The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a couple weeks ago. The drive through the playoffs and the championship victory brought out emotions and excitement everywhere. I am so proud and pleased to present a guest blog which captures the feeling and expresses the emotions so eloquently. It was written by LD, whose writing I have enjoyed for years. My words cannot do her or her writing justice, so here it is.
The Blackhawks phenomenal win of the Stabley Cup has sent the Chicagoland residents into a whirlwind of euphoria.
For me, it runs deeper.
I grew up on the grittiness of the Hawks of the 70s--the ultimate sports underdogs. Hockey was the antithesis of the squeaky-clean sports of baseball and basketball. Hawks fans emulated their beloved team's grit and gusto. As a hockey spectator, you bought into an emotional rollercoaster and could count on just as many fights breaking out in the stands as on the ice. They were tough, rough, and uncouth, like some band of boys raised on the mean streets of Chicago and tumbling into a profession that embraced their keen street skills. These emotions, the attitudes this sport elicited, suited my dad perfectly. My dad, an immigrant who felt he landed on the wrong side of the coin toss in life, felt as if the Hawks sluiced the ice just for him.
As a kid, when I heard the iconic Hawks opening song, "Here come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks..." (YouTube, please), I would rush from whatever room I was in and slide onto the carpet near my dad who relaxed by lying sideways propped on his arm. I'd hunker down with my Barbie dolls, more interested in hanging with my dad than watching the game. "Shoot! Shoot!" My dad uttered over and over until it was done. He'd laugh devilishly when fights broke out and a Hawk gave it to the other team. If blood emerged, so the better. When they scored, my father would rocket up, rubbing his hands together rapid enough to emit sparks while hoopin' and hollerin'. Their victory was his victory.
My dad passed away six and a half years ago, but he's with me when I find myself doing the things he also loved. I feel him when I am bunched down pulling weeds and feel the soil grit in my nails. I feel him when I cook for people and see the joy in their faces as I serve them.
Throughout the winning playoff game, I heard myself scream, Shoot! Shoot!" over and over as I lay out on my mom's carpet. But most of all I felt him as I witnessed Kane rocketing that puck in a blink right passed the Flyers goalie. His beloved Hawks did it! This is for you pops, I said to myself as we hooped and hollered around the house.
I slipped into my car to head home and the radio announcers were high on the Hawks victory. And then I heard it..."Here come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks" sounding scratchy and dated like an old LP. I got chills as I drifted back to the living room floor years back.
They made it, dad. They made it. Enjoy.