I know this isn’t a sports blog. I’m not exactly sure what kind of blog you’d classify it as — “eccentric” or “random,” perhaps — but “sports-related” definitely wouldn’t make the cut.
That said, I think the fact that I’m even posting about hockey today shows exactly how much of an impact the Blackhawks have had on Chicago. Everyone but everyone is watching the games.
Saturday was our street’s long-scheduled block party, starting at 3 p.m. Everyone brought a dish or dessert to share and whatever they wanted to grill for their families. The fire department showed up with their huge trucks, and they even hooked up a firehose to spray the kids. We played egg toss and blocked off the street for scooter and bike rides up and down the hill. Lots of fun.
Usually, this party lasts well into the night, with fire pits aglow, citronella candles burning low, and kids playing “Ghosts in the Graveyard” around the houses. It’s a fun time to hang out with all the neighbors.
But this year, the day of the block party happened to fall on Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals with the ‘Hawks vs. the Boston Bruins. And I got the feeling that the party was on the clock, trying to squeeze in the fun before the puck dropped. Suffice it to say, the street was cleared out by 7:30 p.m. Everyone disappeared inside to watch the game.
And it wasn’t just our street. The highways around town, normally a snarl of backed-up cars and tail lights, were nearly empty. Stores were practically ghost towns.
How enthralled is Chicago by this series? Even the world-renown Chicago Symphony Orchestra played the Chelsea Dagger goal song as a tribute:
Did you see Conductor Riccardo Muti smile around the 56 second mark? Simply awesome.
Forgive me, but I’ve clearly contracted a case of Blackhawk fever, along with the rest of my city. It’s a “best-of-seven” contagion, and we’re hoping for a swift resolution. In the meantime, go Hawks!