It takes more than watching sporting events to become a knowledgeable sports fan. Devoted Chicago sports fans listen to sports talk radio, watch shows like Chicago Tribune Live (Comcast SportsNet) and consume written sports news and opinion. Reading opinions and reports from the columnists, beat reporters and bloggers of Chicago give us the insight that allows us to fully appreciate the sports we watch. There are an overwhelming number of websites devoted to Chicago sports. I have the pages below bookmarked and you should too!
Get excellent sports news and opinion from the Chicago Tribune without the weekly subscription cost. Writers like Dan Pompei, Matt Bowen and Phil Rogers (usually) provide insightful and well thought out columns each week. Moreover, beat writers like Paul Sullivan, Brad Biggs and K.C. Johnson often scoop other Chicago media outlets. The advertising is overpowering at times but the content is solid (and free) so no major complaints.
The Chicago Sun Times is the second major newspaper in town and has tried doing more with less in recent years due to layoffs. The amount of content doesn’t match the Tribune but the quality is still good. Football columnists like Mike Mulligan (also of 670 The Score) and Sean Jensen are required reading to stay on top of Bears football. Advertising is slightly less annoying than the Tribune. The website design is comparable to the Tribune and is considered average at best.
ABC launched several region-specific versions of its ESPN website in recent years including ESPN Chicago. ESPN has a massive network of reporters so it remains a useful way to keep track of breaking sports news. There are also blogs and columns but I find them less appealing than articles on the major newspaper websites mentioned above.
I don’t spend much time on official team homepages due to team bias but the Chicago Bulls site is an exception. The team wisely hired Sam Smith away from the Chicago Tribune to create much of its original content. Though he can no longer write without being completely unbiased, Smith remains a good writer and is willing to propose crazy NBA trades usually reserved for discussion in local bars.
Chi City Sports and SB Nation Chicago are popular Chicago sports blogs worth exploring. Consider them supplementary reading material that can provide a fans view of sports. Both pages maintain fairly clean websites with minimal advertising.