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Chicago is not “Hawkey Town”!

May 17, 2010

First let me state that the term “Hawkey Town” is absolutely moronic and I hate it.  In fact, I hate myself more than usual because I just used it.  Clever word play Moronic phrases aside, my point is that Chicago is not all of a sudden a hockey city.  It’s a football/baseball city and only seems like a hockey city right now due to the fact that the Blackhawks are doing so well.

I’ve thought this for a while but after having conversations this weekend with certain “fans” of the Hawks, I am positive I am correct.

The Blackhawks have a core group of young and extremely talented players leading them.  They are now in the Western Conference Finals for the second year in a row.  And their high powered, offensive minded style of play is very exciting to watch.  But they are still, at best, the fifth favorite team in Chicago.  The Bears, Bulls, Cubs and Sox are all higher on that list.  People are just drawn to a team that has the ability to win a championship now.  How do I know this?  Because recently I talked to “fans” of the Hawks and asked them questions and received some revealing questions.

First, let me state my personal feelings on the Hawks.  I only care a little bit.  I have never been a hockey fan (except NHL ’98 for Sega, that game was sweet!) and thus have never been a Hawks fan.  I think of the Hawks the same way I think of the Chicago Wolves or the Chicago Rush or the Chicago Fire.  All of those teams are from Chicago and have won championships in the past.  To that I say, woo!  I’m happy that a team from Chicago wins and I’m going to root for them but I’m not going to get worked up over it. I’m rooting for them, but not very hard.

So back to my original point, the Hawks are simply going through a swell of fan support due to recent success.  This will only stay at the same level if the Hawks win it all.  A championship in Chicago changes everything and would vault them right up there with the rest of the top sports teams for years.  If they don’t win then they go right back down.  Why do I think this?  Because of several conversations I have had recently.

The most revealing conversation was with somebody I know for a fact didn’t give a shit about the Hawks until last year.  When he discussed with me how excited he was for the upcoming Hawks game, I asked him how can he claim to be such a big fan when he’s never rooted for them until last year?  Doesn’t that make you a fair-weather fan?  His response, “Yeah, so”.  That’s the exact attitude I believe a lot of Hawks fans have now.  They know they’re fair-weather fans, they know that once the Bears’ season starts they won’t be thinking about the Hawks until playoff time next year, and they know that they can’t name more than a few former Hawks players.  But the Hawks are winning and that’s all that matters to them.  And that’s not really a big deal.  Or it shouldn’t be to true Hawks fans.  If your a real Hawks fan then all you should care about is them winning, not about who else is cheering for them.

So most of these fans will dessert the Hawks as soon as they lose.  They will go back to the teams they have always watched.  Order will be restored to the city.  Like I said, unless the Hawks win the Cup because there’s no other city in the country that will make men into Gods for winning a Championship.  Ditka won 1 and he will forever be known as Da Coach.  Jordan won 6 and he could murder the Mayor and people would let it slide.  A championship changes everything.

But even with a championship, the Hawks will never be the number 1 team in this city.  Hockey isn’t a popular enough sport nationwide and doesn’t have the same appeal as football, baseball, or basketball.  A pennant chase by the Cubs or Sox, early season success by the Bears or the free agent signing people are expecting from the Bulls puts the Hawks on the back burner again.

I really have no problem with the Hawks or hockey in general.  I really don’t even have a problem with fair-weather fans in general.  It just that everybody wants to talk about the Hawks and I really don’t care.  Sorry Hawks, I hope you guys win but I’m still hoping the Cubs can turn it around, the Bulls sign Chris Bosh, and the Bears can adjust quickly to Mike Martz’s offense.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kyle permalink*
    May 17, 2010 8:41 pm

    As someone who never played ice hockey as a kid, I have no personal connection with the game or the Blackhawks at all. Like Kevin said, it’s great if the Hawks win, but I’m not going to lose any sleep it they don’t.

    As for the “fair-weather fans”, I’ve found that people (especially those in the city) will use any excuse to drink. Right now the Hawks are the “hot” ticket. And because a bunch of their games are on Versus, people are forced to go to the bars to watch the playoffs.

    On a related note, why are “true” Blackhawks fans upset with fair-weather fans? Are you really that insecure where you need to separate yourself from the rest of the perceived fanbase?

    Here’s a tip I’ve learned as a Cubs fan: Fair-weather fans bring in money for your team. They buy food, drinks, jersey and tickets. That money is then theoretically spent on making your team better and more competitive. Does is suck having a bunch of assholes who know nothing about your team sitting in your stadium? Yeah, but imagine where you’d be without them.

  2. June 14, 2010 7:49 pm

    So now that the Hawks have won the Cup, I have decided to not change my opinion at all. And I’m not the only one who agrees. They had this discussion on ‘The Final Word’ between Tom Waddle and Corey Mcfaren. Tom said it best: the Bears are at the top of the favorites list and they aren’t going anywhere. He went on to say exactly what I said in this post so turns out I was totally right.

    That is unless the Hawks turn into the dynasty a lot of Chicago sports fans think they will. Then who the hell knows.

  3. Sorry, but no, we are Hockeytown permalink
    June 28, 2013 1:30 am

    You wanna know why Chicago isn’t “Hawkeytown”? It’s because kids in metro Detroit dream of being on the Red Wings (Hockeytown), while kids in metro Chicago dream of being on the Bulls. There’s a reason why Michigan has some of the best juniors teams in the world (like AAU basketball) and Illinois has some of the best AAU programs. I think it’s also often overlooked, but Detroit never wanted the salary cap. You wanna know why? Cause we paid for the best (10 HoF players on the 01-02 team) and still turned a profit. This is because hockey is life where I’m from. Not the Tigers, not the Lions, not the Pistons. It’s the Red Wings, and this shameless pilfering of our trademark (check our center ice logo) shows unoriginality and this sort of bandwagon bs (check this article: does not go unnoticed in our city, cause, you guessed it, hockey is king in Detroit.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    July 31, 2013 10:02 pm

    To the Detroit fan, but sorry, the only reason Detroit is so Hockey crazy is because your other teams through the years have failed to produce. While your hockey team seemed to be the only consistent thing the city saw. As you have noticed in the last year with the wings current rebuilding the seats have mysteriously become vacant (even if the team wants to claim they are selling out). And Detroit fans should not be getting upset at all about us “Pilfering” your “trademark”. Its not original when you’re media steals it from Minnesota and self proclaim yourselves Hockey Town. “Hawkeytown” is an original twist on a already over used term, and I myself find it great that something so simple eats away at Detroit.

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