Let’s stop the pointless Blackhawks dynasty talk


With the Chicago Blackhawks getting set to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals, the ‘Hawks will be gunning for their third Stanley Cup title in the last six seasons. That’s quite an amazing feat.

There is no denying that the Blackhawks have been the most consistent team in the NHL the last seven seasons. They have played for the Western Conference championship five times in the last seven years, winning three times. The last two times they won the Western Conference? They ended up hoisting the Cup. They’re an unbelievable group of warriors and winners.

Yet, ever since the Blackhawks overwhelmed the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, there has been chatter from various media outlets asking this question: Are the Chicago Blackhawks a dynasty?

Craig Custance and Scott Burnside of ESPN recently engaged in a debate about this very topic, and while both made some points in both directions, the outcome was largely ambiguous. How do we define a dynasty? Based on Definition A, no. Based on Definition B, yes. We want to witness greatness, blah blah blah.

Here’s MY question: Why does it matter and why do we care?

Such debates have flustered national analysts and fans alike over the course of history. Here’s a short list of “Greatest Of All Time” (GOAT) debates that have dragged on and on without any resolution but have contributed to a whole lot of high blood pressure readings:

  • Michael Jordan vs. Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird vs. Wilt Chamberlain
  • Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
  • Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James
  • 1985 Chicago Bears vs. 1972 Miami Dolphins
  • 1985 Bears Defense vs. 2000 Baltimore Ravens Defense vs. 2013 Seattle Seahawks Defense
  • Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning vs. Joe Montana
  • Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal vs. Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi
  • Tiger Woods vs. Jack Nicklaus

… And likewise, there are countless others. Honestly, this is stupid.

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For one, as many counterarguments rightly state – you cannot judge players and teams from different eras where different levels of opposition, rules of the game, etc. existed. It’s just too subjective. Unless some sort of time travel allows players to go back to a time where both parties in question are in their primes and playing the same competition with the same rules over and over again, then maybe one can start to see an objective pattern of success.

But otherwise, everyone is wasting their time. I love how some statisticians and analysts try to use randomly developed advanced statistics and adjusted metrics to somehow measure a weighted/normalized level of success. No, it doesn’t work. I’m sorry.

What’s more? Without the aforementioned method of seeing the parties in question play as I described above, I as a Chicago fan will never want to believe that anyone was better than Michael Jordan or the 1985 Bears. Likewise, a Cavaliers fan will always come up with some athleticism and size argument as to how LeBron is better. Or a Dolphins fan will always flaunt the undefeated season card in my face. And it goes on and on. Feelings get hurt, people shout and scream and at the end of the day, nobody wins.

Why is it so difficult to live in the now and appreciate the sports that are happening right now? Why must we compare to some iconic player or team in the past and rant about who is better? The narrative is always changing, so our arguments have the potential to become obsolete every day. It’s exhausting.

So let’s enjoy this upcoming Stanley Cup final without worrying whether or not a loss will ruin the Blackhawks’ dynasty-in-the-making. They’re an amazing team and hopefully they’ll be champions this year. Nothing else matters.

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Jan 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrate after both players scored goal in the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Blackhawks won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports