CHICAGO, January 8, 2013 – Chicago sports fans looked at 2012 as a fantastic opportunity to collect some championships towards the end of the previous year. Derrick Rose was coming back, Jay Cutler was playing well, the White Sox had a promising roster, and the Blackhawks were always good.
What followed was the most tragically disappointing season for any team in sports history.
First, the start of 2012 saw the Bears without a playoff spot after beginning the 2011 season 7-3. Jay Cutler suffered a controversial injury for the second straight year and the forever-loyal Bears fans watched Mr. Caleb Hanie captain the team into oblivion. Though he looked like a promising young quarterback in the NFC Championship Game the previous year, Hanie became incompetent and overmatched. Chicago backed into 2012 on a low note, and it didn’t get much better.
The Bulls were a promising team, once again heading into the playoffs of 2012. Derrick Rose was finally back after a series of minor injuries, and the Bench mob was wreaking havoc on teams often enough to get the Bulls the top overall seed in the playoffs. The Bulls even picked up veteran shooter Rip Hamilton to replace the useless Keith Bogans in the starting lineup and looked primed to challenge the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals again.
So what happens? Rose rips his knee in half. Hamilton offers limited help and the Bulls become the second top seed to lose in the first round in a best-of-seven format. Ever. The bench mob is then disbanded over the course of the offseason, as ownership doesn’t feel like paying to keep the best bench in the league intact.
After this spring tragedy, Chicago fans turned to baseball to lift their spirits. The Cubs were terrible, as always, but the White Sox were providing fans with unexpected hope. A three-game lead with only a handful of games to go only led to more aggravation, as the Sox’s bats cooled to an arctic level and their pitching arms became limp noodles; the Sox finished three games behind the division champion Detroit Tigers.
This would normally be the time of year when the Blackhawks would be starting a new season, a team with a consistent record of success that is unmatched in the city. However, the Blackhawks slept through the last year’s playoffs and the NHL barely allowed a 2012 season to exist. It took so long to hammer out a collective bargaining agreement that the 2012 season didn’t actually have a single game in 2012.
The Bears would seem to allow some reprieve from this tailspin in the 2012 season by starting an impressive 7-1, but lo and behold, Wild Card Weekend just passed and the Bears were nowhere to be found. A second late-season collapse in as many seasons even cost a 10-6 coach his job.
This city has just had enough.
To contact Nick Goralka, see above to send him an e-mail containing a question, comment, or scathing insult. His work appears in Alley-oops for Touchdowns! and That Liberal Pinko in the Communities at the Washington Times Online.
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