Well, this Chicago Tough guy (with the last name of an irishman I once knew in Printer's Row) is sick again.
It seems like to me if he was so Chicago Tough, he'd suck it up and get these articles done. Back in my day working for the Chicago American, you weren't allowed days off. Heck, they didn't even provide basic health insurance. You had to go to this guy who a garden apartment out in Logan Square that only spoke Armenian...but, hey, it was what we had to do.
Anyways, I got a note in my PO Box saying that i needed to help tonight. Plus, my guy at the pub told me he'd left a message...so, I sauntered over to one of those pay computers and got to work. I'm usually doing work for those goofballs at Hockeenight. I will say that Hockeenight is a good hockey source, but those guys do try to screw it up as much as possible.
I asked this Chicago Tough (I guess Dooley is his name) about what I needed to write about. He talked about me doing an article on the Chicago Bulls, which is kind of odd considering the last time I saw a Bulls game was back in 1974 when Jerry Sloan nearly clocked Nate Archibald in the face with a chair.
Those were the days.
We would sit up in the press box sipping on some rock'n'rye plugging bets on which player would get into Sloan or Van Lier's face first. Usually, it was Van Lier that won. But those were some good Bulls teams.
But, for me, I go back to the old Chicago Stags and Max Zaslofsky. I was just a tike following the old Stags who went kaputz.
Then, we got the Chicago Packers for the 1961-1962 season. Who in their right mind would name a Chicago team the 'Packers' must've had a funny sense of humor. They changed the name to the Zephyrs. They had Terry Dischinger and Walt Bellamy, some good young talent, but then they moved the very next year to Baltimore and became the Bullets and that's when they got Earl Monroe and then would later win a championship in 1978...a title they would win with my old buddy and former Bulls coach Dick Motta.
But what I really wanted to get to were the days at the old International Amphitheatre. That place smelled like God came down just to piss on Chicago and then rubbed in stale beer. Magnify that with the smell of the stockyards, and it used to smell like my old Grandma Stykowicz's liverwurst.
Those were the days of old Red Kerr and Bob Boozer and Guy Rodgers. Rodgers led the league in assists.
The Bulls organization was banking on the Stadium hosting the first season, but things didn't work out, so the Bulls were stuck in the stinky amphitheatre. The second season they finally got to the Stadium so we weren't stuck in the stockyards.
At the old press box at the stadium, we would get all hell-bent and enter the press box and
throw hot dog wrappers at the back of Bill Gleason's head. Those were the days.
Truth be told, Chicago was never a professional basketball town until that Michael show showed up. The town, truth be told, was owned by Illinois, Loyola, DePaul, and Notre Dame. The old Stadium used to hold doubleheaders usually featuring Notre Dame and Loyola and tow national teams. Those were the days of Les Hunter and Jerry Harkness and George Ireland. They won it all in '63.
We would get all hell-bent and enter the press box and throw hot dog wrappers at the back of Bill Gleason's head. Those were the days.
Those were the days when a man could pick up his nieces and nephews and drop them off at the Kiddieland on First Ave and then lay a couple dollars down on the ponies at Maywood. If the day went well, you could send the kids to the Poppin' Fresh down the road for some pie.
But, I'm getting off the track. Yes, this Chicago Bulls group...I'll be honest, I don't watch much of the NBA game like I used to. That Jordan guy was fun to watch, but truth be told he got so dominating I didn't watch.
I have noticed that this Derrick Rose kid moves the ball like a young Guy Rodgers. It reminds me of the time I saw Bob Cousy play an exhibition at the Stadium. That was back when he was at Holy Cross in the 1940s, and I was only a little tike, and back then you could actually smoke in your seats, and they didn't mind if you smuggled a bottle in. That was when gamblers would approach the players to beat the spreads, which is how CCNY and Bradley ran into trouble. Bradley was the school where that Chet the Jet Walker guy went to.
Anyways, I'm hoping that this Bulls team does well this year. I'm also hoping this screwball gets better so I don't have to write about a sport I don't care about.
So, hopefully the next time I'm writing here we can talk about this Blackhawks team that's hellbent on giving me heart attacks.
Have a drink for old Ironsides,
(For more ramblngs from Slats Radke, check out www.hockeenight.com)