The Blackhawks win! Yes, yes, the Blackhawks win. HAWKS.
I’m not going to lie to you fine people, I am not really a sports person. I watched Jordan pretty religiously when that happened, but that’s about it. I know enough to know enough to give tours. I understand about billygoats, Bartmans and Superbowl Shuffles and I know that right now, the Blackhawks ARE our winning team.
But I don’t have a jersey, I forgot which games were at home. I kind of watched the last three games but I was totally doing other things. I’ll admit it, I’m as fair-weather as they come.
But it comes down to what past mayors, politicians and businessmen have known forever – what is good for Chicago is good for me. Whatever good comes to this city makes my heart glad, makes my tears well up and makes me excited for just how awesome this city is.
Oddly enough, my mother loved hockey, when I was 16 or 17 (almost thirty years ago, ouch, that was hard to type) she and my stepfather would go to Blackhawks games every Sunday night. She NEVER liked sports, it was such a strange thing that my mother loved the Hawks, but off she would go, leaving me happily alone to watch 21 Jumpstreet all by myself. She always said she loved how their hair would curl from under their helmets.
Back then, the hockey fans loved hockey, but Chicago didn’t love hockey, we loved basketball. We loved the 1985 Bears, we loved the teams that were winning then.
This love of hockey is relatively new. It’s a newer passion for us, and so maybe yes, the girls in their cute Blackhawks jerseys in Wrigleyville have no idea whose name is on the back of their jersey. There are bros who just crave another reason to drink and party and then there are those of us, and I think we are many, those of us who are excited for the city, excited for the party, excited for this city to WIN.
For me this little numbers fact totally nails it – I’ve been telling this story up and down State Street: When the LA Kings won the cup in 2014, their parade had 250,000 people. When Chicago won in 2013 THERE WERE TWO MILLION PEOPLE AT THE PARADE. Now, I don’t believe all of those people LOVE hockey like hockey-lovers love hockey, what Chicago loves, what Chicago is good at? Is support.
We’ll support you all over the place. I talk about this on the Second City tour, we’re made for support, in comedy, in sports, in art, in fire festivals. We can fail here and still succeed. This city is built on failure and experimentation. We are so good at falling and we’re so good at supporting each other when we do. So when we win? The support is just so ridiculously awesome.
What touches me so much about this win is just how much we all wanted it. Every day, Blackhawk t-shirts everywhere with our full-of-pride Chicago flag built right in. Banners, pizzas, cookies, the Art Institute lions (why didn’t the Picasso this time around? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PICASSO THAT IT IS NOT SUPPORTING?), we all got into it, my whole city. Does it matter why? Does it matter if it’s true or pure or is it more important that we’re here, that we care and that we’ll support better than anyone?
This city and it’s people impress and amaze me all the time. You, me, we made this happen. By sheer will this city and those amazing men with their cute hair made this happen. We all did. And now all of us will celebrate and bask in the glory of the win and of our support of the win. No one does it better than we do. No one.
(photo courtesy of ABC7)