Playoff hockey brings about tradition, especially for an Original 6 team. For instance, many people are aware of the Red Wings tradition to launch octopus onto the ice at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. Even though Detroit now plays in the Easy Conference…I mean….Eastern Conference, I still stand by the firm belief that: DETROIT SUCKS!
What about Chicago’s tradition? I’ll give you a hint, it’s the same reason other teams hate when we invade their arenas. One word: noise. Many teams as of late have started to hate on the Blackhawks because we, as a fan base, are known for being incredibly loud especially during the national anthem.
The Hawks have only played in the United Center for 21 years, and it holds a reputation for being a very hard building for other teams to play in because of the crowd noise. Before this they played in the old Chicago Stadium. This building was closed following the game on April 28, 1994. I was nine years old at the time, and was lucky enough to be in attendance for that historical event. To illustrate the intensity of crowd noise check out the video of the final game, the commentators have to practically yell just to be heard in the microphones.
When Chicago knew that they were going to tear down the stadium to build the UC they wanted people to carry on the tradition to the new building by promoting “Remember the Roar”. I still remember that after that last game people started tearing the place apart to take a piece with them. Season ticket holders we knew were prying the seat numbers off to keep as a memento. The organization also sold bricks from the stadium to help preserve the memories.
Modern opposing teams will never understand that the noise today barley comes close to how loud it really was in the old building. Over the years players like Jeremy Roenick and Chris Chelios have explained that the crowd would get so loud during the anthem that players could feel the building actually start to shake. Think about how intimidating that can be if you are on the visiting side.
Chicago’s main tradition is for the fans to try and be louder than the anthem singer and organist. If you’ve ever been present for this challenge, you know how electrifying the environment gets and typically results in goose bumps. The following video goes to show how loud and proud Chicago fans can get, even when it’s only an All-Star game.
All these teams with their current “Keep Out the Red” campaigns are jealous at how passionate the Blackhawks fan base can be, especially when the Blackhawks are on the road. Well, as they say these days, haters gonna hate.
So, during this playoff run let us keep in mind the passion the fans provide for our home team. Be loud and be proud, and as always: GO HAWKS!