Blackhawks: Shades of the Past, Reflecting a Bright Future
The Hawks’ three championships in recent years call to mind an era from the past when spectacular players like Bobby Hull, Stan Makita, and Tony Espisito kept the crowd on the edge of their seats and raised the decibel level at the Chicago Stadium to an all-time high ….
“Remember the Roar” was the slogan of the Chicago Stadium, when the cheering would start in the 2nd balcony during the singing of the National Anthem and sweep down over the rest of the building across 18,676 spectators. Or when Bobby Hull in classic form would pick up the puck from behind the Hawks net and skate the length of the rink before passing or shooting one of his thunderous slap shots; the atmosphere was electric. A buzz would swirl around the Stadium and rise like a crescendo as the Golden Jet (number 9) would cut through the opponent’s defense like Swiss cheese.
Nowadays we have personalities like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Corey Crawford (among others) providing much of the excitement as the Blackhawks captured their 3rd Stanley Cup championship in six years.
An interesting phenomenon occurred as the playoffs progressed: everyone from housewives to truck drivers jumped on the Hawks bandwagon to the point where it was almost impossible to find an empty chair in a sea of red jerseys in a sports bar during the 3rd round vs. Anaheim.
A second mortgage was practically required to afford a ticket to the 4th round vs. Tampa Bay, unless you desired an old-fashioned standing room only (S.R.O.) ticket, a bargain at $1,000 each.
So on June 15th we celebrated as our Blackhawks were victorious once again and fans filled the streets in jubilation surrounding Wrigley Field and other enthusiastic neighborhoods around the city. The traditional victory parade was televised and very nice, leading to an outdoor celebration at Soldier Field, although most people wanted Grant Park to be the special location (as in past years) and were not fortunate enough to get their hands on a free general admission ticket.
So now that all of the victory parties have taken place, championship souvenirs bought to an excess, and the whereabouts of the Stanley Cup have been tracked more times than Super Storm Sandy, what does the future hold for this sports franchise full of young, million dollar talent? Only time will tell and I don’t think we can call them a “dynasty” until they win at least two championships in a row, like the Bulls in the 1990’s.
Until the home opener on Oct. 7th when the new Stanley Cup championship banner is raised, all I can say is “Remember the Roar.”