Late last night, some pictures surfaced (courtesy of "[The Province](http://www.theprovince.com/)" in Vancouver) of shirtless Blackhawks Patrick Kane, John Madden, and Kris Versteeg having...uh...fun...in a limousine with some fun loving lasses. Let the controversy begin. The media is going to jump on this story and dissect it from every angle. The morals of the team will be questioned. The commitment to excellence will be questioned. Is Joel Quenneville losing control of his team? Is this further proof that Patrick Kane is a bad seed? John Madden is married! Is he a cheater? Those who have been waiting for something negative to say about the Hawks have it now.
Oh the outrage! How dare young, (mostly) single athletes have a good time with some semi good looking women? I'm going to break some news here, but athletes like to go out, drink, and have fun...often with decent looking women.
This happens with every team, in every league. Unfortunately, the Hawk players allowed a camera.
I'm not going to be naive and suggest nothing sexual happened, but at the same time, there is no proof that it did. There is no proof that John Madden did anything unfaithful. If it did happen, it's just a reality in pro sports.
Let me share a few stories that I know of or maybe you've forgotten over the last few years.
In Theo Fleury's new book, he talks about his time with the Hawks. He talks about a night where he was so desperate for a drug fix, he walked alone into the projects asking anyone he could find to point him to a dealer. He spent the night doing drugs with a homeless vagrant.
Another? Ok. During the early - mid 2000's, there was a Lincoln Park establishment we would all hang out at after games. More often than not, some Blackhawks players would arrive, win or lose, and drink the night away.
One of the more frequent Hawks, on an especially crowded night, was looking to once again leave with a woman. I spent most of the night right next to him, as the crowd was wall to wall. He nudged past me and headed to the bar. He asked the bartender for a martini glass and a bottle of ketchup. He filled the glass with the ketchup, unzipped, inserted his little tomahawk, and asked his target if she wanted a "shrimp cocktail." Somehow, this worked, and he later left arm and arm with this woman and one of her friends.
Back to Theo Fleury. Remember that night in Columbus when the Hawks went to the Pure Platinum strip club? Fleury was kicked out, and it became news. Do you think that was the first time a team took a trip to a strip club? Nope. It was the first time it was made public because of Fleury's incident.
Jonathan Toews. Yes, Jonathan Toews was photographed a few years ago sucking down a beer bong. He was underage. Yes, just like you, he drank when he was underage.
I've seen women of every age, every race, and every level of beauty humiliate themselves for a chance with a hockey player. A couple times a month, I host a Hawk talk Q&A with Adam Burish. I've seen him hugged, kissed, licked, tugged, poked, and harassed at every event. Girls insist on sitting on his lap for a picture. These women do not relent. Burish, to his credit, remains friendly and cordial, and just wipes his cheek and moves on. At the end of a typical night, 3-4 phone numbers are left for him at the table.
Not everyone has the willpower Adam does. It know if I was a single, 26 year old millionaire I would have trouble staying away.
I'm not saying it's right, but it happens all the time. Don't think any less of the Hawks than you thought of the '85 Bears, the Jordan Bulls, the '05 Sox, or the 1908 Cubs. Athletes are rock stars, and are treated as such.
The biggest violation in these pictures is Kris Versteeg's glasses. Come on Steeger. Did you steal those from a Hooters waitress?
Perhaps the Hawks learned a lesson here. Keep the cameras away from the skanks, and use discretion when they are around.