With the end of the year approaching, it came to me that when looking at the big four leagues, NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, I cannot name ONE legit superstar on any of our teams. In a city where superstars reigned supreme at the end of the 20th century, there has not been a legit sports figure since Sammy corked his bat for the Cubbies in 2003. A look at this year's sports teams:
To begin with, the team that is in the most dire need for a legit superstar is the beloved Cubbies. Even with all of the high priced players on the Cubs, there is really no face of the franchise. There highest paid player, Alfonso Soriano, granted, plays almost up to his high price tag, is in no way close to the face of the Cubs at this point.
The Cubs sent seven all-stars to the all-star game this year, and none of them would be worthy of the superstar tag. Along with Soriano, the Cubs sent Geovany Soto, Kosuke Fukodome, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano, and Aramis Ramirez.
Soto has the most potential of any of the current all-star invitees into superstardom, but its still too early to tell. Fukodome, well, he should not have been on the Cubs playoff roster, let alone the all-star game roster. Dempster had an excellent year, but he needs another few good years to be considered a star.
Wood has probably been the most popular face on the Cubs that last 10 years, but has been injured almost as much as he has played. Zambrano is probably the "best" player on the Cubs, and could probably double as a DH, but has never performed in the playoffs. Finally, Ramirez, like Zambrano, is also a star, but I don't think many people will consider him a superstar.
In order for the Cubs to break that 100 year curse, they can either bring in everybody that played on the Boston team that broke their curse, or bring in some more attention grabbing superstars that will take the attention off of winning and put it onto themselves. If only Sammy had been legit!
Next, we move over to the White Sox, who won in 2005 with a cast of stars. They haven't had anybody larger than life since Frank Thomas left. Unlike the Cubs though, who need a superstar, a lot of the attention during the year is taken off the Sox because in this city, the Cubbies grab all of the attention.
I love how GM Kenny Williams is constantly looking for deals to make his team better, and may have found a gem in Carlos Quentin last winter. Like Soto on the Cubs though, he is still unproven.
Moving on to the NFL, we have the Chicago Bears who are currently one win and a Minnesota loss to winning the NFC North and going to the playoffs. Outside of Chicago, there is probably only one player that regular person would identify the Bears with, and that is Brian Urlacher.
Urlacher has been a staple at the Pro-Bowl these last 10 years, and if you go to a Bears game, most people are wearing Urlacher jerseys. Urlacher is definitely on the decline this year though.
Devin Hester had the potential to be a superstar, but the Bears moved him to WR, making him about as star studded as any other second rate reciever in the league. I have no idea how they are in the spot they currently hold right now.
The biggest star on the Bulls right now is Derrick Rose, and he has played less than a half a season. There has not been an all-star on the Bulls since the Jordan era, and it will probably continue this year unless Rose picks up more votes.
The Blackhawks actually have two stars in the making in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, but the game of hockey still needs more publicity in Chicago before I would consider them superstars.
So, as of then end of the year, even though both the Cubs and Sox made the playoffs, the Bears are extremely close to making the playoffs, the Bulls are hovering around .500 and the Blackhawks are playing very well, there is really no legit superstar in Chicago at this point.
With a lot of up and coming rookies playing at the United Center though, hopefully with the enterance of an Illinois president, the rise of Chicago superstars will reign supreme over the next 10 years.