It’s that time of the year … a time when the NFL Draft is over but training camp hasn’t yet started. In other words, it’s basically down time for most NFL fans. Sure, there are still some free agents out there, including Brian Urlacher, but you know what I mean. Therefore, this is as good a time as any to engage in some bar-room debate. Namely, which Chicago sports teams (among the four major sports) are the best ever?
Chicago is a great city — particularly in summer — but let’s face it, this is not exactly Title-town. If anything, it’s a title-starved town. Yet there have been exceptions, especially the Bulls run during the Michael Jordan era, as well as the occasional championships by the other sports teams. Well, except the Cubs, of course.
But before we eliminate them, did you know that the Cubs have been to more World Series than the White Sox? Hard to believe, but it’s true. And, the Sox have won just one more title. That said, the Cubs haven’t won a title in what has been a well-documented century-plus of losing. Meanwhile, the Sox won their last in 2005.
The Cubs have won two world championships, 10 pennants, and have made 16 playoff appearances. Coming into this season, their all-time record was 8642-8509. The Sox have three world championships, six pennants and nine playoff appearances. And that’s over two more seasons than the Cubs.
But not only have the Sox won a title in our lifetime, they own a lifetime record of 8804-8588, a bit better than the Cubs. And, the Sox even beat the Cubs in the 1906 Series.
So, the Sox have been better than the Cubs in baseball. But have they been better than the Blackhawks, Bulls or Bears?
Let’s start with the Hawks. They won a championship more recently than the Sox, having won the Cup in 2009-10. Despite starting 25 years later than the Sox, they have one more title — four Stanley Cups to be precise. You can’t really compare playoff experiences since the NHL lets in more teams, but the Hawks have 15 division championships.
However, the Hawks all-time winning percentage coming into this season was just .497, lower than either the Sox or the Cubs.
But before we decide what to make of that, let’s look at the Bulls. Yes, they’ve had, by far, the greatest run of success of all major Chicago sports franchises. Yet outside of that remarkable, albeit relatively brief, run they have no other titles.
Between 1991 and 1998, the Bulls won six titles. They have won their division nine times. In 47 seasons prior to this one, the Bulls have had a winning record 23 times. All time, they are 1975-1830, for a .519 win percentage.
It would be easy to say that the Bulls have been better than the Sox, but the Sox have played a lot more seasons and yet have a better regular season winning percentage. Yet there are those six titles for the Bulls.
It’s becoming clear that this is not going to be an easy task.
Now we go on to the Bears. A good portion of their best years occurred a long, long time ago. And they haven’t won a title since January, 1986.
But before the Super Bowl, there was the NFL Championship and that is where Da Bears shine. From 1921 to 1963, they won eight championships. Adding in the Super Bowl, that makes a Chicago-best nine titles. They also have a Chicago-best 18 division titles and 26 playoff appearances, second only to the Hawks.
Above all, the Bears have compiled a .576 winning percentage over their storied history.
Bottom line, you can see that this is not clear-cut, especially in a blog article. But I’ll say that the Bears stack up as well as any Chicago team. Thus, for the purposes of this piece, give me the Bears.
The Monsters of the Midway, indeed.
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Filed under: Interest