As a Chicago sports fan this past year has been very depressing. After losing the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at the end of the 2010-2011 season the Chicago Bears fans had high expectations going in to the 2011-2012 season. The Chicago Bears started the 2011-2012 season with a vengeance by going 7-3 for the first 10 games. During that 10th game against the San Diego Chargers Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, threw an interception then tried to tackle the defender from getting in the end zone and broke his thumb. With a broken thumb Cutler was forced to sit out the remainder of the year. Just two weeks after Cutler’s injury the Chicago Bears’ offense began to fall apart and then to make matters worse they lost Matt Forte to a sprained MCL during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Bears found themselves in a 2 game losing streak with just four games to go but a chance to still make the playoffs. The Bears would only win one game after losing the two key pieces of their offense, giving them a 8-8 record and missing the playoffs.
As a Chicago sports fan it is hard to believe that the Chicago Blackhawks jut won the Stanley Cup two year ago because they have now gone two years in a row exiting the playoffs. After struggling the entire 2011-2012 season with the power play and at one point going on a nine game losing streak many Blackhawks fans were becoming disgruntle. Soon has the Blackhawks broke the losing streak and started looking like a title contender the injury bug bit the Blackhawks. The captain, Jonathan Toews, suffered concussion-like symptoms and sat out the last 23 games of the season. Toews returned to the ice for the playoffs, where the Blackhawks were set to face the Phoenix Coyotes. In game three of the Blackhawks series against the Coyotes Marian Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher thanks to a violent hit he took from Raffi Torres. The Blackhawks lost the series in 6 games.
Last year the Chicago Bulls won 60+ games and went to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the Michael Jordan era. After such a great year for the Bulls expectations of a NBA Finals appearance were upon them in this 2011-2012 season. After one year as the Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau won the Coach Of the Year award because he coached a team with a hobbled front court, with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer suffering through various injuries, from being an eighth seed in the Eastern Conference to the number one seed overall in the NBA. During the extended off-season, due to the NBA lock-out, the Chicago Bulls signed veteran shooting guard Richard Hamilton to silence all analysts who were saying the Bulls are not getting past the Miami Heat unless they acquire a second scorer to compliment Derrick Rose. After a MVP award-winning season pressure was added on Derrick Rose’s shoulders to carry his team to win the first Chicago Bulls championship since Michael Jordan. All of that pressure made the 23 year old reigning MVP made him want drop his head and run through any and every team in his teams way of a championship. What Derrick Rose and numerous other basketball players forgot was that this season was a condensed 66 game season in just over 4 months when a normal season is 82 games through a little less than 7 months. This condensed season took away training camp, preseason games, rest, time for recovery, and practices that are essential for NBA players to stay healthy and in basketball shape. After suffering 4 injuries in the regular season, toe, ankle, back, groin that caused Derrick Rose to miss 27 games every Chicago Bulls fan was excited to see a somewhat healthy Derrick Rose in the playoffs. In the first game of the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers Derrick Rose was back and he was looking like he had not missed a beat. The Bulls were romping the 76ers up 20 points with 4 minutes to go but the 76ers were thinning that lead so Tom Thibodeau decided to put his star player back in the game and with a minute and 20 seconds left in the game the Bulls were up 12 points and Derrick Rose made his signature explosive leap into the lane and his knee buckled up and essentially tore his ACL. Derrick Rose will probably not be back in the NBA until mid-season in the 2012-2013 season. After Derrick Rose’s injury the Chicago Bulls’ confidence seemed to be nonexistent and soon as they gained some back in game three Joakim Noah sprained his ankle and the Bulls fell down 3-1 to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoff. As a die hard Bulls fan I believe they can climb their way out of that 3-1 hole and still win this series.