By Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath
All my life I have been a Chicago Blackhawks fan. Who doesn’t get a rush from seeing the attractive captain Jonathan Toews? Or when Patrick Kane scores an amazing goal? Those are my only some of my obsessions with the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m originally from Illinois, so that’s how I’m a Blackhawks fan; that’s how my mom raised me. When I was eight, though, I moved to Minnesota (which was an interesting experience for a Blackhawks fan).
Minnesota is known as “The State of Hockey.” Even though I was the only one in my family, I had many friends who had played hockey; I was surrounded by it when I was growing up. I really hadn’t shown my love for the Blackhawks until high school, where I watched more games because I understood the rules of hockey more. Let’s just say as a Blackhawks fan whose friends were Minnesota Wild fans, we undeniably would root against each other during playoff seasons whenever the two teams played each other. In high school, we would sometimes have spirit weeks where one day would be “Jersey Day.” Of course, I’d usually wear my Blackhawks jersey. Many of my friends were not too happy about this and called me a “bandwagon fan.” They thought I knew nothing about the game (but how could I be a bandwagon fan when I was originally from Chicago?!). I had to show them what I knew. Once I did, they realized I knew what I was talking about! Still, they gave me crap and lashed at me about their hate for the Blackhawks. Because of this, I realized the differences between Blackhawks fans and Wild fans. While living in Minnesota, I had gone to a couple Wild games; that’s where I recognized they have some of the worst fans ever. If their team was two or more goals behind, they gave up right away and left their team to fend for themselves without any motivation which, from the other side, is a terrible thing to see. Being a Blackhawks fan is the most enjoyable thing because there is so much spirit for the team. Living in Chicago once again, I finally get to see that. On game day, you see so many college students and residents of Chicago wearing all red, black, white, and yellow gear to prepare for the night that is to come. It even amazed me what restaurants would do for the games! When the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013, they turned the lights down to a deep red and played the last 17 seconds of the game. It blew my mind and made me so excited to be a fan of this team! Even if we had bad games, you could still see the fans were hopeful that the next one would be better. I think that’s why the Blackhawks are so successful in what they do. In the regular season (2014-2015), the Blackhawks had played the Wild in the Madhouse and I was able to go with a couple of friends from back home. They made the risky decision of wearing Wild jerseys in a sea of red. Let’s just say they were the targets of the night. I had warned them but they didn’t want to listen to me. That was their fault, I suppose. The thing that surprised them the most, though, was Chicago’s fan base. They even got slightly jealous because of the fans devotion to team. I realized here that I made the right decision of being a Blackhawks fan.
Now that we’re leading up to the Stanley Cup finals, the Blackhawks have gone onto the second round and are, of course, going against the Minnesota Wild for the second time in a row. When I received this news I was excited but at the same time annoyed because I knew my friends from back home would be there to harass me about them playing each other. This is why I enjoy being a Blackhawks fan, because I don’t believe pestering other people about who is better is fair. I’ve already received constant snap chats and Facebook posts of who is the better team. All I have to say is this: may the better team win, be it the Blackhawks or the Wild. If the Blackhawks go onto the next round though, I’ll gladly pester them (lightheartedly, of course).