Being a Chicago sports fan, I reflected upon the Derrick Rose injury in comparison to the history of Chicago sports (or, at least teams I care for – sorry Cubs [sorry you ever existed]). My initial reaction when thinking in this fashion was, that is probably the worst single event to happen to Chicago sports. Being one of context and logical thinking, the thought soon became, this is definitely the worst single event. This Derrick Rose’ Bulls team represents, not only a championship contender for the next handful of years, but one done correctly. They skip on the flash and posturing. They build themselves on hustle, D, modesty, team work, and are led by a gamer who embodies all of that and was born and raised within city limits.
It has taken me time, booze, and cigars to get to this post. In my advanced age, I have come to look at sports as pure entertainment. As a tyke, I felt a bond to the team as if I was as important as its paid employees. Years have come off the calendar, and I have come to realize that I am little more than a dollar bill. Hence, the transformation from teammate to paying customer (still overly loyal), on my part. Yet, when something like the Rose injury happens, it is hard to not feel like you are an integral part of the team and mourn for the loss as if it were a friend.
The multiple implications of the Rose injury is what makes it so tragic. Here you have a player who has done everything the right way (with maybe some shady U of Memphis dealing aside), being the antithesis of the typical ego/bling driven modern athlete – humble Chicagoan, representing the blue collar work ethic, and shining example of the American Dream. And then you see him crumple in the most unlikely circumstances. And in a flash, he is out until sometime next season. It is an injury that is so difficult to come back from and is equally difficult to be hopeful about. Yet, with a player built and wired like Rose, you have to think he is capable of willing himself back. On the other hand, with a player who’s game is dominated with explosive speed and twisting jumps, one becomes less optimistic about Rose achieving his former MVP status.
We could discuss why it happened (the compacted NBA schedule, Thibs over playing, etc.), but it is reality and the “why” hardly matters at this point. More than anything I hope the best for Rose. I could go on for pages about how this injury impacts not only this playoff run, but the entire future and approach of the Bulls’ front office, yet all of that is secondary to the well-being of the man who has brought the city of Chicago and all of its fans so much joy. (And this is coming from a heartless capitalist.) Best wishes, Da Rose. Get well, sir.