The Cubs and Sox tanked, Derrick Rose is out yet again, and the Bears are only a game above .500. Despite this mix of horror and mediocrity, Chicago fans should take solace this Thanksgiving…and be grateful for the good things.
Lord Stanley’s Cup
There are only so many championships to go around, so the fact that the Blackhawks currently defend one of the four major trophies (and the most iconic one at that) does compensate for the other, shall we say, lackluster Chicago sports teams. Currently leading the NHL in points, Patricks and Brandons, the Hawks must be considered favorites to be hoisting the Cup once again in 2014.
Caleb Hanie. Jason Campbell. Jonathan Quinn. These are but a few of the men that could be under center for the Bears with Jay Cutler sidelined. Instead, we have the unassuming former high school football coach and “best teammate ever” Josh McCown. While the coaching staff deserves plenty of credit, McCown has kept the playoffs in the picture by guiding the Bears to victories over Green Bay and Baltimore. Plus, he’s fun to watch and doesn’t pout too much.
Getting the flavor of a third world bathroom experience in Wrigley Field
It’s definitely an experience you won’t soon forget.
Patrick Kane’s work ethic
Nearly a third of the way through the season, the Hawks star is sixth in the league in goals, and eighth in points. He remains the elusive, dazzling player he was early in his career, but for the past year, Kane is known as much for his desire, hard work and even his burgeoning defensive skills as he is for his off-ice partying.
Beer sales at Wrigley
The team may not be great. Or good. Or even somewhere close to good. But the fact remains that alcohol can be purchased at Wrigley Field. That may not seem like a very big deal, but when you consider the alternative (being sober during an entire Cubs season), it’s definitely something to be thankful for.
A consistently mediocre / awful NFC North
The Bears have been decimated by injuries, especially on defense, a unit that is giving up roughly 1,000 yards per game on the ground. But at 6-5, the team is still very much in the picture thanks to the debacle that is the Minnesota Vikings franchise, a hilariously inconsistent Detroit Lions team, and Aaron Rodgers’ cracked collarbone. Even without any tiebreaker leverage, the Bears still have a shot at the postseason in the beleaguered NFC North.
Marc Trestman’s IQ
When head coach Lovie Smith departed, he did so as a man who led the team to the Super Bowl, put together the best defense (outside of perhaps Baltimore or Pittsburgh) over the last decade, and routinely managed the game with the mental acuity of someone who just washed down a handful of Ambien with a bottle of port wine. Enter Trestman, the professor from the north who spent much of his career being mentored by some of the NFL’s top offensive minds. While the defense has been horrific, the offense is finally clicking, the QB’s are efficient, and timeout management has gone from embarrassing to something just short of quantum physics. Overall, with the Bears injuries, a 6-5 record is miraculous.
Or maybe you’d rather have Miley Cyrus and the latest runner-up from The Voice sing the anthem? We didn’t think so. The combination of a powerhouse team and an equally powerful pregame tradition make for some of the best atmosphere in all of sports. And you never once have to cringe, ala the Cubs 7th inning stretch.
The Cardinals Didn’t Win The World Series
Well, they didn’t win it this year, anyway. And Cubs fans will take it!