Friday, May 15, 2009

Here Come The Hawks…

…the Mighty….Blackhawks…take the attack, yeah. We’ll back you Blackhawks…

Take a good look Chicago sports fans, no helmets and no goalie face masks either. These were real men from my youth, before the liberal bedwetting P.C. police tried to outlaw dodge ball and playground tag in grade schools.

Not a big fan of hockey here but I fondly remember going to Blackhawk games at the old Chicago Stadium in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Old stadiums had an aroma back then, one that still lives in my olfactory memory. In times like these that aroma creeps back into my sinuses again. Wrigley lost it years ago, replaced by the indescretionary youthful exuberance of vomit, urine and summertime frat-boy spunkiness. Back in the 60’s the cigar aroma combined with hot dogs and hip flask bourbon masked any bodily secretions hidden under the seats. Good luck lighting a cigar in a stadium these days (even within range of the gate) without risking a night in jail and a big money fine.

Newer stadiums can now afford septic cleaning crews that sanitize the arena daily so that the next game is "family friendly" and gives the impression of Disney World. All the better to sell overpriced "memorabilia". Stadium character is defined by how many jumbotrons will keep fans from becoming bored with the game long enough to fleece them. Not that that is a bad thing, I just miss my time "back in the day".

The Chicago Blackhawks are now deep into the 2009 NHL playoffs and the local media is experiencing one of those “tingles” going up their leg moments. Mayor Dick Daily has already placed the gratuitous bet with newly elected Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (ex Piston) since the Red Wings are the next opponent for this young Chicago upstart. Tonight’s local news report claims that Bing has yet to respond. I hope he throws in some sliced, charred, garlicky Greek-style octopus on a bed of rosemary infused rice pilaf with a side of turnip greens and chitlin's. If the Hawks win Dick Daily can always re-ship the winnings to the O’bama’s D.C. temporary condo as a re-gift and quick consumption by our gourmet first foodies. Call it play-to-play Illinois style.

I hope the Blackhawks do well in the playoffs and I mean that sincerely.

Some of their players are so young they can’t even buy a drink at a hotel bar on road trips and their coach is older than I am. They tapped into the young urban fan base last year by hiring the once Cub media genius, John McDonough. He was able to quickly arrange a New Year’s Day outdoor spectacle in the nation's third largest media market vs. the Detroit Red Wings and it’s been all seashells and rainbows for the club, local sports media bigmouths, urban thrill seekers and yuppie barflies since then. I am also happy for the true, long-suffering Chicago hockey fans. No sour grapes here. Nope. These kids are the real deal in Chicago sports and have a great chance at repeating for years to come. Congrats, McDonough and Wirtz. You have my respect.

What I want to note here is that there is a different kind of team “fight song” owned by the Blackhawks. Most fight songs are rousing marches or contrived nostalgia tributes. College football has decades of history wrapped up in their traditional tunes. The Blackhawks tune is called “Here Come The Hawks” and was written and performed by Dick Marx, father of rock celebrity Richard Marx. He wrote and recorded it in the late 60’s when I was in high school.

This tune smacks of 60’s big band jazz and I like it a lot. It reminds me of the times of the original Playboy Mansion on north State Street and old Mayor Dick Daily leading the St.Patrick's day parade down, where else? south State Street. George Halas comes to mind along with Bill Veeck. That was real old time Chicago to me. It was a time before $12. martini's and the proliferation of "authentic" Irish pubs and imported ales. We had some good times even if we lost and the best beer available was cold Old Style, Pabst or Schlitz.

Many times (on countless forced business trips) I parked at the O’Hare airport indoor parking garage. As a way to remember which floor you parked on they would blast a different Chicago team song through the loudspeakers on each floor. I always liked parking on the floor where the Blackhawks song was played.

I like the ‘59 Go-Go White Sox tune. It also reminds me of the old local 60’s television music of my youth. Bozo's Circus included. It's nostalgic fun and is more attached to The Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Champions than that "Don't Stop" ballad by Steve Perry and Journey. While it may have juiced the young players that year, real Sox fans got pumped by Captain Stubby's old 50's tune.

“Bear Down Chicago Bears” is, well, memorable but not one that gets me going. Here's a symphony adaptation.

Do the Bulls have a tune? I can’t think of one besides that Gary Glitter ditty. It has since been played countless times nationally on stadium P.A systems but I still remember it becoming popular during the Jordan championship era. The Bulls lost ownership of this tune as soon as they lost that championship drive.

The Cubs have so many tunes it’s hard to figure out which one is the official tune. One thing’s for sure, they all suck. Like this one which is the current, um, fight?song.

Was that lame or what? With all due respect it’s as sad as listening to another 100 years of Bo Didly ripoff riffs performed by a wimpy deceased burnt-out liberal folk hero. Me? I'll take the waterboarding.

That's my Chicago sports rant for this month. Of course that's my opinion. I could be wrong.

1 comment:

Dan from Madison said...

"Go Cubs Go" is easily one of the worst songs written for a baseball team, much less ANY sports team...ever.

For about a five year period starting in around 1990 to 1995 I was an insane Blackhawk fan. Those were the days when Wirtz would refuse to show the home games on what was then "SportsChannel", even though the games were sold out. I would go to local watering holes and watch them as well as make road trips. I remember getting kicked out of the old St. Louis Arena (the barn) and had a great time at the old Met in Minneapolis for a Blackhawk/North Stars game.

But that was then. The prices at the old Stadium started creeping up to ridiculous levels and I finally said to my self "what the hell am I doing" as I sat in a bar drinking diet coke on a Tuesday night watching a HOME Blackhawk game - since I had to work the next day.

The hockey strike totally killed the sport for me, and I frankly don't have time anymore to follow it. I hope the Hawks win though, and the series with Detroit will be worth watching for the level of sheer fan hatred.