Because the Cubs don't get to keep the spotlight to themselves, here are the Top 5 Chicago sports stories from 2016 that have nothing to do with a certain baseball team that won the World Series.
1. Patrick Kane wins the Hart Trophy
We won't go so far as to say this was underplayed. That said, the magnitude of his achievement might have gotten a little lost in the shuffle. Not only is he the fifth Blackhawk to capture the award, he's also the first American-born player to win it, and this is an honor that has been handed out since the 1920s. Even without a deep playoff run, the Hawks can hang their hat on a number of awards and milestones, starting with this gem.
2. Who run the Olympics? Chicagoans
It wasn't just about those who brought home medals. While the city should be proud of the Conor Dwyers and the Elena Delle Donnes and the Morolake Akinosuns and the Thomas Jaeschkes, the Summer Games, in their purest form, cover so much more ground than that. In an Olympics that will forever be marked by controversy, all the athletes with Chicago ties deserve a round of applause simply for representing their respective nations honorably.
3. White Sox clean house
Chris Sale: Traded. Adam Eaton: Dealt. Robin Ventura: Gone. U.S. Cellular Field: Now it's Guaranteed Rate Field. Throw in Adam LaRoche's sudden retirement and the 2017 Sox will be barely recognizable. Though if it leads to more than 78 wins, fans of the South Siders will be overjoyed.
4. Bulls sign Dwyane Wade
If Wade were five years younger, this would have been the biggest signing in Bulls history. Heck, it might still be, and it doesn't even come with expectations of a title. That scenario just doesn't seem in the cards with LeBron James around. Yet having Wade's leadership in that locker room and in this city in general is a huge win in and of itself.
5. Illinois hires Lovie Smith
We're venturing well outside the city limits for this one because it's a big deal when the state's flagship university hires its first African-American head football coach. Whether he will ultimately lift the Illini out of the depths of the Big Ten is debatable, but what is not is that the school made a bold move, one that instantly perked up the ears of sports fans across the state.
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