After sixty years of fandom, I'm done with the Chicago Blackhawks

April 16, 1961. On that date, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 6-1. The win gave the Hawks their third Stanley Cup championship in team history.

At that time, I was eight years old and this was the first hockey game I remember watching. The memories of that night are faint, but that game was the beginning of six decades of fandom with the sport and the team.

It was over the next few years that I really became hooked. The Blackhawks were the most exciting team in the National Hockey League. They were led by Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Glenn Hall. All of their road games were televised on WGN. With Lloyd Petitt doing the play-by-play, Hawks hockey was appointment television. Plus, it was the only sport my father really liked, so it gave us something in common to bond over.

Although the Blackhawks of that era were fun to watch, there weren’t any championships after 1961. There were more than a few bitter disappointments. Don’t get me started about 1971 again. I’m still not over losing the seventh game of the Final to Montreal after having a 2-0 lead.

It was the painful losses that made the 2010 championship so sweet. I let out a loud scream of joy when Patrick Kane scored the overtime goal that ended the forty-nine-year drought. When the team followed up with Cup titles in 2013 and 2015, life as a Blackhawk fan couldn’t get any better.

None of that matters now. It’s all tainted!

The damning report that was released on Tuesday showed us they valued championships over everything. Nothing was going to get in their way of winning the elusive Stanley Cup. I realize that winning a championship is the ultimate goal of all teams, especially in professional sports, but when you sell your soul to do it, it’s too much. When you value the championship more than human decency, it’s too much. When the leaders of your organization bury a sexual assault because it may become a distraction for a team on the verge of winning a championship, it’s too much. When raising a trophy is more important than supporting a twenty-year-old player who has been assaulted by a member of your coaching staff, it’s too much. It’s all way too much…at least it is for me to continue to be a fan of this team.

Yes, I know that the management of the 2010 team is no longer a part of the team. Congratulations! It took only eleven years to get rid of all of them. But what about the ownership? Rocky Wirtz has said that he didn’t know about any of this until a few months ago. I hope he’s telling the truth, but why should I believe him? What has he done to earn my trust?

And what about the players from the 2010 team? These athletes share a locker room for nine months. None of them saw anything? None of them knew anything? It doesn’t ring true.

There are only two players from 2010 still playing for the current Blackhawk team, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. When responding to the report, their words sound empty. Their legacy has now changed. They’ve gone from being three-time-champion Hall of Famers to having the taint of this as a major part of their resume. Both need to be gone because every time you see them on the ice, it’ll be a reminder of this sordid event. The sooner they’re gone the better.

I know making this change after sixty years may seem kind of abrupt. But, this whole thing has been so disgusting and distasteful that I didn’t feel like I had any choice. It was a matter of self-respect. Maybe they’ll follow through with their talk of the last couple of days and change the direction of the organization. Maybe then I’ll return. Lots of maybes. And hey, Blackhawks, if you’re really serious about changing for the better, it’s time to revisit the team name. It really is offensive to a lot of people….but you’ve known that a lot longer than the last eleven years. See….not much on Madison Street really does change.

Related Post: My dinner with Yvon

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Filed under: Blackhawks, News, Sports, Stanley Cup

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    Howard Moore

    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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