Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hawks and Hawkish Fans

I awoke with conviction that I had something useful to post today. Last night's Blackhawks game was postworthy: I was part of the regular-season record-setting crowd of 22,712 who witnessed their record-tying eighth straight victory. I suggest that playoff ticket holders consider me as a companion - I've never seen them lose. For all I ignore hockey, I enjoy watching it. Not only were two goals scored in the opening two minutes, but they pummeled Philly. 38 shots on goal to 17. In my view, they won all three fights.

The last Blackhawk game I attended was during the first Gulf War, when the tradition of madly cheering through the entire national anthem was born. I'm not sure I understand the meaning of drowning out the singer, but they've held onto the tradition for seventeen years now, who is anyone to question it -- much less, a ritual seemingly steeped in a questionless broth of bravado and loyalty. This crowd might still cheer President Bush if he skated out onto center ice with a "Mission Accomplished" banner on his back.

I don't mean it derisively. Entirely. The majority of fans wore their Hawks jerseys. Politeness abounded. Cheers of "Detroit sucks!!!" echoed through the stadium, despite the evening's opponent being Philadephia. Unlike any of the other sports, and mostly like the theater, ushers make spectators wait to re-enter the stands until a stoppage of play. They wear dapper vests and hold "Stop" signs.

None of this is terribly post-worthy for me, other than the ability of Hawks fans to hold onto tradition and ritual, even through terrible times.

I can't wax too romantic about Hawks hope, though, since I only see a game during a war with Iraq.

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