Wednesday, September 26, 2007
R.I.P. Bill Wirtz
William Wirtz, the longstanding owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, died today at the age of 77. It's too bad the Blackhawks have been dead for over a decade now. Some people in Chicago may have actually cared then. I've been thinking about this since I heard the news, and I ask you to name a team that has alienated it's fanbase more over the past 20 years than the Chicago Blackhawks.
If Blackhawks fans are lucky, they might get to see 20 away games in an entire season. That's thanks to an exclusive home season pay-per-view package which as far as I know is the only team in professional sports to have such a deal. Yep, every year I just cant wait to plunk down a C-note on one of the shittiest teams in a defunct league. I'm willing to bet you could poll a 100 people today in the streets of Chicago, and maybe 3 would be able to name more then 1 Blackhawk on the current roster. That's because they bring in names like Andrei Zyuzin and Kevyn Adams (nice spelling of KEVIN douchebag). To quote one of the best sports movies of all time: "Who are these fucking guys?".
It's hard to believe the Blackhawks were once a proud franchise that was embraced by the City. Names like Makita, Hull, Esposito, and Orr come to mind. As a member of the Original Six NHL teams in 1926, the Blackhawks have three Stanley Cup and 13 Division Title banners hanging in the United Center. However, the last time they won the Cup was 1961, which is the longest current drought in the NHL.
Could you imagine if Bears' home games were blacked out on TV in Chicago? I'm talking from a standpoint of popularity at it's height only, as there are no other comparisons besides that. That's what this now-foreign team used to mean to the Windy City. And just like it's owner, it slowly wilted away, eventually to the point of non-existence. Bill Wirtz should be recognized for all the charitable work he contributed during his tenure, but in the end none of that matters to the average fan. And neither will his team any time soon.
Posted by Dr. C at 8:50 AM