Time to retire a Blackhawks tradition

Time to retire a Blackhawks tradition

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.



Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    I like it. It is a tough idea to pass along, but at a point when does it become too much? When do we cross the line of playfully being a fan and being that poor sport? We currently are a superior team right now, why tarnish that with something that is, well, trashy and overdone?

  • fb_avatar

    Sorry Jay, but St. Louis sucks or Vancouver sucks does not phonetically roll of the tongue as well as "Detroit Sucks."

  • In reply to Dion Robinson:

    but dion, everybody know...st louis blows.

  • In reply to Dion Robinson:

    That's sort of the essence of it. Detroit should get some respect if, for nothing else, being an original 6 team and generally providing a good game. St. Louis always seems like nothing like thugs when they play the Hawks.

    Which gets me to realignment. While I can see making sure each current Eastern Conference team appears here once, and cutting back playing Vancouver, and intensifying the Detroit rivalry, who wants to see more of Columbus, St. Louis, and Nashville? Unless just to win 7-1, no.

    Of course, Hawk fans don't throw Asian Carp after a hat trick.

  • Don't Red Wings fans do the same? Isn't "Opposing Team Sucks" a staple at pretty much every arena?

    Would be hard to let this go, particularly because it sounds so close to "Dino sucks!"

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I know I'm replying to a 2.5 year old post, but just to clarify (because I don't think you've ever been to the Joe for a game, Jimmy)... we really don't ever actively cheer *against* anyone. We might razz the goalie when needed (Craaaw-fooord!) but I swear I've *never* heard, in 32 years of season tickets, the Wings fans yell "(blank) sucks!" in unison. It's just not our thing. We will chant FOR our team, but never AGAINST anyone else's. It's a time and energy waster.
    I personally think Chicago has some of THE best hockey fans in the league -- knowledgeable, passionate and lubricated. (I attended 4-5 games at Chicago Stadium in the late 80's & early 90's wearing my Wings sweater, and never left a game NOT drenched in beer... which I oddly respect). This chant has really brought my respect down a few notches... it's really, really tired now.
    When you guys win one more Cup than we have, feel free. Mind you, it won't happen in my lifetime (unless MJ straps on skates!)

  • Fully agree w/ you, Jay.... not every NHL team's fanbase has a "__ sucks" chant. (Smacks of AHL and ECHL-level fandom, really.) Even worse than the banal "Detroit sucks" chant are those "fans" who chant it when it's not even Detroit in the building! (idiots!)

    Best way to show another team sucks: Just beat them.

  • I agree with you too Jay. I think it gives a bad name to Blackhawk fans when the vocal minority chant it. We are better and a more educated fan base than that. Like HockeyBroad said, just beat them!

  • well said. i dislike the canucks alot more than I ever did the wings.

  • fb_avatar

    You make a valid point, but there still is no denying that Detroit Sucks.

  • fb_avatar

    Those who agree with Jay are simply sucking up. That or they're part if the bandwagon who's earliest memory of the Blackhawks was seeing Tommy Hawk for the first time in the spring of '08.

  • It's a hard argument you are driving at here Jay, especially when said chant started long before the Hawks went on the decline and the Wings got good.

    Some of these "traditions" even the ones you might feel are a tad unseemly go back to before the UC.

    I understand, and I recall all too well what it became in the late 90s and early 2000 era when the UC attendance dwindled and the place became overrun with transplant Michiganders cheering for their budding dynasty.

    Still, this tradition, was never born out of jealousy, just as the Dino chants Jimmy referred to were a manifestation of intense passion and dislike to a skilled but arguably "dirty" player that took liberties with Hawk players.

    @Jimmy Greenfield: Kind of appropriate that Dino donned the wheel sweater for a bit in the 90s.

  • Well, stated - but the premise is a bit off - this is about a rivalry, not jealousy (rivalry may have been originally based on that, and perhaps if Detroit REALLY suck, it wouldn't be as much fun; but it is also based on geography, and the fact that both teams are original 6). Hey, no matter what happens - as I've pointed out to my relative in Detroit. Look where you live (none really live IN Detroit, of course - but in the 'burbs), and look where I live. Or to the Red Wing fans who do get in - you're cheering your team, that's fine...but where do you live? And why?

  • To take a point from Steve, I'll buy into the idea to stop the chant -- but only when Detroit ACTUALLY starts to suck (the team, not the city. Hah!). We'll always have cheering the Anthem. Go Hawks!

  • No. Most retarded blog ever. It's one of the best chants in sports. Don't be a hockey snob just because you're on 670 the station that lacks the most in hockey in town.

  • In reply to Yahoo22:


  • Wow...you freaking nailed it! Thank you so much!!! I'm a Red Wings fan for life and have been going to the games back when they were $15 a ticket and the majority of the fans at the UC were Wings fans, back when I moved to Chi-town from Michigan. I get this! I've gotten in 2+ arguments in the last week alone about the respect that Detroit deserves and how Hawks fans are just pissed, then you write this. I can't even tell you how happy I am. Thanks! Let's have a peaceful rivarly like we deserve! Go Wings!

Leave a comment