Monday, May 27, 2013

A Blackhawks rebound? Or is it time to pay attention to baseball for few weeks?

I’ll confess up-front; I have never attended a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game.

Still a precious hockey memory

It’s not that I have anything against hockey. It’s just one of those events that, for whatever reason, I have never had as a high-enough priority to want to be a part of.

IN FACT, THE only professional hockey game I ever attended in my life was back as a kid when the old Chicago Cougars were still alive. My pervasive memory of the event was the long haul to the cheap seats of the old International Ampitheater and being amazed at how decrepit the building had become.

So I’ll confess that the people to whom the fate of the Blackhawks this year is causing them to twist and turn and tying their stomachs into knots are taking the team to a level I’ll never appreciate.
Does anyone remember them?

Because personally, I can’t help but think that having a team that started out this season so overwhelmingly dominant, only to wind up getting smacked about by the Detroit Redwings, seems so incredibly in-character with the city of Chicago.

It seems all of our sports teams manage to give us the down moments more often than they give us the cheers.

AFTER ALL, WE got a Stanley Cup champion for Chicago just a few years ago. It might well have been greedy of us to think we were going to see another one any time soon.

We’ll find out Monday night. Because it’s always possible that the Redwings will manage Monday night to beat the Blackhawks – thereby taking this round of the playoffs leading up to the National Hockey League championships.

At least it would turn into Detroit beating Chicago four games to two – not exactly devastating. Which it would have been if the Redwings had come up with a Saturday night victory – to beat the Blackhawks by a 4-1 margin.

It would have turned those memories of the start of the season – when the Blackhawks seemed unbeatable for two dozen games – into something that the sporting gods allowed only to mock us.

NOW IF CHICAGO actually pulls off a victory Monday, then one more later this week, to WIN this round of playoffs? That’s unthinkable. That’s so un-Chicago. If it happens, then it has to be a harbinger of a future sweep.
Likely not returning to Chicago for many years

Ugh. Just what the Chicago sporting populace needs. Another embarrassing loss. Maybe it makes the memories of a ’05 World Series victory seem all the more previous. But it still causes its share of pain and agony.

Which is why on this Memorial Day, I’m not getting all worked up over whether the season will end Monday for the Blackhawks. Nor am I all aflutter about the Indianapolis 500 – which as far as I’m concerned was just a few dozen freakishly-tricked out automobiles going around and around and around the track a couple hundred times.

I find myself following my usual sporting trend of paying my first serious bit of attention to professional baseball. For it is only now that we’re one-third (roughly) of the way through the season that enough games have been played for us to see what these ball clubs that wear “Chicago” across their jerseys are capable of doing.


For all those people who wanted to believe that the White Sox were pitiful, it seems they’re merely mediocre. Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins made the White Sox a .500 ball club. Exactly 24 wins and 24 losses. That 2 ½ game deficit behind Detroit and Cleveland says less about the White Sox being in a pennant race and more about the division itself being average.
Some may have been excited about auto racing

And as for the Chicago Cubs? Their 19-30 record is about the level anyone should have expected them to play at during 2013.

Which is why most Cubs fans seem more concerned with following talk of “jumbotrons” and new stadium clubs, rather than the activity on the playing field. And would view it as the highlight of '13 if they can manage to avoid being humiliated by the Sox come this week's four-game series!


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