Chicago sports better than you think

Updated 2/18/2014 6:21 AM
  • Los Angeles Lakers' player Steve Blake shows the pain of another loss as the Lakers continue to struggle.

    Los Angeles Lakers' player Steve Blake shows the pain of another loss as the Lakers continue to struggle. Associated Press

One of my favorite sayings is "the grass is always greener on the other side 'til you get to the other side."

It rings true in most walks of life, and even in sports.

Outside of our championship Blackhawks, fans here will grind their teeth, moan and complain about their teams. After all, every fan has that right, but every city is in somewhat of a bubble.

I have the honor and privilege of doing a national radio show, so I hear about the good and bad of everyone's teams from callers across the country. Sure, the Bulls are only a couple of games over .500, but it could be much worse.

The calls we take from L.A. Lakers or Boston Celtics fans tell me that the rich have fallen on hard times, so hard that there were no Celtics or Lakers players in the NBA All-Star Game. Imagine that!

I'll take the Bulls and their effort over them any day.

Of course, when talking about football, I'll bemoan the signing of quarterback Jay Cutler or the inexperience of the Bears' head coach, but then I think how fortunate we are when I talk to Cleveland Browns fans or Houston Texans fans.

Yes, our teams could be better and they have imperfections, but there are plenty of cities whose teams are far worse than ours.

But when I talk baseball, my optimism fades. It would be hard to find two baseball teams in worse shape than the Cubs and the White Sox -- unless you're an Houston Astros fan.

Nothing can top 1980 'miracle':

The U.S. men's hockey team won a big Olympics contest in an early-round game against Russia. I know it was a huge game to win, especially against Russia, but it can't compare to what the U.S. Olympics team accomplished in 1980 in Lake Placid when a team of amateurs and college players won the gold.

That was as good as it will ever get, and in my opinion can never be equaled.

Coached by Herb Brooks, this ragtag group of mutts pulled off the unimaginable "Miracle on Ice," by defeating the Soviet Union pros and then going on to beat Finland in the final match.

Am I happy and excited about the way the U.S. team is playing right now? Absolutely -- I'm proud.

It's all good. These guys are pros, and with guys like Patrick Kane they may win the gold, and Americans will be thrilled.

U.S. Olympic hockey has come a long way, and a lot of the reason is because of 1980. That team conquered the unconquerable, and it will never be forgotten -- even if our pros bring home the gold in 2014.

Top 5 sports movies:

In my Feb. 7 column, I listed my Top 5 sports movies: "Hoosiers," "Raging Bull," "Kingpin," "The Hustler" and "Beer League."

Here are your top vote-getters. It was appropriate that "Miracle" had the most. Plenty of votes too for "Hoosiers," "Field of Dreams," "Seabiscuit" and "Rocky."

Thanks for taking the time to email me.

Program note:

Follow me on twitter at north2north, and listen to me at or on your iHeart radio app from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 7-11 a.m. Sundays.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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