Every now and again, when a city is lucky, it gets a team it can fall in love with. This takes something a little bit more than just being a winning team. It takes a connection. The Showtime Lakers of Magic Johnson had that connection -- they won with the sort of style that spoke to people in Los Angeles. The 1998 Yankees had a special romance with New York -- those Yankees were rich and star-driven and powerful, the stuff that courses through New York.
The Jimmy Johnson Cowboys were as big as Dallas; the Theo Epstein Red Sox broke the curse but also had both a blue-collar and analytical quality that fit New England; the Giants are fun and quirky and unlikely and they have won San Francisco’s heart.
[WATCH: Blackhawks frustrated after coming up short]
These Blackhawks are only halfway through the season. But they’re winning Chicago’s heart.
They just keep coming, minute after minute, shift after shift, period after period, everybody doing their job. That’s a formula for becoming popular. How popular are they in Chicago? They have sold out 203 straight games. They have smashed television ratings records this year -- often doubling their numbers from last season. In certain age brackets, at certain times, they are the No. 1 show in Chicago, this "Madhouse on Madison." And, remember, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, so this year’s spike in popularity is about more than just the winning, more than just the streak.
For Posnanski's full story on the Blackhawks, visit NBC Sports.