So very quiet here on the western front. Regardless of what I said in my earlier post, Chicago is not in the west, it is way east of true west, somewhere in the middle muddle of the continent. It’s west of Philly but still middling. So whatever racket is going on there doesn’t count and can’t be heard out here anyway.
I found a tidbit about the Sharks, from Doug Wilson:
I think you’ve got many areas of growth on this team… people finally saying, ‘You know what? This is where I’m at, I’m not going to dwell on the outside noise, I’m going to take care of what’s really important, and that’s what’s in the room, on the ice, and the other stuff will take care of itself in due time.’ (from Tim Kawakami’s Talking Points)
That quote has to go into my “affirmation makes me feel clever” folder. Let me review muddle-jumping instructions: “when you are in the thick of it, let it go, shut out the noise. If they’re not on the ice, then ffignore them. Play your game….You know everything you need to know. If there is something else, someone will send you a text, email you, leave a post-it, or call you later. Welcome to California, Dude. Let it all go, be in the moment. Just for a little while, not too long.”
But enough about me.
Kawakami is usually a fairly dreary voice on the subject of the Sharks, but occasionally he has some good info even if looking for it makes me want to hold my hand over my eyes and peek through two fingers like I’m watching a horror movie. Much of what he says about the team is just grammatically correct trash talk. Thanks for the transcription, TK Grumpy.
Where he dismissed the importance of digging up quotes from the players, David Pollack has a bunch here.
Kawakami did say this after the Sharks beat Detroit: “…whatever happens from here, we will look at the Sharks differently because of what they just accomplished. And more important, they will and should look at themselves differently, too.” In print or blogging, there are no take-backs:P
I may have to add him to the most irksome list. He truly is. Enough about him.
I am still looking a little sideways at my prediction system from Round 2 which seems to have held true also for Conference Finals. The number of shots blocked during the regular season just can’t be that important, especially in the case of the Flyers who had such a roller-coaster year. I am still having trouble looking at anything regarding the Blackhawks without seeing red. This picture makes me feel a little better:
I have a very sensitive eye for color, so orange does not look at all red to me. See the difference:
Good, got that out of my system, at least for a few minutes. Hell hath no fury and all that. Not sure in what way I feel scorned, but it is nice and tidy to be able to dump it all on one player. All his fault from now on. A few posts back, I mentioned I could not think of a reason to hate him, he was not gleeful at all? That was a glitch in the reception obviously. He is most officiously gleeful.
Ack, enough about the red-clad Pantagruel.
So I suppose I should ask: what is that racket? There are ways of “hearing” even over great distances, even so far as Chicago.
Both the Blackhawks and the Flyers are being celebrated for inspiring the public by making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. I don’t think a team should be held accountable for the behavior of their fans, but it does seem like their respective fan bases are a big part of this story.
The Flyers fans have always been known as die-hards, though no doubt there are many who only noticed the team when they started doing well. On their message boards, as on the Sharks message boards, there is no shortage of criticism from the dark days. While I don’t approve of negative thinking about your team, it shows that they do pay attention through thick and thin. I have not visited the Hawks boards (I can barely look at their pictures, I am not ready to read their fan chatter) but I did read an article that detailed the state of fanfare that has developed in the wake of their success:
People are wearing Blackhawks hats and jerseys to work. A dinosaur outside the Field Museum is sporting a jersey, and the lions outside the Art Institute of Chicago have Blackhawk helmets. The team’s banner is everywhere and a church proclaimed on its sign board: “Jesus Saves And So Does (Blackhawks goaltender Antti) Niemi.”
Not only that, people can be heard talking about the Blackhawks and not just the codgers. On Facebook, for example, a group called Duncan Keith’s Missing Teeth had some 3,500 fans this week.
Chuck Sikaras, a 56-year-old fan who’s had season tickets for 34 years, said he has never been asked about the team more than he is now by people who before now figured the only blue line in town was the one that’s part of the elevated train system. (Don Babwin, Blackhawks and Chicago, like peas and carrots)
Since I find no comparable fuss being made about the Flyers fans, I will assume that much ado is always made there, not only when the team reaches the Stanley Cup Finals. Here is where I think fairness comes into play regarding the fans. I do not care how long some Hawks fans have been waiting for their team to do well, if they are in such a spectacular minority. That hoards descend on the venue because the local team is doing well is no cause for cosmic reward. If Chicago hardly cared about hockey, or if they turned their backs on the team until someone rounded up a bunch of hot young items to make a big splash, those fans do not deserve victory. Victory is hardly ever dolled out fairly according the the merits of the audience, but I still have to add this to reasons for backing the underdog.
As if I needed any more.