Is it possible to be emotionally high and drunk for 4 straight days? I’m thinking it is because I’ve reached a high I’ve never felt before. No, not even when I was in Jamaica for The Blade’s wedding. Sure, some beers, champagne, and a few vodka’s have helped the cause, but what a whirlwind it’s been since Wednesday night. I’ve excused myself for being over the top in joy, but when you haven’t celebrated a professional sports championship since June 14, 1998, you’re allowed. I’m my own voting committee, so there. The Blackhawks first Stanley Cup championship since 1961 has brought me so much excitement that I don’t want this moment to end. So, since I am my own voting committee, I’ve decided all of Chicago is allowed to own this moment for the rest of the summer. Hey, it’s better than being miserable watching two horrendous baseball teams, right?
Random thought: Speaking of horrendous baseball, I couldn’t be happier that the crosstown meltdown is being so overlooked this year. The Flubbies and ShitSox don’t deserve to be talked about. All they deserve is a mere mention of the scores of the games. And, even that’s pushing it. The fact that they are playing for the BP Trophy is so Chicago baseball. Any coincidence that the tragic oil spill happened right after BP hooked on with the Cubs? I don’t think so, and you can’t tell me different.
Friday’s parade showcased the greatest city in the world at it’s best.–an estimated 2 million people (I’m not buying that number but play along. We’re celebrating, dammit!). The Blackhawks put on a first class party that set the bar high for the championship celebration. The highlights, for me, included seeing Mr. Cup Clincher, Patrick Kane, pounding a bottle of champagne on the bus leaving the United Center. I mentioned the other day that Kaner was number 1 on my list of Chicago athletes that I’d like to go out on the town with. Well, Kaner took it to another level on Friday. After slamming his bottle of champagne, Kane started pounding beers like Stone Cold Steve Austin. By the time the buses hit Michigan Avenue, Kane looked like he reached Mrs. Toews drunk. Or, more commonly known, as Ron Harper drunk. I loved it. Why? Because when you’re the number 1 pick of a dying franchise, the smallest guy on the ice at all times, you score 10 goals & 18 assists in the playoffs, you can do just about anything in my world. Here’s to you Kaner….Cheers.
I always knew Dustin Byfuglien was a cool cat, but I had no idea he loved carrying the WWE World Heavyweight Title belt–as if Big Buff wasn’t cool enough already. God, I love this Hawks team. Big Buff handed the belt to Kaner to hang onto for the summer. I haven’t enjoyed a belt passing moment like that since Hogan handed the WWE Title over to The Ultimate Warrior after their epic encounter in WrestleMania 6.
Some of the other highlights from a day I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to see include Duncan Keith’s speech. Missing 7 teeth is one thing, but his “That’s how it goes” & “Who knows a good dentist?” lines were from the heart and really funny. The Norris Trophy winner is just reaching his prime. How much better can he get? Yikes. He talked about coming here 5 years ago and never imagining this moment. You aren’t alone Dunc. Nobody thought this was possible 5 years ago.
Eddie Olczyk killed it all day. Sweating more than Michael Spinks before the Tyson fight, Eddie O did a great job making sure to mention everyone remotely responsible for making this moment happen.
Jim Cornelison gave us one more stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Rest your voice Jim, you’ve earned it my man.
The sign that said “The Blackhawks: The cure for Jordan withdrawal.” That stuck out to me because for too long the Jordan era is all we’ve had when we talk about Chicago championships. I still don’t count the 2005 White Sox. Sorry Sox fans, it is what it is.
The masses chanting Rocky-Rocky- Rocky when the greatest owner in the history of Chicago sports took the mic. Thank you Rocky, I can’t say that enough.
Kris Versteeg proved again why Eminem is the only good white rapper on the planet. It’s all good “Steeger”, do what you do.
The crowd chanting for Marion Hossa was a great gesture by the fans too. The big man finally got the monkey off his back after two years of Cup failures. With his mind clear, just imagine how deadly he can be next year knowing his cup curse is over?!
I didn’t want to mention Mayor Daley butchering Joel Quennville’s name, but I had to. Thanks Dick. Stay classy my man. Allow me to give the coach some love…..You did a hell of a job coach Q. The way you brought along young players, picked Niemi and rode him to the title, and the way you mixed up your lines in the Finals showed just how good of a coach you are. And, it also showed you have massive balls for being willing to change things up for the better of the team. My championship hats off to you. Cheers.
It was, yet, another show of respect by the Blackhawks that Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, and Bobby Hull were part of the celebration. Rocky Wirtz did what his grumpy ass of a father wouldn’t, he brought back the former Hawk legends to the team. Thanks again, Rocky. I told you I can’t thank him enough.
A special thanks goes out to John McDonough and Jay Blunk. The marketing gurus put the Hawks back in people’s mind. Sure, it took talent and winning, but they deserve a tremendous amount of credit. Once again, cheers. I’m approaching Kane drunk…..Maybe not, but still.
Jonathan Toews is so comfortable as the captain and leader of this team it’s almost scary. HE’S 22 YEARS OLD!!! The guy I named hockey Steve Sanders heard MVP chants all day. Why not?! 7 goals, 22 assists, and 29 points will earn you The Conn Smythe Trophy. The next Steve Yzerman is a top 3 player in this league and might just be moving up. You know what? I just moved him ahead of Hockey Drago and Sid the Kid. The throne is yours Tazer. Your number 1 on Mr. Chi City’s list. I look forward to seeing your Hall of Fame career unfold.
Patrick Kane said he’ll try and keep his shirt on all summer and told all cab drivers he loves’ em. Whatever he and the rest of the best hockey team in the world do all summer is fine with me. I just hope they live this moment to the fullest. Enjoy it all summer long. That’s what I hope all of the Blackhawks fans do as well. What are you going to watch– God awful baseball?! Enjoy this championship! You never know when it’ll happen again. Enjoy it because this parade showed the world just how we roll in Chicago. See you next June…