It has not been a good 2019 for Chicago sports fans. Whether you like all four (not five, you can’t like the Cubs and White Sox) or just one, it has been rough. The Cubs and White Sox didn’t qualify for the MLB playoffs. The Blackhawks and Bulls were denied from their respective playoffs in 2019. The Bears are now Chicago’s only hope to bring its fans off the ledge, and well, get ready to jump.
There hasn’t been a calendar year in which all five Chicago teams missed the playoffs since 2004. It’s been a nice 15-year run, but that streak is surely coming to an end as Chicago sports fans are swimming in misery.
Since 2004, Chicago has surely seen a large amount of success. The White Sox reached the top of the baseball world in 2005 when they won the World Series. The Blackhawks dominated the hockey landscape in the first half of the 2010s when they won three Stanley Cups. And yes, the Cubs won the World Series in 2016.
The Bulls didn’t win any championships (shocker) in that time frame, but they did make the playoffs ten times. Chicago is a great and proud sports town. It hasn’t been the insane Boston-level of winning three championships a year, but it has been pretty damn good.
Let’s dive into all of the failures one team at a time. We’ll start with Chicago’s crown jewel, the Cubs. The North Siders entered 2019 with the highest hopes of any Chicago team. They had World Series aspirations. They certainly should have qualified for the playoffs and saved Chicago’s reputation. Nope.
Joe Maddon‘s club started the year off fine. Not as hot as the Cubs’ faithful would have liked, but they were positioned to make a run to the postseason. However, a nine-game September losing streak sunk the Cubs’ playoff ship, as they finished 84-78. It also resulted in Joe Maddon’s contract not being extended. Change is coming on the North Side after missing the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Let’s stick with baseball. How about the team offering up little no help to Chicago in its teams making the playoffs? Since 2004, the White Sox have made the playoffs a grand total of two times. Awesome.
2019 was another rough one for fans of Chicago’s South Side squad. After an absolute failure of an off-season, the Sox didn’t come close to the playoffs. There were bright signs for the future though. Tim Anderson won a batting title. Lucas Giolito had a resurgent season. Yoan Moncada looked like a future star. Eloy Jimenez hit 31 home runs. It wasn’t enough for 2019 tough, as the team finished 72-89 and missed the playoffs for the 11th straight season.
In the ’90s, the Chicago Bulls were not only the toast of Chicago, but they were also the toast of the entire sports world. After Michael Jordan‘s departure, not much success has come from the United Center’s basketball tenant.
Does anyone in the world have more job security than John Paxson? The simple answer is no. Paxson has effectively run the Bulls since 2003. In that time, the Bulls have won a grand total of one game past the second round of the playoffs. That definitely sounds like someone who should keep his job.
Paxson finally decided to actually rebuild a few years back. That was the right move after foolishly signing a washed-up Dwyane Wade in 2016. This team now has young talent. Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., and Zach LaVine couldn’t lead the team to the playoffs, however.
The Bulls finished an amazing 22-60 in 2019. That was good enough for 13th in the Eastern Conference. Almost made those playoffs, Pax. You’ll get ’em next time. Or you won’t. What do you care? Your job is for life, no matter what happens.
The hockey team used to make this city proud. The hockey team used to have the best coach in the NHL. Neither rings true anymore. The Blackhawks fired Joel Quenneville on November 6th, 2018, and things went on to spiral further out of control.
This Blackhawks team didn’t do much good. Their defense was atrocious. Their penalty kill made you want to do your own type of killing. The power play was powerless. Corey Crawford was injured. Jeremy Colliton, Quenneville’s
upgrade replacement, was in over his head. The Hawks finished with 84 points and missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season. But hey, John McDonough believes in Stan Bowman.
Well, we still have the Bears. Perhaps Chicago’s most-loved team gave us hope last season. After finishing 12-4 and making the playoffs in 2018, Bears fans were booking trips to Miami for the Super Bowl in February. Well Chicago, cancel those plans. The Bears suck again.
Their quarterback, the guy Ryan Pace drafted ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, is god-awful. The reigning NFL Coach of the Year, Matt Nagy, looks lost. The defense has regressed, most likely because they are forced to play three-fourths of every game.
The Bears currently sit at 3-5 entering week ten. If they are going to make the playoffs, the beloved would likely need to finish the season 7-1. Anyone who has a brain (sit this one out Mitchell Trubisky) knows that simply is not happening. The Bears playoff chances might as well sit at zero.
So here we are Chicago. Everything is doom and gloom. Everyone sucks. Playoff baseball? Never heard of her. Playoff basketball? LOL. The Stanley Cup Playoffs used to be fun. Jeremy Colliton is not your source for fun. The NFL playoffs were a one-time deal for Chicago. Those have doinked far away.
We here at On Tap enjoy beverages of the alcoholic type. So have a beer, this has been an agonizing year. You’ll want to pair that with something stronger because, well, you’ll need it. Sports suck, yet we keep pulling ourselves up to get hurt all over again. 2019, we’ll try our best to forget you. However, you will surely go down as one of Chicago’s worst years ever.
Featured Photo: The Daily Herald