Bears, Hawks and Now the Bulls-Crushed By Injuries
Cutler went down and was out. Broke his thumb, had it surgically repaired, was a maybe for the postseason, as we all believed the post season was inevitable. Then Caleb Hanie came in-and stunk. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get anything done. But at least we had Matt Forte still running the ball. And Urlacher knocking people down. Until Forte was out-sprained MCL. And Urlacher was out. Then Johnny Knox got decked and was carried off the field on a stretcher. Kind of like how the Bears season ended-ugly, discombobulated, confused and done. Lost their leaders, lost the chance to play in the playoffs.
The Blackhawks then became the sport of the moment. Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp-playing well, looking like a playoff bound team. Not the Championship team of a few years ago-but a good team with a definite chance to make a run in the playoffs. Then Toews is out with an "upper body injury". For awhile. Finally, its identified as concussive symptoms and the Hawks do not have their leader, Captain Serious out on the ice. But they continue to fight and earn the 6th seed in the playoffs.
They are competing, until the hit. Even if you don't watch hockey, you know about the hit. Marian Hossa hit by Raffi Torres was something like I've never seen. Absolutely one of the most devastating blows I have ever witnessed. Hoping Hossa comes back to play hockey again-ever. The Hawks just didn't have the power at goal or the offensive power to pull through and lost in the first round. It was a painful series in so many ways-but the loss of their leader for such a large chunk of the season played a huge role in their inability to pull it altogether.
Finally, last night we witnessed the culmination of a Bulls season that was for naught. D Rose was never really healthy this season-but everyone, especially his teammates believed he would be for the playoffs. To watch him go down, with such a devastating injury in Game 1 against the 76ers was the camel that broke the camel's back this season. All season, there really wasn't one other player who had stepped up to be the leader. They had all played their roles but no one had really taken on a leadership role in D Rose's absence. Except maybe Joakim Noah. And then Noah went down with an ankle injury that appeared to be incredibly painful-and based on his inability to run the court proved to be just that.
The Bulls had a lot of role players, but no one that stepped up and took over-as their leader. Without D Rose on the floor, showing them the way to victory, the ball bounced off the rim, into Igoudala's hands and there went the Bulls season. And while I certainly thought they had a shot to beat the 76ers, maybe this is for the best. The walking wounded Bulls, including D Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Rip Hamilton and whatever other injuries are out there-it's finally over. And we don't have to watch this team in great pain anymore.
Chicago sports stars have been put through the ringer this season. And we have believed, and gone along for the ride, only to be crushed by this rash of injuries and losses. At least this summer, there really are no expectations for the Cubs or the White Sox. Can't be crushed if they're not even in it anyway.