It's been tough being a Chicagoan in recent years.
You can't pick up the paper or turn on the TV without hearing about violence, controversial parking meter deals, heartbreaking school closings or the latest politician who got indicted. Even an HBO show nicknamed our city "Chi-raq."
Other than those current events, the sports headlines were dominated by when Derrick Rose was coming back (of course, we're still waiting) and the Blackhawks' record-setting points streak.
Since the Bulls and now the Blackhawks ended their seasons. Let's take a few minutes to appreciate their achievements and the events that have influenced our city in this year. One team fought insurmountable odds and went down only after a valiant effort. The other faced adversity as well before winning it all. Judging from social media, Chicago is proud of both teams, as it should be.
Both teams represented our city well. Nate Robinson, Jonathan Toews, Joakim Noah and Patrick Kane, to name a few, gave us plenty to cheer about this year despite all the awful things that have plagued our city.
Most fans may not know what a forecheck or icing is. All they know is having a winning team or two can jump-start civic pride. The two to three hours spent watching a game can take someone away from their day-to-day problems.
Maybe some kid who family has a hard time making ends meet is inspired by watching Corey Crawford make save after save. Or someone who got laid off from their job and didn't know what to do next enjoyed Noah give gutsy performances despite having plantar fasciitis.
Both teams took on the identity of the city. The Bulls were without their best player but pushed further than many thought, despite the odds. We Chicagoans know all about that.
The Blackhawks were down a goal late in Game 6. Like most Chicagoans, they stayed the course and found a way to get it done with two goals in 17 seconds.
We like a winner just like anywhere else. But here in Chicago, it means a little bit more.
Evan F. Moore is a RedEye special contributor. @evanfmoore
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