by Mohammad Samra / Staff Reporter
No analyst, fan or athlete could have predicted the amount of success Chicago sports teams have had over the last 10 years.
The Blackhawks dominated the first half of the decade and were a Nick Leddy deflection away from winning four Stanley Cups in six years (though three titles are still nice,) while the Bulls and Bears made several playoff appearances early on.
In 2015, the Cubs participated in their first playoff game of the 2010s. One year later, they broke the infamous “Billy Goat” curse and brought the “Commissioner’s Trophy” back to Chicago for the first time since 2005 when the White Sox beat the Houston Astros in the World Series.
The Sox also impressed Chicago fans by somehow managing to last the entire decade without a playoff appearance. In fact, in the team’s 116-year history, they have only made the playoffs eight times.
Since the Cubs’ title in 2016, all of Chicago’s major sports teams have failed to bring a championship back to the Windy City. But, how likely are each team to win the city’s next title?
Chicago Bulls: 15 percent chance
The Bulls last made the playoffs in 2017, but managed to make the postseason in seven different seasons the last decade.
While the current squad led by Zach LaVine is mediocre at best, the removal of General Manager Gar Forman and Vice President John Paxton would be a huge step in the right direction.
Chicago has also been linked to superstars in the past. The LeBron-led “Big Three” almost resided in Chicago before ultimately joining the Miami Heat and winning two NBA championships.
If the Bulls can sign major future free agents like Anthony Davis or Giannis Antetokounmpo, they might be able to contend earlier than expected. But, if they fail in free agency, it could be decades before the Bulls win their first championship without Michael Jordan on the roster.
Chicago Bears: 25 percent chance
Football is the most unpredictable sport to analyze when it comes to championship chances. The San Francisco 49ers were one of the worst teams in the league last year, yet found themselves mere minutes away from winning the Super Bowl before Patrick Mahomes reminded everyone why he’s the best quarterback in the NFL.
The Bears are a good quarterback and an elite receiver away from being legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They have a championship-caliber defense that can make even the league’s best quarterbacks look like Mitch Trubisky, which could be crucial.
Chicago Blackhawks: 25 percent chance
Although the Blackhawks sit at the bottom of the standings in the Central Division as of this writing, they are only one point behind the Nashville Predators, and six points back of a playoff spot.
The Hawks are a young team with speed and the potential to shine on defense, and they have a veteran presence to ensure their young players will grow. While a Stanley Cup isn’t likely this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blackhawks hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup once again in the next five years.
Chicago Cubs: 5 percent chance
As a cubs fan, It’s been difficult to watch how this team has handled themselves following their 2016 season.
They continue to regress, and while the team’s priority is to stay under the luxury tax, they have done nothing to show fans they intend to get back to the Fall Classic other than hiring David Ross.
Though they have immense talent, most become free agents after 2021, and the refusal to trade stars like Kris Bryant may come back to haunt them in the future.
Chicago White Sox: 30 percent chance
The White Sox have spent the last few seasons stockpiling minor league talent, and have been the most active team this offseason. They might not entirely be ready for a postseason run, but they have set themselves up to contend for years to come.
Players like Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez will continue to develop their game. As much as I despise them, the Sox will be a team to watch closely for the next five years.