As we approach Thanksgiving, it's time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for and sports is no different. Chicago fans have plenty to look forward to and we should all count our blessings even as we want more wins and championships.
Blackhawks fans you have the most to be thankful for. The core group of players led by Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane has now produced three Stanley Cup wins in six seasons. As long as the Hawks keep their core group of players, head coach Joel Quenneville and front office staff, the team may not win it every year but they have a very good shot.
The Cubs have an emerging group of young talent who took them all the way to the NLCS. While Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell might get the average fan excited, those paying close attention know it's manager Joe Maddon who's really keeping this ship on the right path. Remember the day the Cubs landed Maddon from Tampa Bay? It should be a national holiday for Cubs fans.In a sport where young talent doesn't always mean success (just ask the Nationals) it's Maddon's unique managerial-style bringing optimism and hope to a franchise looking to win their first World Series since 1908.
Don't take time to dwell on Derrick Rose's injury past. Instead, focus on Jimmy Butler and the Bulls' overall success over the past five seasons. Even when Rose was out, the Bulls have managed to be an exciting team who have made the playoffs and gave the city something to be proud of. Going forward, Butler looks to be a budding star in the league and the Bulls have another shot at a title run this year. It could be worse, we all could be rooting for the 76'ers.
Things were rough during the Marc Trestman and Phil Emery era but general manager Ryan Pace has the Bears on the right path. He's found success in his first draft, made some solid free agent signings and hired a competent coaching staff. In the NFL, you may be down but it doesn't take long to get back up and the Bears have a real shot at competing for a playoff spot in 2016. Pace should have full trust from the fans because he look's like the real deal who's poised to turn things around.
Do the White Sox fans have something going for them more than bacon on a stick at The Cell? Yes things are bleak on the south side right now but Chris Sale and Jose Abreu are still exciting players. There's a lot of pride in Sox fans so this can't be easy to not only see the team struggle but also watch the Cubs emerge as one of the best teams in baseball. Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn have a tough task ahead of them and Sox fans are losing confidence. For now, just be thankful the Miller Lite is cold and the food is amazing at the ballpark. Hopefully 2016 will treat the fan base better than what the last few years have.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Chicago. Eat a ton of great food, spend some time with your loved ones and drink plenty of wine or your favorite adult beverage. You may need a few drinks in your system by the time the Bears play the Packers.