After the Cubs and White Sox ripped out our hearts, stomped on them and then spit on the remains, Chicago sports fans are healing, but bored. We were used to going through the ups and downs -- mostly downs -- with our teams. Every night, there was a game, and along with that game came food, drink and worried discussion. With them both out, what do we do now?
To begin with, realize that two other Chicago teams are beginning their seasons. The Bulls have a new coach who has the best hair since Johnny "Red" Kerr was roaming the sidelines. Vinny Del Negro has no coaching experience, but he is determined to make the NBA a fun experience for all the Bulls players. Guard Ben Gordon's contract whining, er, issues have finally been resolved, and he is once again, a Bull.
That's a good thing, as the team will need his 18 points per game in order to make any kind of run at the playoffs. The team starts their pre-season play on Thursday at the United Center against Dallas.
The Bulls' United Center roommate, the Blackhawks, have already begun preseason play. I have never experienced such preseason buzz around a team. But then, I've never seen excitement build around the death of an owner. As my mother would say, God bless, but the Blackhawks are much better without Bill Wirtz.
The hiring of former Cubs marketing whiz John McDonough has brought about common sense policies like televising games and offering affordable ticket packages. True fans can start planning just how you will layer for the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day. Check out the Blackhawks as they continue their pre-season schedule on Friday night in New York against the Rangers.
So take that, Cubs and Sox! We don't need you. We've moved on. Our relationship is over, at least until pitchers and catchers report.