/front office is willing to spend some money and supplement the young-ins with some needed veteran players (them being good would help too). They seemed wiling to spend on Machado last year, so hopefully they take that money and spend it this off season. They kind of remind of me of the 2014 Cubs. – a good start but need that extra boost to really get going.
And there you have it. My thoughts on the state of Chicago Sports. Not that anyone asked for it.
P.S. I know these aren’t the only teams in Chicago (Fire, Sky, etc.), but the other ones I know absolutely nothing about, so wading into those topics would make no sense.