If you were to ask a Chicago sports fan who’s on their Mt Rushmore of hated Chicago athletes, the most common responses would include Jay Cutler, Carlos Boozer and Alfonso Soriano. All three players entered this city with great promise and “love” from the fans, but currently walk around with a negative connotation. If Derrick Rose isn’t careful, he might be the fourth head to this dubious “Mt Rushmore.”
Just one year ago today, Rose was coming off an MVP season, leading the Bulls to the best record in the East. Gone were the questions of whether the Bulls would ever get another superstar. Derrick Rose was Chicago born and raised, the perfect guy to be the face of this city for a decade. You couldn’t go anywhere in the city without seeing someone wearing a D-Rose related item.
Then April 28th, 2012 happened, Derrick Rose tore his ACL. Depicted beautifully in an Adidas commercial, the whole city of Chicago stopped when this injury happened. You could feel all of Chicago ask themselves, “Why does this always have to happen to us?” Coming off of a freak Jay Cutler injury, the city couldn’t afford to lose another superstar.
But as the Adidas commercial continues, it shows Derrick pushing himself hard in the weight room and making his glorious return to the court. Only one problem with that picture, will that ever happen? Rose has now been cleared for over a month to return to action, but he continues to sit out. He’s been going through full contact practice, but refuses to suit up. The Bulls have grown aggravated over the past few months and have gone as far as to have several doctors tell Rose that he needs to get back on the court to complete the healing process. The only problem is, Rose continues to be stubborn, refusing to play until he’s 110%. Someone has to tell Derrick, he will never be 110% again.
Coming home today in the car, I tuned into 670 the Score to listen to hear fans thoughts of the potential hire of Chris Collins for Northwestern. Instead, callers were sharing their feelings about Derrick Rose. One caller went as far as to say anger crosses his mind whenever he hears the words Derrick Rose uttered. This wasn’t a single caller, many shared the same opinion. Who would have thought Derrick would have fallen to these kinds of levels in the city of Chicago.
You can put me firmly in the D-Rose fan club, but he’s getting very close to losing a lot of support in this city as every day passes. The Bulls have players like Joakim Noah and Luol Deng going out there every night at about 60%, giving it their all. This is a city that saw Michael Jordan go out and perform with a 100+ degree flu. This isn’t a city that puts up with pansies; it connects with the hard nose athletes who don’t let injuries get in the way of their game. Derrick isn’t a “pansy” by any means, but the longer he sits out, the closer he gets to that status.
Derrick hasn’t quite made it to “Jay Cutler level” of hatred, but the longer he misses games while he’s medically cleared, the closer he gets. Who would have thought a player who was so dearly loved by this city could fall so fast. But as with all athletes, once Derrick makes that first cross over and dunks on some bum, this will all be forgotten. But until then, he’s going to have to deal with the scrutiny, and he deserves every bit of it.
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