• courtesy of Pat Reed
  • Our school, our rink

“Are the Blackhawks Chicago’s team?” Steve Bogira asked recently on the Bleader. No, he replied, though they might be Wilmette’s. “I’m happy the Blackhawks are NHL champs, but let’s not get swept away with the idea that they’re emblematic of Chicago. Let’s realize that most of the city’s residents don’t give a flying puck about hockey. And with good reason. Chicago is almost two-thirds black and Hispanic, and hockey is still mainly for the white and affluent.”

I second Steve’s main point, which is that Hawks tickets cost so much that “most Chicagoans of all races can’t afford to attend Blackhawks games.” But then, the savviest thing Rocky Wirtz did when he took over the franchise was to put home games on TV.

And I’m happy to agree that the Blackhawks aren’t emblematic of Chicago. I don’t know how they could be. I don’t even know what that means. No city as big and diverse as Chicago can be reduced to a sports team.

But I’ve been wanting to write about hockey for a long time and Steve’s post has compelled me to. I’m not writing to contradict him, but my message will be in counterpoint to his.