When winter comes around there is a feeling in the air that circulates around everyone. Some say it is excitement for the holidays and others may say its joy to be near loved ones. For me and hopefully others it is the happiness of knowing Hockey has entered our lives again. Sure the holidays are a good time but watching a defense-man check a forward into the boards is so much more!
Hockey seems to be one of the less appreciated sports in our country and I believe it is time it made a comeback. In certain parts of our country, hockey is a driving force in communities and can be a thing many have in common. Coming from Chicago I have been able to see this sport bring together our great city. People put aside their differences and watch a great sport while showing support for not only their team but also their city. In Chicago hockey has a different meaning. We are home to the one, the only, the dynasty team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Hockey means much more than a game to us. We are proud of what our teams represent and how they give us a sense of hope for what our city can be. Being in the United Center hearing Jim Cornelison sing the National Anthem is like no other and can’t be replaced. Finding yourself in a packed stadium surrounded by a sea of black and red sends a rush of emotion over a person and gives them a feeling like no other. I am lucky enough to say that I have experienced this unforgettable sensation and it has left me with a need of more. Having over 20,000 fans on their feet the entire time screaming, cheering and jumping with excitement the entire 3 periods can never be replaced in one’s mind. Seeing your favorite players give you a wave on their way back into the locker room makes you feel as if you are one with them. Seeing 3 Stanley Cups being brought to your hometown makes you feel as if you were the on the ice with the players fighting for the championship. That is what this sport has done to people like me. Given us a sense of accomplishment that can’t be taken away. The sense of unity that this team has given myself and many others is rare.
Since living in California for over a year now I have felt a huge separation from the sport I have cherished and the team I have looked up to for years. Not only a separation from hockey but other Chicago sports in general. Being exposed to other teams besides my hometown ones is still pretty unfamiliar to me. Seeing people wear Giants paraphernalia makes it seems as if the Cubs or the White Sox don’t exist. Seeing San Jose Sharks jersey’s makes me feel as if I am in enemy territory and they’ve got me surrounded. It is an unfamiliar environment I am in. Although I find myself being disconnected from my team, you can still spot me wearing my #88 or #4 Blackhawks jersey out on the regular because hockey loyalty never dies.
That is the thing about being part of this sport, your passion for it is endless. The hockey season is one of the longest sport seasons around and I find the summer months when it is gone very long and dull. So now that Hockey has majestically brought its way back into our lives things seem to be brighter and filled with entertainment. So to all of you who say “Hockey? Isn’t that a Canadian thing?” give it a chance. Once the National Anthem plays, the first goal song reams through the arena, and you see the dedication of the players I know you will leave the game wanting more. Hey, if it could happen to me, it could happen to you.
Angie is a DJ with KSSU