We live in a great city with great sports! Da Bears, The White Sox, The Blackhawks, The Fire, oh yeah…and the Cubs — I guess you can figure out what side I’m on :). These teams have truly made this city particularly electrifying. My cousin and I have become HUGE Blackhawks fans. We’ve been to many games, bought tons of Hawks gear, books and DVDs, followed their tweets and stalked them at bars (and I say that in the least creepy way possible). But ultimately, we have come to love the sport of hockey and we take pride in our Chicago Blackhawks.
I thought if I didn’t think about the lockout during the summer, then maybe it wouldn’t happen. Man, was I wrong! As a depressed hockey fan with a lockout that seems to go on and on, there is some good news. ESPN agreed to broadcast KHL games this year. For all of those who don’t know, the KHL or Kontinental Hockey League, is an international hockey league in Europe. If you’re a glass half empty kind of person (which we all can be at times….guilty as charged!), that means that the lockout will probably go on for some time and even ESPN knows it. BUT if you’re a half glass full kind of person, that means you’ll still be able to see a few of your favorite NHL players this season playing for KHL. People say it will last a couple months at least. Some say there is a good chance we may not see any NHL this year. WHAT?! REALLY?! I don’t want another 2004-05 season (or lack there of). Hey rich guys, can’t we all just be friends?! The fans are the ones who get screwed the most in this. So far, all the pre-season games and the first two weeks of the regular season have been cancelled. If I’m going to get through this stressful semester, I NEED to be able to watch my Hawks.
Well, I guess for now I can reminisce. The night that the Hawks won, everyone was on the edge of their seat. And I mean, literally. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the night sitting on the floor because I was so nervous. I probably could have fallen off my chair at any moment.
And then it happened. The moment when Patrick Kane tossed the puck in the net, everyone just lost it. I don’t think I ever hugged so many people that I didn’t know before. It didn’t matter. We all ran out into the street that the Forest Park Police blocked off (knowing it would be insane if the Hawks won) and we celebrated. We celebrated with friends and we celebrated with strangers. It was amazing.
The days after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, my cousin and I followed the cup (and the guys) all over the city. And I mean EVERYWHERE! The only problem was, we seemed to be consistently two steps behind. Every time we heard “The guys and the cup are at this place,” or “They just left and are heading here,” we booked it to the nearest cab and said “FOLLOW THAT CUP!” Well, we didn’t really say that but it definitely felt like we were on a scavenger hunt of some kind. Unfortunately, every time we arrived at the place that the cup was supposed to be, some person would say “Oh you JUST missed it, ” while admiring their autograph from Toews.
It was truly an amazing summer. Although, we never ended up seeing the cup in person during our post-cup winning quest, we had the opportunity to go to Toronto the following season when the Blackhawks just HAPPEN to be playing the Maple Leafs. It was there, we FINALLY saw it in person at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
We had a blast in Toronto! We were able to get tickets to the game at the last minute. Our seats were WAY up at the top, but thankfully we were able to sneak down to the first level and watch our Hawks win.
Let me tell you, It felt so good to be a Chicagoan that night. Not only because the Hawks won, but simply being in Canada and wearing my Hawks jersey made me proud of who I am and where I come from. I am a city girl. I am a Blackhawks fan. I am a Chicagoan.