Patrick O’Connell, Intern
The prestige of Chicago sports is undeniable: the historic ’85 Bears and their shuffle into the hall of fame, the international phenomenon of the Jordan-era Bulls and the recent championship run made by the Blackhawks. One can argue, however, that despite its obvious presence in the sporting world, Chicago may be the hardest city to play for.
Take the most recent criticism that Bulls point guard Derrick Rose underwent for example. Prior to his injury in the April 2012 playoff game versus the 76ers, Rose was a true hometown hero. He epitomized overcoming obstacles to achieve the American dream. He demonstrated that growing up in an underprivileged community on Chicago’s south side is never a reason to not strive for success. Fast forward a year later to the 2013 playoffs when Rose received a lot of criticism from fans and the media as championship hopes began to diminish for his team while he sat on the sidelines.
As for the baseball woes of Chicago, we see this demonstrated by both the north and south side team fan base. Remember when the White Sox won the World Series in 2005? Average attendance rates of 24,437 fans in 2004 skyrocketed to an average attendance of 36,511 fans in 2006. As for the Cubs’ 2003 win in the National League Division Series and falter in the National League Championship Series, average attendance saw a slight increase from the 2002 average of 34,512 fans up to 39,138 average fans in 2004.
As the Cubs and White Sox continue to revamp their programs, Derrick Rose preps to make his return, the Blackhawks continue to familiarize Lord Stanley with the organization and its traditions, and the Bears make franchise moves to put together another shufflin’ crew we must tip our hats to the past, present and future athletes that find themselves in the Windy City. Chicago is a city like no other and one that holds tradition and superstition hand in hand. So whether it’s seeing red, having one goal, hoping for next year, or going all in, Chicago is a city of fair weathered fans with an unruly sporting climate.