Chalk Talk: 2016 reflections

The last Chalk Talk of 2016 is here… and what a year it was…

By Steven Nichols

4716_575748089537_48606714_33714217_6185618_nTHE MINT — Remember seven years ago when Chicago was all distraught about not getting the winning bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics?

Chicago ain’t complaining now. Dwyane Wade came back home. Chris Sale cut up some jerseys. We even hosted the World Series. Chicago got the better deal.

Some of you still aren’t doing so hot, depending on what presidential nominee you voted for.

Oh, wait… now it’s Russia’s fault. Whoops. Prayers to the “Donald” as he embarks on the presidency. May God be with his heart, mind and decision making. Just don’t fall for Putin’s tactics.

But according to Putin’s neighbor, the ones with the Zodiac — in China 2016 was the year of the monkey. This sports writer, though, is a Cubs fan. So if Trump is going to start a trade war with China, they’re also just going to have to deal with a new gift we’re also including in the deal: the Gift of Jericho.

We’re replacing the monkey with the bear cub.

Drink it in…. MAAAAAN.

Oh, the Cubs certainly drank it in, maaaaaan.

Chicago’s 2016 can be defined by four letters: C-U-B-S.

Have you pinched yourself? Has it sunk in? If you bought about $100 worth of hats and t-shirts that say World Series Champions Chicago Cubs then it must be true and we aren’t on a third world island. Down 3-1 in the series… force a Game 7… up three runs in the eighth inning of Game 7… a rain delay, extra innings and almost another blown lead, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908. Here’s the final out but you can adjust the video and watch 40 minutes worth of Game 7 highlights.

Albeit biased, Game 7 might arguably go down as the greatest Game 7, let alone the greatest baseball game, ever. Hollywood couldn’t script a better outcome.

From Dexter Fowler’s leadoff homer to a 5-1 Cubs lead and then a complete eighth inning implosion by Aroldis Chapman, did you really think the Cubs would win the World Series easily?

C’mon, these are the Cubs. We remember ’69, ’84 and ’03. It had to be tough. And it was.

Rajai Davis’ tying 2-run homer pretty much stabbed every Cubs fan in the heart in the eighth inning to tie the game at 6. This Cub fan thought it was over.

But then the rain came. Kyle Schwarber started the rally. Ben Zobrist made it happen and Miguel Montero gave us extra insurance. The rest was history.

GO CUBS GO, GO CUBS GO.

As for Cleveland… since the Cubs ended 108 years of misery, nobody will really remember that the Indians watched their 3-1 lead collapse before their eyes.

Speaking of 3-1 collapses… it was more shocking to see a dominant team like the Golden State Warriors, a team who beat the Bulls 72-win regular season win record, drop three-straight to of all teams, Cleveland’s Cavaliers.

So LeBron proved to us he could finally win a title for his hometown when ironically his hometown showed us that you can comeback and blow 3-1 leads in the same year. It was painful to watch LeBron win but didn’t 72-10 not mean a thing without the ring? 1996 Bulls forever.

Speaking of rings, Wade brought his winning ways back to Chicago and became a Bull. So did Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez. The bigger problem is that Fred Hoiberg remains one.

How about Kobe Bryant’s retirement party? One of the single greatest NBA performances, ever. And he did it the Kobe way: by chucking a bunch of shots and scoring 60. Chuck it in… maaaan.

Peyton Manning went out on a high horse, literally, winning the Broncos another Super Bowl over the Carolina Panthers. Actually, didn’t Von Miller win Peyton that ring?

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks for the Stanley Cup, a series many didn’t frankly care about. Nobody likes Sidney Crosby and who really cares about the Sharks?

There were some odd happenings, like big man Bartolo Colon’s first major league home run. Curt Schilling got fired from ESPN for a meme. The St. Louis Rams moved to Los Angeles. Blake Griffin punched a Clippers staffer. Tom Brady finally sat out those games for Deflategate.

There were moments like Jose Bautista getting clocked and Ryan Lochte’s story about getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio when it was all made up. Then there was Colin Kaepernick’s stupid display of utter stupidity with the National Anthem.

You had Northern Iowa hit a buzzer beater from halfcourt to win an NCAA tournament game only to get upstaged by Kris Jenkins’ game-winner for the National Title. The NATIONAL TITLE.

This one’s for North Carolina.. c’mon… and… raise.. up? Oh, wait… they lost. My bad.

Man, 2016 was ridiculous.

What can we expect in 2017? 

Warriors/Cavs Part III.

Let’s go with the Patriots winning the Super Bowl over the Dallas Cowboys and Joe Buck ruining the call. Did anybody watch the World Series in SAP?

Zach LaVine doing a 360 free throw line dunk at the NBA Dunk Contest.

An Alabama/Clemson title rematch… (Had a dream actually about this, place your bets now)

On the South Side, the Sox will trade every available asset including the ToddFather. He gone.

The Guaranteed Rate of a ticket at… Guaranteed Rate Field will cost you about 1/20 of the price of a ticket at Wrigley.. and yet the stadium will average about 12,000 this season. Wrigley will be packed and it will cost you $319220.0000224 to get in.

At the UC, Fred Hoiberg coaches his last game for the Bulls. Some how, an upset Hoiberg leads to a John Paxson/Vinny Del Negro fist fight rematch.

Jay Cutler’s jersey will be reduced to $20 as he will no longer be employed by the Bears. If they can get Jimmy Garoppollo from New England (Rolling Meadows boy), that’s a start.

(Jay, please leave your hot wife, behind, though)

The Bulls will make the playoffs and get beat in the first round.

The Hawks will win the Stanley Cup, again.

The Cubs will repeat.

As for those Rio Olympics… now that sucked.

But Chicago 2016… we did not suck. The Cubs are World Series champs.

Drink it in…. maaaaaan.

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