My road to become a Blackhawk fan started in a back bedroom at a bungalow on the north side of Chicago. In my grandparents house my grandma could rule the living room television and also my mother, sister and she’d watch something non-sports related, while my mom and I would be relugated to a vintage 15″ black and white TV in his bedroom to watch baseball and hockey. Pretty nearly every Saturday night that the Blackhawks were to the street, or so the street games in that period were overheard by WGN. I recall Jim West doing the play-by-play and falling in love with hockey. On Sunday’s my grandfather and I’d listen to the late amazing Lloyd Pettit call games from the old arena. Among my friends parents ripped their backyard so that we would frequently play hockey after college (my second grade image contains a wonderful cut over my eye from skating to a rod blade) until we had been called in for supper.
In that era, the Blackhawks owned Chicago and tickets were impossible for. My father, being a Chicago Police Officer, used his connections to have tickets to two games (among the Wings and another I think against the Blues), and my passion for hockey and the Blackhawks grew exponentially . My romance didn’t come with a price tag, before every match in those days, I would get extremely nervous and my belly would be doing flip-flops, causing me to utilize the bathroom often. Using the facilities at the old stadium was always a risky thing, so my parents were always worried I would get a disease from utilizing the bathrooms there (that they might have been right). At one of the matches, my father bought me a red Blackhawks sweater. At that moment, the sweaters didn’t come with the crest, patches, lettering and numbering as you had to buy those individually (thanks Dollar Bill). My father purchased the amount 35, for my favorite player Tony Esposito. Unfortunately , we never did receive the crest or other patches, however I still have the flux for this day, even with Tony O signal it in a book signing for the original One Purpose novel in 2010.
Sadly, my passion for hockey in the mid-70’s. The Blackhawks were decimated by economical possession who enabled Bobby Hull and other people to depart for the WHA as well as the team sank into mediocrity. Also at the moment my life changed as my family moved and also children in my new area weren’t to hockey, while I still had a rooting interest, my own passion for baseball declined domino qq.
1 night my dad came home with two tickets to find the Blackhawks take on the Sabres. The chairs were 4th row away from the glass. By this time I had been driving along with my best friend and I chose to go see a rookie by the name of Savard we’d heard so much about. We were mesmerized and my fire was refueled. My buddy and I purchased a web and we’d play street hockey when we weren’t at school, work or if the girlfriends did not require our time. Working allowed us the capital to go to a ton of games and also get fantastic seats. Sometimes my dad would also get us tickets. We also travelled to see the Blackhawks for the first time going up to Toronto and watching historic Maple Leaf Gardens. We met with the Blackhawks in their resort, obtaining autographs from Savard, Secord, Wilson and some rookie named Olczyk (have a great picture of both of us that I need for him to sign, sadly we look a little different from those days ). At the hotel, we were in the adjoining room near the great Pat Foley, who was nice enough to have a five minute conversation with two awe-struck dorks. Also at that time that my parents purchased one of those massive satellite dishes so we could observe every game like games. We might simulcast Pat and Dale about the radio and see that the traffic broadcast from the stadium. We often had 10 men sitting watching the game (my mother was quite patient). Those 1980’s Blackhawk teams were special, but always hurried into our nemesis, that evil Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers. Even though we believed the Blackhawks would emerge victorious, they were severely overmatched. We were at the game once the infamous cheering during the National Anthem started, together with the cheering starting about 5 minutes before the Blackhawks took the ice. What an Age.
Also during this era I began to skate again. My buddy and I also joined the National Novice Hockey Association and played in a novice league where we moved into the championship match and lost. That was the very best loss of the hockey life though as a perk of joining the league was supposed to play in a scrimmage with the great Gordie Howe. The top two teams could play with Gordie and when he first discovered that our group lost, he stated that he would play for our group as we needed more help. He was my defense partner who set me up for my sole goal of the year. It was a blistering slapshot that reached speeds of over 8 miles (I feel a strong wind helped it cross the goal line). The very best thing about this night was Gordie sitting on the seat telling stories. Men on the ice would take five min shifts since nobody on the seat needed to miss a Gordie narrative. What a wonderful night. Unfortuneatly it did not last since the league stopped scheduling matches in my area and we needed to drive the hour and a half for ice time, usually after 11:00 pm, so I wasn’t getting to bed till 2:30 or 3:00 am, that did not work well with my work schedule. Sadly , I gave up playing hockey at that moment.
As the 1980’s drew to a close I had been fortunate to meet my future wife and indoctrinated her into my hockey fire. The rush to the Cup in 1992 was so much enjoyment. That first Penguin game in the Final was heartbreaking. Regrettably it was during this era that the mismanagement of this Blackhawks under Dollar Bill and Mr. Fun, Bob Pulford arrived to it’s crescendo. Getting married in 1992 and beginning a family alongside different responsibilities plus my anger in the Wirtz’s for eliminating Chelios, ” Roenick and Belfour soured me about the Blackhawks as I vowed I would never give that guy a second dollar of his money. The anger grew when he got rid of this great Pat Foley. The Blackhawks were a non-entity not only in the hockey world but in my life. I was quite disillusioned. But I browse the box scores and follow them from the standings. Those were dark times. It had been so bad that one afternoon at Union Station in Chicago , I was rushing to create my train and that I passed two guys standing in the hallway one man wearing a suit, that I realized from the Blackhawks and a very good looking man wearing a #10 sweater. I understood it was not Dennis Hull, as he had more hair, but didn’t know this Sharp kid was. I think that they were hoping to drum up interest, but were not doing an excellent job.
In 2007 , I found the Blackhawks had the first pick in the draft and selected this little kid out of Buffalo. Since he was the first overall decision I paid more attention than I ever did the year previously when they drafted that child from Winnipeg 3rd overall, but figuring the two would be busts, as it’s the Blackhawks. I remember one Saturday night arriving home from a football game and tuning to a Blackhawks-Leafs game. It was a game the Blackhawks would normally lose because it turned out to be a high-scoring affair however, the Blackhawks maintained coming back led with these children Toews along with Kane. The fire was reigniting. I always thought that Peter Wirtz had been that the heir apparent. While I had been watching games more often and saw how this team improved and was interesting to observe, I did not expect many changes. Boy was I surprised. The Blackhawks soon became the design company. To me he is a marketing guru, selling dreadful baseball on the side of Chicago to masses. I figured he could do the same with the Blackhawks and he did. It also didn’t hurt the team was improving and just like I said, fun to observe. My fire was completely back – judi poker.
Currently, my children were also getting into hockey. Even though none of them skated, my two sons played floor hockey for our regional park district (where I instructed) along with my daughter and I have a tradition of attending the opening ceremonies of this Blackhawks Convention that has been excellent for individuals bonding. They knew my passion but still remained away from viewing a great deal of games with me because father would get furious when the Blackhawks dropped.
Never in my wildest dreams that I believed I would see 3 pies in my life span. Now I need more. While I enjoy every Blackhawks fan was disappointed in how this past season finished, this organization is still light years away from the way it used to be run. That is my story (sorry about that length).