By Sam Zuba-
(CBS) 19 days…
Maybe the Mayans weren’t referring to the world when they predicted destruction in the year 2012 – maybe they were simply foreseeing the demise of the Chicago sports landscape.
Fortunately for those who have survived this brutal sporting year, only 19 days remain. Soon, we’ll flip the calendar – and hopefully our fortune – to see what’s waiting for us in 2013.
Here’s to hoping there’s less heartache and misery than we’ve become accustomed to…
Before we put this year to rest, let’s reflect on all we went through in 2012:
Ah, the Bears. This team has slapped you in the face twice this year.
The misery brought to us by the Bears technically extends into 2011, when Jay Cutler slipped, broke his thumb and simultaneously broke the hearts of those hoping for a Super Bowl in their lifetime.
This year’s Bears misery, however, began early on Jan. 1, when they marched to Minnesota and beat a depleted Vikings team, 17-13, in a game that did nothing more than secure a later pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Yay, Shea McClellin. (Side note: I was there when the Bears announced their first-round selection to the media, and I promise you I wasn’t the only one who thought “Who?” before racing to Google.)
Then came the actual 2012 season. What started off so promising – a 7-1 start with legitimate Super Bowl expectations – turned into a complete and total disaster. Marred by injuries to key players and seemingly a lack of preparation, the Bears have spiraled to an 8-5 record, with the playoffs now more a hope than a lock.
Even if this team limps into the playoffs via the Wild Card, you can expect a quick, painful exit.
Why, Derrick Rose, why?
You know the story: Game 1 of the Playoffs. Up by 12 points. 1:20 to play. Boom. Rose goes down. Torn ACL.
See ya later, NBA Finals. Samesies, 2012 season.
The road to recovery has been long, but by all accounts, Rose is recovering quite nicely and may even be ahead of schedule.
Still, the Bulls’ on-court product has been meaningless since April 28. GarPax has filled out the roster with guys who know how to play basketball, but don’t quite play it well.
It’s sort of like the Island of Misfit NBAers.
Marco Belinelli? Vladimir Radmanovic? Nate Robinson?
No, thanks. You can go ahead and keep that.
Wake me up when Rose is back.
All season long, we waited for the bottom to fall out.
And it did.
If there was an award for most days spent in first place without a playoff berth, the White Sox would be champions. That’s something to celebrate, I guess.
Behind rookie manager Robin Ventura, the White Sox spent 117 meaningless days in first place, only to lose that lead with eight games remaining.
Once the Tigers took sole possession of first place on Sept. 26, they never looked back as they cruised to the World Series.
Granted, Detroit was swept in four games by a superior San Francisco team, so maybe it’s a good thing.
No, probably not.
Admittedly, the Blackhawks haven’t been a total disappointment in 2012 – mainly because they haven’t been around all that much.
We did, however, get to witness the ever-exciting, nine-game losing streak to kick off February of 2012.
Despite suffering the franchise’s second-longest losing streak (two shy of the all-time record), the ‘Hawks did earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they were bounced in the first round by the Coyotes.
Remember when Marian Hossa was nearly decapitated by Raffi Torres? Good times.
Oh, yeah – the lockout!
Let’s not, and say we did.
Sam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com and 670TheScore.com. You can follow him on Twitter @SamZuba.