One good season, and we’re already spoiled

By Jeffrey Bartl

DISCLAIMER: This is not directed toward every Blackhawks fan, but you’ll know if you fit the bill after reading this. Don’t act indignant either with the, “What? Who? Me?” shit. ‘Fess up if this is you. If you haven’t been to a game, you may not understand this. But it’s happening, and these are observations from Section 326.

Wake up, Chicago, there’s a first-place team in town.

No, it’s not your beloved Chicago Bears, who you support unconditionally.  Jay Cutler could take a dump on your front law and you’d probably place it on your mantle and show it off to your friends.

The one and only team seriously contending for a championship in this town is the Chicago Blackhawks. And the fans need to start realizing that and get behind it.

I’ve mentioned before how the United Center is turning into Wrigley Field II. I used to think hockey fans were the most pure in all of sports, understanding the game to a point that you could go to a game and not run into a total jackass. Well, if you want that, don’t expect it in Chicago.

Suddenly, Blackhawks games have become more of the popular thing to do rather than a true-fan gathering. Even the Chicago media is spoiled, ready to cancel the season after one bad game, as Second City Hockey pointed out yesterday.

It’s amazing how the fans can’t just get behind this team and support them without all the bullshit. Yes, we can criticize. Yes, we can be upset after a loss. Yes, we can make fun of them, like I often do here, when things aren’t coming up roses. However, let’s not over-do it.

We’re actually BOOING our starting goaltender during pre-game intros after just a couple of bad games? We’re sarcastically cheering every time the puck trickles toward our net and our goalie easily corrals it? Jesus Christ! What kind of support is that? How does this help your team? It’s not like we’ve gone years with a stud in net, traded him for no reason for a Ziplock bag full of piss and then put Jimbo Skurski in pads.

We’re acting like the hockey gods pooped in our cereal and dealt us some awful hand, like we’re suffering through another horrible hockey season and feel the need to boo the team off the ice after a simple 20 minutes of so-so play. The Blackhawks aren’t the Cubs. There aren’t any underachieving shitbags on this team. There’s no prima donna, no one calling the fans racist and no one making excuses for sub-par play. We don’t need to treat them like dogshit each time there’s a turnover, each time the puck goes in the net or on the few occasions they get out-played.

We have a damn good hockey team in this town and a legitimate championship contender. It’s about time these fans start acting like it and not putting them down for every single lapse in play. It’s going to happen. They’re not perfect.

Should I boo you every time you change lanes without signaling? Every time you don’t give up your seat for a woman on the bus? Every time you grab your crotch or fart in public because you don’t think anyone was around? Those are lapses in judgment, but who’s to say you’re not a hell of a person outside of those moments?

The Blackhawks will have lapses in play, but they are one hell of a hockey team that deserves more support than the fans have given them at home. If you’re uneducated about hockey, then sit back in your seat and maybe ask some questions to the more knowledgeable fans around you who understand the game. And if you are an educated hockey fan and you’re still booing every icing call, then you’re not as educated as you thought.

Stop acting like you’re owed something, ‘Hawks fans. Appreciate what you have. The Blackhawks are THE youngest team in the NHL, and they’re one of the best. Start showing them you understand that.

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