An Open Letter to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Wakey Wakey shirtsApril 22, 2014, by
Usually, I like you. Despite growing up loving Detroit (thanks to my brother), I always thought there was something about you that was a bit charming. Maybe it’s the awesome jersey, or the great crowds you always seem to draw, or maybe it’s Patrick Sharp’s face. I can’t be sure. I certainly appreciated you last year when you took out the team that steamrolled the New York area straight into baseball season. But this postseason…. not so much.
I guess it started off bad for you. I’d begun to like the Blues cause who can’t when there’s so much American Olympic representation, including the shootout king Oshie and a kid who grew up a Rangers fan in Shattenkirk. But still, there was a respect I felt for you and an excitement I felt in what would be a gritty, tough, skilled matchup. I would love to see some nice, clean hockey played between rivals.
But you can’t do that, huh? I guess that you could be upset that a team showing discipline and resiliency, tying game 1 with only 1:45 to go to bring it to triple overtime. Hey, it upset your coach so much that he threw a tantrum when he missed a call he wanted and acted like an 8 year old child crying in the sandbox. Pro tip, Q – nobody, and I mean NOBODY, wants to see an old man grabbing their junk. Here’s the thing, Coach – where kids will see a dumb, immature action issued by their coach, that’s where they’re going to follow. DUH.
It should surprise no one that where you see a lack of discipline behind the bench, you’ll see it on the ice. All series, the Blackhawks have been sloppy; giving up pucks left and right to common defensive plays, taking foolish penalties on cross checks and slashes after the whistle, etc. The Hawks all but had game one in their corner, which would’ve handed the Blues their seventh straight loss and opened the series to a whole different situation.
But then Game 2 happened, and then I started to despise you, Hawks. It was chippy, sure, lots of little slashes and scrums here and there. For this, I can get behind the “it’s playoffs” defense. But then Bickell went knee out on Sobotka, a move that seemed despicable and out of control considering their lead so late in the third period. Fast forward barely one minute later when Seabrook thinks it’s hunting season and takes aim for Backes’ head. Two filthy (and not the good kind) plays back to back, followed up by taunting a player whose body crumbled like a ton of bricks thanks to a full speed shoulder to the head.
I suppose you shouldn’t have been surprised that upon losing their captain, the Blues hustled to tie the game with 6.4 to go, then drew yet another penalty (tsk tsk..) to win the game in just one overtime. But of all the gross, deplorable, inhumane things I’ve seen in my day – and I grew up with some girls who make Heathers look tame by nature – these shirts just take the cake. I want to try to justify this with words, but quite frankly, these people don’t deserve it.
After hearing the Captain and the alternate Captain of the Hawks make no remorse for the trash we were subjected to at the end of the game, all I can say is this: you stay classy, Chicago.
PS- Roenick seems pretty bored over at NBC, maybe you wanna offer him a contract? I hear he was good in NHL ’94. Cool.