I heard the yelling and the honking cars. It was so exciting! I had to do it. I just had to. Donning my Blackhawks sweatshirt, I tip-toed out the door, leaving the babysitter and my sleeping daughter together for 30 more minutes so I could have "the experience." After having managed to get tickets to the second Playoff game, snapping endless photos, not knowing whether they would win or lose the series, I couldn't miss this celebration!
I walked a block and a half to where many bars and restaurants line Lincoln Ave. There were 60 years olds high-fiving 20 year olds: "Go Hawks!" The Stanley Cup! Oh yeah...Chicago knows how to partaaaa. It made me want to drink a beer-- and I hate the taste of beer!
The police circled their wagons with flashing blue lights around a set of bars and stood outside their vehicles facing the bars with their arms crossed and bullet proof vest protruding from behind their short sleeve shirts. They cordoned off the streets so the partiers could yell and whoop and still be "contained."
Some of the celebrators talked to the police and made them smile or laugh. It was impossible to walk the streets of Chicago without smiling - everyone was smiling. No fights, no angry faces. Everybody was happy. Me too.
I thought about this Stanley Cup Win for the second time in four years and realized that we have one man to credit for all of our revelry. This celebration was due to one man's determination to live his values: Rocky Wirtz. As all ardent Blackhawks fans know, Bill Wirtz, Rocky's father, was a very unpopular owner, focused on the bottom line, without consideration for fans or the team's potential. Rocky had to go against every loyalty to his father to save the franchise. Very shortly after Bill's passing, Rocky decided to invest according to the values he believes in - values that were evident last night in an interview when he pulled from his pocket a silver medallion that read: "gratitude."
One of the winning players interviewed said that Rocky ordered a private plane to transport all the players' families to Boston so they could be with the players for this game. What a memory for the families to be able to celebrate together after this unexpectedly last game!
Rocky is a conscious business owner, putting both fans and players before consideration of the bottom line...and as a result the Blackhawks games have gone from abysmal attendance to full capacity, with tickets being scalped for thousands of dollars each.
Thank you, Rocky Wirtz, for showing us what it means to be a conscious business owner, whose heart is with the people and the purpose, leaving the bottom line to speak for itself!