Saturday, June 6, 2015

One down, three to go!

The Chicago Blackhawks gave us that come-from-behind victory earlier this week against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Stanley Cup finals.

Will this pennant become more obsolete?
Three more victories, and Chicago gets its third pro hockey championship in six years.

WHICH WOULD BE something of significance for Chicago sports fans. Considering that the Blackhawks have only five championships in their 80-something years of existence.

And before that 2010 title, the last Stanley Cup victory for the Blackhawks was back in 1961.

The point being that while the Blackhawks might be an “Original Six” franchise, they’re not exactly one with a significant winning tradition. Taking another championship title this year would make this era’s Blackhawks franchise the highlight of the franchise history.

Enough for us to forget Bobby Hull or Stan Mikita (and I don’t want to read any e-mailed gags about doughnut shops) or anyone else who played all those years ago.

CONSIDERING THAT CHICAGO sports don’t exactly have histories of winning (our sports franchises usually require fans to endure some pretty sucky ball teams), this is an era that will not be forgotten.

It’s not exactly on the same level as those Chicago Bulls teams that won two strings of three-straight-championships during the 1990s.

But they are teams that will make our sports fans think about ice and skating – even the fair-weather fans (I have to confess that none of the pro hockey teams I have seen include the Blackhawks; I’ve never seen a match of theirs in my life) who probably don’t comprehend much of what is happening on the ice.

Who's thinking about doughnuts?!?
Except that fights occasionally break out. And the Blackhawks seem to get whiny opponents from the south to play against – it makes me wish this year’s Stanley Cup final could have been a Chicago-New York Rangers match-up instead of the one we got!

SUCH AS NASHVILLE trying to restrict sales of tickets in their arena to local residents and Tampa Bay wanting to forbid anyone from wearing a Blackhawks jersey in their arena anywhere where it would be seen by a television camera.

Strangely enough, that hang-up seems to be common for a lot of sports teams based in cities that weren’t major league a half-century or so ago.

Which is something rather lame, if you think about it. What kind of place is so insecure that they have to create a phony image that the whole world revolves around themselves?

How will this cover be topped!?!
If the Lightning were really into the hang of things, they’d want to have Blackhawks faithful sitting in their stands, buying their beer and other overpriced concessions, then looking rather gloomy when their team lost.

WHICH MIGHT BE the reason I’m hoping there’s a Blackhawks victory Saturday night in Game Two.

That would set up a possibility for the Stanley Cup to be a four-game sweep, with victories Three and Four coming next week at the United Center.

Let a couple of Lightning fans show up in Chicago and find themselves to be an insignificant minority. So much so that Blackhawks fans won’t be bothered by what they choose to wear.

Although I have to admit to being curious t see how we’ll behave if we get a championship-winner in Chicago proper.

WILL OUR FANS wind up acting stupid and rioting to express our glee, as has happened in certain other cities across the country when their professional (or collegiate) teams came through on the athletic field (or turf or ice or wood, or whatever substance they happen to be playing on).

For those "fans" who can't comprehend what happens on the ice
Then, we can move on to trying to figure out just how far removed from championship quality our baseball and football franchises will be in ’15.


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