12/28/21: The year in Midway Minute

Taking a look back at the best newsletters of the year.

12/28/21: The year in Midway Minute

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Monday's results
Bulls 130, Hawks 118

Today's schedule
Blue Jackets at Hawks, PPD

(USA Today Sports)

Good morning, frents!

Three more days until another year is officially in the books. I've been in a reflective mood the past couple of weeks. I've been thinking about where Midway Minute has been these past 23 months and where I'd like (and need) to take it.

I'll have more on the latter part after January 1, but let's finish off 2021 by looking back. Wednesday will be the last newsletter of the year and will feature my picks for the top 10 Chicago sports stories of the year.  

Today, I'm looking at some of the Midway Minute issues that I most enjoyed writing and putting together. One of the guiding principles over my career has always been to create content with a unique spin and voice that readers can't find elsewhere. That's easier said than done some days when you're writing a daily newsletter, but I'm pretty proud of the selection below.

I hope you enjoyed these, too. As always, thank you for starting your mornings with Midway Minute and thank you for your support.

The best of Midway Minute 2021

The Bears sink lower with a dumb day at Halas Hall: The 2021 Bears have been largely forgettable, but the day we all thought Matt Nagy was getting fired after the Lions game was a trip.

Ozzie Guillen talks about managing again: Dave Brown filed a lot of great Q&As for Midway Minute this year, but his conversation with the former Sox skipper was the best. Eight months later, it's still a great read.

Hello again, everybody!: That first game back at Wrigley Field after the pandemic year was an experience I'll never forget.

The 10 best games that Chicago fans missed during the pandemic

Field of Dreams is still a great mo ie: I wrote this in advance of the White Sox appearance in Dyersville and it provoked a lot of reaction from both sides in the debate.

Don't  oo Mitch: This one went viral and it turns out a lot of people did want to boo Mitch. They just  didn't all show up to the preseason game, though.

Patrick Mannelly talks the state of the Bears: This is a relatively recent post, but worth a read if it got lost in your holidays. I've loved having Brendan Sugrue around this year to contribute on the Bears.

Could you eat Candace Parker's Portillo's order? The Sky star got the fast-food chain plenty of free publicity with her gut-busting usual. We had plenty of fun watching Bobby Loesch trying to take it all down.

What happened to the 'Joel Quenneville's Mustache' Facebook page?: Each Hawks fan had to reconcile the team's inaction toward Brad Aldrich in their own way, but the man who ran a popular Joel Quenneville parody account had a unique way of dealing with it.

Duncan Keith's drive made him a Blackhawks legend: It was definitely a year of change for the Hawks. The Midway Minute goodbye to Brent Seabrook turned out well, too.  

Ryne Sandberg, Wrigley Field and the worst Home Run Derby ever: Three homers!

The 'Pink Hat Guy' is alive and well: There were some rumors the pandemic had claimed Jim Anixter, but I cleared that up with a phone call. This post still does crazy search traffic each Cubs home game.

20 great Jeopardy clues that involved Chicago sports  Our city's teams aren't strangers on television's best quiz show.

Ranking every Bear in the Super Bowl Shuffle: It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

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News and results

Bears: Nagy assumes he'll finish the season

It was an uneventful Victory Monday at Halas Hall, so it looks like the Bears' streak of never firing a coach midseason will continue. Adam Hoge had a good piece on why it's not the end of the world the Bears might not get an early start on interviews.

Bulls: Stop me if you've heard this one before

DeMar put up 35, Zach chipped in 30 and Vooch put up 24 as the Bulls topped a shorthanded Hawks squad 130-118. The Bulls are 21-10, just one game behind Brooklyn for the best record in the East.

  • Trae Young had a big first quarter with 12 points against Coby White, but it changed once Ayo Dosunmu and Javonte Green were rotated in on him. The Hawks star hit just 3 of 15 shots in the final three quarters — and was the victim of a great block by Ayo. While the Big 3 might be handling the scoring load each night, everyone's been pitching in some way.
  • Next: The Hawks come to Chicago on Wednesday for a rematch.

Hawks: Wednesday's game in Winnipeg postponed

The delays keep coming in the NHL. The Hawks' scratched road trip came just hours after it was announced that Marc Andre-Fleury was entering protocols.

1. LaVine's 30-point night on Monday was his 66th in a Bulls uniform, putting him just 471 more games behind Michael Jordan for the team record. Fadeaway World

2. The five Bulls who should be making a trip to Cleveland for All-Star weekend. Da Windy City

3. An in-depth at Michael Kopech's fastball and how it may have played into his second-half swoon. Sox on 35th

4. I loved everything about this Cordarrelle Patterson clip that went viral on Monday night. I wish he were still on the Bears. Twitter

5. A guide to the bar and restaurant references in HBO's "South Side" Eater Chicago

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