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Ya got me, 'Chelsea Dagger'

March 04, 2013|By Jack M Silverstein | For RedEye

Much has been made this year over the ongoing comparison between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Some pundits make straight-up comparisons, while people like my friend T.R. Slyder of Lists That Actually Matter make counterarguments about why such comparisons are pointless.

Specifically, T.R. argued that these comparisons are not simply foolish, but impossible—MJ and LeBron play in different eras and at different positions.

So it's safe to say he definitely would NOT have approved of my buddy Ben telling me on Friday: "I've watched the Hawks all year, and you know who they remind me of? The '96 Bulls."

He told me this while we watched the Hawks polish off the Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. And though I've never been much of a hockey fan, I immediately understood his point. Like LeBron's Miami Heat today or Jordan's 72-win Bulls 17 years ago, the Blackhawks are in the zone.

And it's at this point where I could do a "Who has the edge?" breakdown between the '96 Bulls and the '13 Hawks, something that would look like:

START TO THE SEASON: 41-3 vs. 19-0-3

OFFENSE: 1st in points per game vs. 4th in goals per game

DEFENSE: 3rd in points allowed per game vs. 1st in goals allowed per game

And we could get into Jordan/Pippen vs. Kane/Toews, or Phil Jackson's beard vs. Coach Q's mustache, but I'm more interested in the way both teams make their stadiums shake.

Whether on the ice or the hardwood, speed is speed, power is power, and dominance is obvious, even to the untrained eye. The thrill of victories stacking up, of being surrounded by bar patrons cheering straight through a game—this is an experience sports fans are rarely afforded. The surge of energy shooting through Chicago right now is unmistakable. It cloaks us all, whether we grew up with hockey or only came on board three years ago.

In the end, it doesn't matter if it's Jordan and Pippen or Kane and Toews. The result is the same: Scoot over, sports fans. I'm watchin' here.

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @ReadJack.

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