A slapshot to Blackhawks fans


Photo source: blackhawks.nhl.com

Maneesh Somisetty, Staff Writer

The magnificent Chicago Blackhawks: 2010 and 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, the pride and joy of the Windy City and the most popular sport in Illinois.



Until the 2008-09 NHL season, The Blackhawks were nothing–viewed by few on television and tickets barely sold. If they lost, we wouldn’t know. If they won, we wouldn’t blink an eye.

So, the question is, if they ever go back to their losing ways, would the so-called “loyal fans” from Chicagoland actually stick with them? If they have a losing season, would we follow them through thick and thin, continue to go to United Center game after game, still try to buy the jersey of every star player? Or would we go back to not caring what they do?

The majority of Blackhawks fans actually don’t care at all. Yes, it’s very easy to look like committed fans when they are winning. It’s a great feeling to be a fan of a team that continues to take down every competitor in front of them.

But this cannot last forever. Eventually the Hawks will go back into a slump, once a star player such as Patrick Kane or Duncan Keith gets traded away or retires. Either way, the Blackhawks won’t be on top of their game for much longer and we’ll have to decide: are they worth watching if they are losing? Should we waste our time for a team we don’t actually care about that much?

The honest truth is that Chicago is not a hockey city. The Chicago Bulls and Bears have always been much more popular, even when they are having bad season. Hockey is just a passing fad for the city that will soon disappear. Hockey is not fast-paced enough for Chicagoans; there is not enough scoring and the games last too long.

Luckily, with such a great team, The Blackhawks tend to score more often than many NHL teams, which makes the sport seem more interesting. But once players such as Jonathan Toews leave the team, the little bit of excitement hockey has will be gone and we will go back to our football and basketball lifestyles.

Now where have I seen this before–a sports team that becomes very popular for a few years when they start winning and then once they go back to losing, no one cares anymore?  This can be seen as recently as the creation of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” when Lebron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in South Beach in the 2010-11 season. This superstar-filled team made the trip down to the NBA finals each of the four years they were together. They became easily the most talked about NBA team since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

But once Lebron James, arguably the best player on the team, left during the last off-season, the team forgot how to win. The next season, the Miami Heat fell short of the NBA playoffs, and the popularity of the team completely diminished.  Many of the so-called “fans” of the Miami Heat suddenly became die-hard fans of any other team that was winning, specifically the Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors. This is exactly what will happen to the Blackhawks once a few star players leave the team and they aren’t winning as often as we are used to. All of these so-called “fans” will say goodbye, and in this case, might just stop watching hockey completely.

The Blackhawks fandom is a passing phase in Chicago, and all they are doing is making us feel good about ourselves for rooting for a team that actually wins. While there are a few of us who are lifelong Blackhawks fans, the majority of us really don’t care. So, thank you, Chicago Blackhawks, for making us a little bit happier, but we really don’t care about you.