(Written by Steve Waranauskas) A few weeks ago, my colleague Ammad Omar posted here that Chicago fans don't deserve the Stanley Cup
, stating that the passion of Blackhawks fans didn't match the intensity of fans in other cities like Montreal and San Jose.
Which is the only city where the fans before every single home game bring ear splitting levels of noise before the hockey game even starts? Chicago. Which is the only city where there's a fan convention for the hockey team IN JULY that sells out every year.
Detroit? Don't think so.
In a city where championship droughts run for generations, never mind decades, the Blackhawks faithful soldiered on through years of beloved players and near misses in chasing the elusive dream of a title. Hockey fans are a special breed. It takes a certain kind of character to drive through the darkest nights of a Chicago winter to see your team playing Nashville or Columbus. There's a certain intensity that comes with a hockey game that can't be matched by any other sport. A big check, spectacular save, or breakaway goal can bring you to your feet or crush you into your seat"¦and this can happen a dozen times a night. It takes a strong heart to put yourself on that emotional rollercoaster game after game and playoff hockey ratchets up that intensity ten fold. Don't deserve the Cup? Fans who are willing to put themselves through that night after night have a birthright to it!
Ammad confused the looting and destruction of downtown Montreal by Canadiens fans after their team won an early playoff round"¦never mind the championship"¦as an example of their passion and worthiness to be champions. Nothing says you love your team like a stolen TV I guess. Well Blackhawks fans must be excused then for not deciding to wreck havoc on their beloved home city.
You want to know a city that doesn't deserve the Stanley Cup? How about Philadelphia? In 29 other arenas when the visiting team wins the championship, fans show at least grudging respect and deference to the champs with at least some less than enthusiastic applause as the Stanley Cup is presented. We saw it happen here in 1992 when the Pittsburgh Penguins skated the Cup around Chicago Stadium ice. What did Philly fans do last night? Booed each Hawks player as the trophy was hoisted skyward. Stay classy Philadelphia.
Now I get to revel in the glory that the Blackhawks have earned and brought to the city and its long devoted fans. I'd love to write more but I have to go stake out my spot on the parade route.