Chicagoans are so obsessed with Chris Pronger. Instead of being happy that their team won the Stanley Cup, they can't seem to get over the fact that Prongs kept stealing their game winning pucks. There is a $50,000 reward for the one that slipped between the legs of Michael Leighton to the win the Cup. But Prongs doesn't have it. He first said it would show up on eBay, then… [Chicago Tribune] [PSD]
I have it, yeah. It’s tucked away somewhere; it’s gonna go to charity. Oh, you mean Game 6? Oh I don’t know where that puck is; I was on the bench. I thought you were talking about Game 2. I don’t know where that puck is. Game 6 I was on the bench; I was a little disappointed at that that point to skate all the way down there and take the puck. That might be a little much. If I’m on the ice and it’s right in front of me, that’s a fun story. I don’t know. I think one of them maybe would’ve grabbed it. I don’t know, maybe the ref has it. I don’t know. Somebody should look at the video; there’s 18 cameras out there, one of them should be able to find it.
Welcome back, Chris.
There's that, and then there's this: Chicago fans booing their own Lee DeWyze. DeWyze is the reigning American Idol and a Chicago native. He was bumped from singing the National Anthem in favor of that loud guy who sings while the crowd disrespectfully cheers throughout the entire song, just like they did in the Stanley Cup Finals.
In any case, DeWyze is probably lucky he wasn't shot while he sung "Sweet Serendipity" with the Bears trailing 14-0 at the half.
We're not the only ones that boo- it's a product of the current climate, if you will.
And finally, speaking of piss-poor Chicago fans, here's an email from reader Nick Biscardi.
Biscardi lives in Chicago and struggled to find any of those so-called "hockey fans" that seemed to be so prevalent during the Stanley Cup finals. His problem was similar to mine, as I tried to watch the Flyers game at the Field House in Center City, only to see them switch most of the TVs and the audio to the FOX pregame show. Yep, Howie, Terry, and JB's look-a-like replacement pumping over the loud speakers of a "Philly sports bar," instead of the hometown Flyers who were playing a rematch of the Stanley Cup finals on national TV. Unreal.
At first I was disappointed that I wasn't going to get tickets to see the Flyers come to town, but the more I thought about it, the more I was glad to be elsewhere for the game. It was a chance to see Blackhawks fans who had reason to cheer besides validating the face value on their tickets. I know how vehemently opposed Chicagoans were to Philly's claims that they were fairweather fans during the Cup Finals last year, and this was their chance to prove it. I visited the West End Bar, a 10 minute walk east of the United Center, only to find at least a 10:1 ratio of Bears to 'Hawks supporters. (Realistically, I saw as many people in Flyers shirts as 'Hawks shirts) After witnessing the scene in Chicago on game-day, I'm only further convinced that the Windy City is a sham hockey town, and did not deserve to savor its first Stanley Cup since the '60s.
First off, I'm not an idiot. I do realize that today was Packers/Bears for all of the NFC marbles, and football games don't get much bigger than that, but still. Kickoff was 3 hours after the opening puck dropped and the Blackhawks are still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Plus, this was a Stanley Cup rematch and NBC's Game of the Week. If the Yankees or Rays came to town for interleague play while the Flyers were in the Eastern Conference Finals, where would Philly's attention be? FOX would probably even milk that match-up for a Saturday marquee game. Hell, Roy Halladay threw a perfect game during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup last year and I think I know more people who watched that instead of the Flyers.
Before the hockey game started, a large bell at the center of the bar was rung and a montage of Blackhawks history was shown on the television screens. The legends of Mikita, Hull, & Espositio through the 90s stars of Roenick, Amonte, & Belfour to last year's Stanley Darlings were projected for all to see…only no one was paying much attention. Inside the bar was a sign that said "Thanks for a great inaugural season. We share this cup with all of Chicago," only further cementing my belief that no one in Chicago knew this team existed before the 2009 Winter Classic. Even throughout the game, reception was lukewarm at best to the home team. With 5 minutes to go, and Philly leading 3-1, every television at the West End switched to the singing of the national anthem before the Bears on FOX. I did not even get to see Hartnell's game-sealing goal.
From the opening whistle until the channel was changed, I can probably count on one hand the number of people actively following the hockey game. The only time the bar crowd's mood changed was when Hossa scored on the penalty shot in the third period. The bar's bell was rung and "Chelsea Dagger" (a song I've come to never need to hear again) was played, and people cheered and yelled without even looking up as to why. That song has become a Pavlovian response to these posers and the Blackhawks regular season must just pass the time between Bears and Cubs games.
When it became clear the game was not returning inside the West End, I cashed out my tab and decided to go home. There were already people headed back to their cars, likely leaving early and fed up that they didn't buy a winning ticket. On my way back, I high-fived everyone I saw wearing Flyers gear and proudly displayed my orange and black. I trudged through the snow past a slew of Toews and Kane jerseys to a chorus of boo's and middle fingers. One of them even chest-bumped/body-checked me. However, using my Philadelphia pre-disposition for fan violence, I sought out the youngest 'Hawks fan I could find and punched him in the mouth. (*Note, I didn't actually do this).
That would have been totally acceptable, Nick.