Six sports figures crack Chicago Magazine's Power 100 list

Six sports figures crack Chicago Magazine's Power 100 list
February 18, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

Some people say sports are just simply a distraction from real life.

In Chicago, that "distraction" is awfully powerful.

Chicago Magazine released its third annual Power 100 list, and six sports figures cracked the rankings.

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz was sixth, Bulls/White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf 11th, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler 23rd, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany 25, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts 48th and Cubs president of baseball operations/resident rock star Theo Epstein was 100th.

Notably absent from the list among Chicago sports figures is Derrick Rose or anybody from the McCaskey family, the owners of the Bears. You could also make the case that Joakim Noah, heralded by some as the face of Chicago, or Jonathan Toews, the captain of a Blackhawks team that has won two championships in four years, could also be on this list.

Rose, a Chicago native, has no doubt seen his stock drop with another knee injury, preventing him from playing for a second straight season.

[RELATED: Rose's brand as strong as ever]

As for Cutler, the most polarizing athlete in the city, it makes sense that he is on the list when reading Chicago Magazine's reasoning:

OK, OK, but listen: With Bulls star Derrick Rose sidelined for a second year, this surly, smirking, “You really think I give a damn?” quarterback is suddenly Chicago’s biggest sports celebrity. He’s the most important player on the city’s most watched team, playing the most popular sport in the country. And on January 2, he signed a $126.7 million, seven-year contract, with $54 million guaranteed. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that Cutler has gone from lightning rod to lightning tower, becoming the most obsessed-over athlete in Chicago. The fact that he doesn’t care just makes people wag their tongues even more.

[MORE: Bears legend Dan Hampton wants to see Jay Cutler 'prove it']

By comparison, Garry McCarthy, the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, was 27th, behind four of the six sports figures, including Cutler.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was ranked first on Chicago Magazine's list, while Mike Madigan (Speaker of the Illinois House), J.B. Pritzker (Cofounder and managing partner of Pritzker Group), Toni Preckwinkle (President of Cook County Board of Commissioners) and Michael Sacks made up the rest of the Top 5.