The quest for the cup… From the red flowing fountains and banners hanging high, to the countless creatures in the city dressed in their Hawks gear, Chicago is bursting at the seams with Blackhawks pride. And I, for one, am thrilled to live in a city with such prevalent team spirit. I took a walk around the city on Sunday with my boyfriend to check out all the cool ways in which Chicago supports their home team and to capture it in a photo (well, hundreds of photos to be exact). If you haven’t had the chance to experience all that Chicago has going on to support the Blackhawks, I would highly recommend hitting up the town for a day to check it all out. Here are some of the awesome things we experienced throughout our Blackhawks around Chicago walk- as I like to call it. (In order of our visit Sunday)
1. The city skyline. From the CNA building sporting the Blackhawks logo on two sides and the word “HAWKS” on the other two sides to the Aon Center featuring an image of the Stanley Cup the cityscape was glowing in red! Sadly we didn’t make it down to the city when the fountain was still on, but you need to get there when the lights go out to really bask in the amazement of this great city and how they support their teams. Looking from side to side across the skyline you could see “Let’s go hawks” in multiple places and sense the love of hockey again in Chicago! And how do they do it?? With a systematical numbering of the windows and the image drafted up ahead of time come 5 o’clock a team runs through the buildings opening and closing the blinds of all designated windows and turning on the lights to feature the Blackhawks logo and cheers from afar.
2. The Michael Jordan statue at the United Center. The energy was high at the United Center on Sunday morning around 11am. People were already lined up with hopes of getting tickets if any were to be released prior to the game. Families showed up to take photos in front of the iconic statue of Michael Jordan sporting not only a #19 Toews jersey, but also wearing hockey skates. Hope was in the air as the team was getting ready to head into game 5.
3. Brontosaurus at the Field Museum. The brontosaurus was wearing a #19 Towes jersey (see a pattern…). Chicago can even get a dinosaur that is over a million years old to sport a Towes jersey during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Standing tall and mighty, the brontosaurus was wearing an oversized jersey showing fans who he was rooting for.
4. The World Famous Lions to the entrance of the Art Museum. The lions were standing with pride wearing a Blackhawks hockey helmet. Fitted to perfection, these lions were ready to hit the ice and battle the Flyers. I have to admit that this was the most impressive thing that we saw yesterday-aside from the amazing win that the Blackhawks took over the Flyers later that night.
5. Picasso statue. The Blackhawks-red fountains and the helmet wearing Picasso. Picasso would have been proud to see his work of art decked out in a #10 Blackhawks helmet. The #10 could be interpreted as either a symbol for 2010 or for one of the star players Patrick Sharp. I like to think that it was supporting Patrick Sharp!
6. WGN720 Radio Station. There is a wonderful banner draping the side of the building. Similar to the banner that is proudly displayed on the Ferrara Pan Candy Co. along 290. Only this one sported not only Toews but also the logo for the Stanley Cup finals. This one you can get up close to and see it in all of its glory… unlike the one at the candy factory.
7. Mural along 290. If you are like most of us “reverse commuters” (I say that in quotes since in Chicago you really don’t experience the benefits of a reverse commute) you have seen the wonderful mural of the Blackhawks logo and the “Good Luck in the Playoffs” message. It’s an inspiring message and wonderful site as you are heading home on 290 for sure.
With all of the support around the city, you would think that it has been almost 50 years since the Blackhawks have seen the Stanley Cup… oh wait, it has! And maybe it also has a lot to do with the fact that Chicago really didn’t have a huge hockey fan base until recently. Thanks John McDonough!!. Up until John took over the marketing for the NHL, Chicago didn’t have their home games televised, opportunities to meet and greet with the players in the off season or really get a good chance to connect with the game and follow the season. John has been a HUGE addition to the NHL and has done an INCREDIBLE job from a marketing stand point to really get the fans rallied around the Chicago Blackhawks again. He’s quite the guy to look up to from a marketing standpoint. If only all of us marketing people could have the opportunity to work for such an inspiring marketing professional. We can only hope. Keep up the good work.
Now let’s all get pumped up for game 6 in Phili where we will be singing Chelsea Dagger as the Hawks kick some butt and head home with the trophy!!