Monday, May 24, 2010

The Cubs Played a Baseball Game Yesterday?

The Cubs managed to have a winning road trip against two first place teams, so let's take a moment to thank whatever cosmic force we are inclined to thank when miracles happen.

But that's enough of that.  Let's instead focus on the biggest sports story in Chicago: the Blackhawks' sweep of the one-seeded San Jose Sharks to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992.

I'm a bandwagon jumper and I freely admit it.  I am still learning the game of hockey, but I now have the opportunity to do so since the games are on television and the team is fun to watch.

Watching the fans that suffered through the long years without the Stanley Cup has been almost as much fun.  I wasn't in the city when the Bears won in 1985, so I didn't get a chance to witness the exhilaration and release of frustration that came with their dominating season ending in the dismantling of the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

The Bulls' runs in the 90s were great and it was a hell of a lot of fun being the favorite for years on end, but there were very few long-suffering Bulls fans in the grand scheme of things, so there was not much relief so much as just pure joy at being the best at something for awhile.

The White Sox fans got to throw off years of failure in 2005 and I'm sure it was fun for them, but I was too busy being curled up in a fetal position and occasionally screaming at the Houston Astros through my television to really notice or care about that.

This year, the Blackhawks fans that have hung with the team for years are finally enjoying themselves.  I have two friends who have been Blackhawks fans since they were kids in the 70s and it has been a lot of fun watching the playoff games with them this year.  One of them almost knocked over our table as he jumped up when Byfuglien scored the go-ahead goal.  My other friend got teary-eyed as she realized the Hawks were definitely going to the finals as Versteeg's shot headed towards the empty net.

Throughout the city, there are plenty of other Blackhawks fans that are now daring to dream that their 49-year drought without a Stanley Cup could be coming to an end.  Part of me is a bit jealous that I'll be waiting at least a couple more years before I can have that feeling about the team I care most about, but mostly I'm just glad to live vicariously through the true Blackhawks fans for a bit and hope they don't mind me being along for the ride.


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