Is That So?

Hey, Wings fans living in Chicago…I just found the following article:

If you move to Chicago, you like the Blackhawks

Anybody got anything to say about that?  Sure, the article is for by some self-proclaimed “southern girl”…but it’s another installment in the fascinating phenomenon that your sports loyalty moves where ever you do geographically.  Check this out:

So, how does a Southern girl – one who graduated from Petal High School, worked at the Hattiesburg American newspaper and spent a number of years of her adult life in the Pine Belt – get hooked on hockey?

Good question.

But know that I now live in Chicago, and love the Blackhawks. An ice hockey team.

It all started in Michigan, where I lived from 1998 to 2000, and that was all you heard, “Red Wings hockey.” The Detroit Red Wings were the NHL team there.

I never watched the sport back then. Really didn’t know anything about it other than the fact the players lost a lot of teeth.

Now, I could make a crack about the connection between Southerners and losing teeth…but that wouldn’t be very nice.  So let’s move on…

I moved back to the North to Chicago in 2004. And being older and trying to adapt to the cold weather, from being down South for so long, you have to learn to be a part of the winter sports. Like playing in the snow, ice skating, etc.

So in Chi-town all you hear is “Blackhawks,” so I figured what the heck, let’s learn about another sport. I already love football, “Go Bears,” and let’s not forget baseball “Go Sox,” and then there is basketball “Go Bulls”.

So in 2004 all you heard was “Blackhawks”, eh?  I did a little research and guess what…I found some pretty concrete evidence to the contrary.  According to ESPN…Chicago was 27th in the league for attendance that year (dead last was Pittsburgh).  Detroit was 2nd only to the Montreal Canadiens.  In fact, let’s take a look at Chicago’s attendance ranking over the past 10 years…

  • 2001: 24th
  • 2002: 23rd
  • 2003: 24th
  • 2004: 27th
  • 2005: Lockout
  • 2006: 29th
  • 2007: 29th
  • 2008: 19th
  • 2009: 1st
  • 2010: 1st

Yet you couldn’t catch hockey fever in Detroit…one of the top 10 places in attendance year after year.  Something tells me that you didn’t start hearing ANYTHING about the Blackhawks until oh….2009?

The title should have been called “If you move to Chicago, you like the Blackhawks…if they’re winning…and you’re not from a traditional hockey market”.

Bandwagon fans…they are a funny and simple creature.