"Pound sand" is one of my all-time favorite Chicagoisms. I don't know for sure that it's a saying that evolved here first, but I've never heard anyone say pound sand where I'm from.
Back on the East Coast, we might say something along the lines of "go play in traffic," as an old woman on my block once told me to go do.
But pound sand, as most of us are aware, is a useful combination "take a hike" and "get out of my face, buddy." And because of its veiled imagery combined with its plain-spoken intent, "pound sand" is possibly my favorite Chicago saying; second only to that old joke about what the streets Paulina, Melvina and Lunt have in common.
I've heard it a lot more recently, thinking it has a little to do with the tension and the sports passion that percolates naturally when Chicago has two teams in the playoffs at the same time. Even the voices on ESPN-1000 break it out on their sports radio shows, where most often pound sand comes up as an alternate expression for "don't tell me how to be a fan".
Like the rest of town, I tuned in Thursday to watch the Bulls bag Game 3 in Indy and the Hawks hit Vancouver with a devastating shutout to make the series 3 to 2. By the time the Blackhawks went up 5-0 in Game 5, I thought that it was an appropriate time to dispense a little trashtalk. And as we all know, razzing our pals is one of the things that Facebook is best used for.
So I jumped onto the wall of a friend back home who is diehard Vancouver Canucks fan. I'm not really sure where Jim gets his canuckdom from, but if I have to take stick back East for being a Cubs fan, then he's gettin' his.
At the start of the third period I wrote on his Facebook page, "Vancouver: Are you Ottawa in disguise?"
I expected the usual smack talk back right away but got nothing. Crickets, that's all. I was hoping for his sake that Jim might have turned it off and gone to bed. But eventually he did respond, stating only that perhaps the Canucks are "this year's Caps", reminding me of the fact that last year the Washington Capitals were up 3 games to 1 over Montréal before choking. The Montréal Canadiens later advanced to the conference finals after sending the Caps to go pound sand.
While Hawks fans have been tepid with the trashtalk, understandably, after barely making the playoffs, Bulls fans are making it just like old times.
My local spot to catch games is The Wild Goose, in North Center. Here, the beer selection is as diverse as the crowd, but the main reason I go there is that the sound is all the way up as it should be, encouraging fans to cheer like they were at the sideline of the United Center. Unlike in 1998, digital flatscreens are everywhere, enhancing the view, but the old throwback to the days of the late '90s is the precise and studied commentary from the average fan at your side who can breakdown every play and tell you where the momentum is going.
It's been a long time since Bulls games packed bars across town night after night, and a longer time since the Vic Theatre, a concert venue, sold out an hour for tipoff for a special Bulls version of "Brew & View". Still, it has been great to see the Hawks charge back in the same way that the Bulls, like in the Jordan/Pippen/Rodman heyday, could be down several points, only step it up and snatch victory at the end predictably.
I've said from the beginning that if D-Rose, Boozer, Noah and the Bench Mob play their game then, with no disrespect to Indiana, the Bulls beat Indiana, no problem. According to everyone else who has an opinion, the Bulls aren't playing well, but we're three quarters of the way there heading into this week's continuing matchup.
And it's all because our Bulls have the skills and drive to get it done, and maybe a little of that pound sand attitude going for them. Likewise, with some good defense and a little pound sand work ethic, the Blackhawks may very well win this series and send the Canucks to the offseason, hanging up their skates at home in British Columbia.
So there's little danger, in my mind, for all parties involved, most importantly the fans, to tell the Canucks and Pacers to go pound sand.
Andy Frye obsesses about sports and life here and on Twitter via @MySportsComplex, and plans to pound "pound sand" into the ground until Championship parade feet are pounding the pavement from LaSalle Street to Lunt.