Things are still looking frosty in the Windy City for Chicago sports


Sherwin Thomas, Copy Editor

When you walk through the streets of Chicago, there’s a certain atmosphere that you immediately grasp–the feeling of people’s immense pride in their city. While the same could be said for many of the larger metropolitan areas around the country, Chicagoans draw a distinct pleasure in the history of their home and the many different subgroups that make up that history. Of course, there is one big thing that always manages to connect people in an area wherever you go: sports.

Indeed, as the MLB season has drawn to a close, unfortunately with no flying W’s or crowds of red and blue gathering this year, and the NFL regular season begins to wind down–no blue and orange playoff games either–our eyes begins to drift towards the amazing storylines brewing within the NBA and NHL. Unfortunately, neither is exactly setting the Windy City on fire just yet, though that would be really nice during this brisk winter season. From a basketball standpoint the Bulls are … something. Excuse me, I need to check my thesaurus for synonyms of horrendous.

Abhorrent. The Bulls are absolutely abhorrent this year, and the worst part is that they’re performing exactly as I expected them to. I guess the silver lining is that, barring an extremely unlikely and unforeseen run of amazing basketball later this season, the Bulls are placing themselves in prime position to attain a top-five pick in next year’s draft where they can hopefully select a future superstar.

At the time of this writing, the Bulls are sitting at a not-so-pretty record of 10-20, which would be “good enough” for the second to worst record in the Eastern Conference and tied for the fourth worst in the entire NBA. Though the team is struggling, they are beginning to show signs of hope with some great play from Lauri Markkannen and Kris Dunn, two of the three players acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade over the summer, and are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. Zach LaVine, the third player included in the aforementioned trade who’s been out with his ACL injury from last season, is currently expecting to make his season debut sometime in January. Many are expecting him to inject some athleticism and promise into this young team.

On the college scene, Mizzou small forward Michael Porter Jr. underwent a back surgery which should have him out for likely the rest of the NCAA season. This is significant because Porter Jr. has been high up on many teams’ draft boards for the upcoming NBA draft. While many presumed Porter to be the consensus choice for the first pick next year, the injury creates a cloud of uncertainty around his future and certainly will create some confusion for the Bulls as to what direction they should take with their draft pick. Aside from Porter, a few other players who are looking like potential future NBA stars are Marvin Bagley III, Trae Young, DeAndre Ayton and Luka Doncic.

All in all, fans are getting what they expected out of the Bulls, but thanks to a loyal fanbase and budding talent, the team continues to lead the NBA in attendance for the ninth straight year since 2009 when they were second in attendance. Fun fact: Since 2001, the Bulls have only finished worse than first in annual fan attendance eight times, and five of those years saw them finish second with their “worst” year being 2002 when they finished ninth.


On the hockey front, things are still looking a little foggy for Chicago sports. Up to this point, the Blackhawks are having an average season sitting right in the middle at 16 in the latest NHL power rankings. With a record of 17-11-5, the Hawks have been struggling a bit as of late, but as the season progresses, fans are hoping that the Blackhawks, like a few of the other “contending” teams with a rocky start, will begin to return to their dominant form and carve out a path to what would be their fourth championship since 2010.

The 2016-2017 season saw the Hawks win 50 games before a heartbreaking first round loss to the Nashville Predators. Though they possessed the first seed in the playoffs, the team went on to become the first team in NHL or NBA history to be swept by the eight seed and lose the series 0-4. The team has been hoping to bounce back this season, but those goals have yet to come to fruition.

One of the major roadblocks that the team had incurred this year is of course the loss of their amazing goalie, Corey Crawford. Crawford was ailing from a lower-body injury and had been placed on injury reserve. Crawford has been one of the few bright spots in what’s been a unspectacular season thus far with countless saves and at times being the only thing keeping the team at a winning record.

Fortunately, Anton Forsberg did a relatively good job in his stead; however, the Hawks still were unable to find wins. Now that Crawford has returned, there’s hope that things are beginning to turn around. After being out since Nov. 30, upon his return, Crawford helped the Blackhawks turn a five-game losing streak into a five-game winning streak.

In other news, Patrick Kane continues to etch his name in Blackhawks history after passing Doug Wilson for the fifth most points in franchise history with 781. The team is currently second to last in the Central Division and they are hoping to knock off enough wins to get back into the playoff picture.

Did you know that in 1992, both the Bulls and Blackhawks, who shared Chicago Stadium and now United Center, were in their respective championship finals at the same time with the potential to be the first city in history to win the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup in the same year? Unfortunately, the Hawks were swept and those aspirations were quickly silenced. The Blackhawks have also led the league in attendance for nine years straight.


While Chicago isn’t currently looking at a lot of greatness in their city, there is still, as always, hope and pride in all the facets, athletic and otherwise, that make up the history of this great city.