I've been meaning to write this blog for a couple of years now, and I've never done it. Maybe it's because I participated, in earnest, so many times. Maybe it's because when I see the Winged Wheel on the Detroit sweaters, I just want to blurt it out. Well, not anymore.
It's time to retire "Detroit Sucks." ***
I know this will be met with a lot of resistance, but hear me out.
The "Detroit Sucks" chant, to me, has always been a chant based in jealousy. The Wings have been elite for the better part of two decades, and it was torturous to watch as a Blackhawk fan. As competitive as the Hawks were in the 90s, the 2000s were, for the most part, brutal. The Wings kept winning. Then they started winning with Chris Chelios. Then Chelios would bring the Cup to Chicago and rub it in our faces. All the while, Bill Wirtz was selling huge blocks of tickets to Detroit area travel agencies...so the United Center would be 60% Detroit fans. It hurt enough to lose all those games, but to hear "Let's Go Red Wings (clap, clap, clapclapclap) in your own building made it agonizing. The only defense we had has fans was "Detroit Sucks."
These days, the Hawks are on top of the Western Conference and the NHL. The days of envy are over. The Wings are still strong, but not as strong as they were. The Hawks are a better team, and have won a Cup more recently. I'm not jealous anymore...are you?
Why give the Wings the satisfaction of our hatred? They haven't done anything to earn it. The recent games have been respectful. They don't really have any hate-able players anymore (except for Todd Bertuzzi). The venom should be saved for teams more deserving...like Vancouver or St. Louis.
It's also important to keep in mind that the Hawks are pretty much built off the Red Wings model. When Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough took over, they looked around the league and asked themselves, "Who's the best organization in the NHL?" No question, it was the Red Wings. They hired Scotty Bowman as an adviser. Jonathan Toews is constantly compared to Steve Yzerman. The Hawks are so close to the Red Wings organizationally right now, it's would almost be like booing a twin.
The Blackhawks have arrived. They are elite now. It's time to act like an elite fan base.
***EDIT : May 13, 2013 - In the unlikely scenario that a "Let's Go Red Wings" chant erupts at the United Center, the "Detroit Sucks" chant may be resurrected.