Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's "Phantom Goal" that clinched the Stanley Cup in Game Six will be etched in the memories of Chicago sports fans for decades to come, spawning casual bar talk among fans for a long time about how exactly a 49-year championship drought was ended.
It can be argued that this clinching goal is unmatched in the Chicago sports landscape among the city's other championships. The other titles won in the city had signature moments, but nothing in the form of putting the stamp on a series and season like Kane's "chop shot" through Michael Leighton's five hole.
The most recent comparison of championship-winning moments is the Chicago White Sox World Series title five years ago. This was a team that won without struggle for the most part during the regular season, going "coast-to-coast," staying in first place from beginning to end.
Like the Blackhawks, the White Sox playoff run provided memorable moments. "El Duque" Orlando Hernandez's bases loaded performance in Boston, or Joe Crede's drive to the wall in the ALCS against the Angels, are notable examples.
But, in terms of the clinching moment (shortstop Juan Uribe threw out a runner at first to complete the sweep), it does not match the suddenness and gravitas of the Kane goal.
In a commanding sweep over the Astros, the White Sox had the Game Two thriller when Paul Konerko hit a game-changing grand slam. Also in that game, Scott Podsednik, who is unknown for his power, hit a game-winning home run to right center field. That homer had the shock factor that could be felt like the Kane goal, as it left many thinking, "Did that really just happen?"
We also have the Bulls dynasty. The first title against Magic's Lakers did not have a game-winning shot, but its defining moment was, as announcer Marv Albert described it, "a spectacular move by Michael Jordan."
The second title against the Portland Trail Blazers again did not have the clinching moment at the end, but the comeback from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to win Game Six should give this title win some love.
The first three-peat series winner against the Charles Barkley-lead Suns did include a moment that many fans can compare with the Kane goal. John Paxson's three pointer to win the title with three seconds left perhaps would be even with Kane's goal had it been the first title win for the Bulls, but still it may be a close second.
The fourth championship winner against the Sonics came without struggle as Seattle was outmatched.
The fifth title had Steve Kerr's shot, which was not as intense as the Paxson shot because the Jazz still had enough time to get down the court to try to force a Game Seven before being stopped by Scottie Pippen.
The sixth and final championship won by the Bulls has the iconic "push off" shot that forever will be linked with Jazz guard Byron Russell. MJ hit the shot, and for many it was thought to be the last image people would see of Michael playing professional basketball. And then the Wizards years came...
Before these titles there was the Da' Bears destruction of teams in the 1985 playoffs, and the rout of the Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The signature moment involved beloved sideshow defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry taking the ball in for a touchdown.
This is not an endearing or captivating moment for Chicago sports fans, as everyone who saw that game wanted Walton Payton to get that touchdown after being part of many bad Bears teams.
And, of course, the clinching moment for the Cubs in 1908 cannot be forgotten. However, this series against the Tigers was considered to be as anti-climatic as it could be with the Cubs winning the series in Detroit in Game Five with a groundout to the catcher.
This game even has the dubious honor of having the lowest attendance in World Series history. However, if the Cubs happen to win it all someday, I think that moment, no matter how it happens, would most likely get consideration.
So, after discussing these title-clinching moments, I have come to the conclusion that nothing can really match the impact of a drought-killing overtime goal as seen on June 9th, 2010.
There have been moments that have come close to Kane's finish, but nothing beats it.
No. 5 Fridge takes it in (Super Bowl XX)
No. 4 John Paxson's three-pointer (1993 NBA Finals)
No. 3 Juan Uribe to Konerko (2005 World Series)
No. 2 MJ clinches sixth title (1998 NBA Finals)
No. 1 Patrick Kane scores his way to the Stanley Cup (2010 Stanley Cup Finals)
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