Barring a miraculous comeback, the 2009-10 hockey season will end in 20 minutes (or 20 minutes that's actually 40-some minutes), with the Calder Cup game on right now. Hershey Bears up 3-0 in the game and 3-2 in the series. After this...I have no excuse (except, you know, personal and computer problems I've alluded to scores of times) not to catch up on my hockey coverage, go through the 1000s and 1000s of screenshots and photos and post the highlights this summer. Wow. It's really ending. The first season I've truly paid attention to any sport. Thanks for reading this, your support, etc. etc.

"Blawkhawks," part 2

Go to Puck Daddy today! Go there NOW! Okay, at least to this story. Man, I was already excited that this morning @wyshynski started following me back on Twitter (and a couple days after Richard Roeper tweeted at me...there was a misunderstanding. More on this later!), and I thought that photo might get linked in a Puck Headlines roundup, but it got its own piece. (To bring out the "slow news day?" comments...uh, well, it IS Sunday.)

I had to reset my password to sign in (because I comment there so infrequently), so I could say a little about the photo. Not gonna lie, all hockey season I felt like getting linked on Puck Daddy would make me feel like I was a "real" blogger. I don't think it ever happened (someone would have told me, right? even though no one's said anything about this to me yet)...till now! Why I need attention from famous (or at least Internet-famous) men to feel "validated" here is a fair question of its own but never mind that now...

Been feeling overwhelmed/depressed lately ("why haven't I seen the Cup at a bar yet?" "why didn't I get ANY happy/congratulatory text messages or emails after the win?" etc.) but this perks me up a bit, I'll admit. I'm finally in the mood to get my content of the past few days up, but today I've got to nerd it up at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, the one annual festival here I never, ever miss...


Well, this about says it all. Wait, no it doesn't, unless you're trying to make FUN of Chicago and say we don't deserve a Cup because our most famous institutions (the Macy's, i.e. Marshall Field's, flagship store in the Loop) can't, uh, get the name of the winning team right. Look, we're not used to it, okay?

Note: this mistake was on two or three doors on this side facing Wabash Ave. I didn't check the rest of the store as I had a little victory parade to go of the photos later. Yeah, I've been home for hours but I still feel exhausted and overheated and emotional about all this...seeing the Stanley Cup in person for the first time ever. Then being too tired/antisocial to go chase it around Chicago bars it might be at...

it's Blackhawks Day in Chicago! (pt. 1)

Still no time to blog. VICTORY PARADE TO GO TO

...Okay, not the first sports victory parade/rally I've seen in Chicago. But the first I've ever been to for MY team!

(pt. 1 implies I'll do pt. 2 with the rally photos soon, though maybe I should do the Wednesday night photos first. and the Thursday photos. arrghhhhh. anyway, see what I can do tonight if I'm at home watching the Calder Cup and the World Cup and listening to the WGN radio rebroadcast of Game 6 at 9 pm)


let's go
Originally uploaded by katherine of chicago
How am I supposed to blog at a time like this?!!! Well, I won't, because my thinking was if I knock myself out putting up a big pre-game, what-this-blog-and-team-and-season-and-hockey-mean-to-me post, the Blackhawks won't win Game 6. So, superstition or laziness means I'll just post this sign I photographed in the Wicker Park neighborhood a few hours before the game...

uh, not necessary, Tribune

You can probably tell from recent posts I'm operating on a short fuse, and I was already feeling lousy today before the Chicago Tribune's attempt at humor/trash-talk of the Philadelphia Flyers turned up. I'll just post the shot showing it and what it's kind of ripping off (not that it was original then either, I imagine):

(screenshot of picture on Twitter, to give proper credit)

I don't mind seeing Pronger looking silly, or trying to taunt him, that's for sure. It's that I thought this was unfunny sexist bullshit in the Post example, and I don't need to see Chicago papers resorting to it. (Also, looking like you're ripping off the Post is somewhere far below scraping the bottom of the barrel).

I'd say "surprisingly" if it was but it's not, it's depressingly predictable--I saw lots of female sports fans passing this around with amusement on Twitter today (lots of male ones too, of course). (And a few men and women critiquing it, but none from Chicago. Oh good, not only do I dislike this, I get to have a "no one here understands me!" moment, too.) Why so few women seem to mind the women/women athletes = inferior implication of so much trash talk in sports (and why so many men, many/most of whom presumably like the company of women, participate in it) is an eternal mystery to me, and the subject of multiple unwritten posts. I'll get to it eventually. Just wanted to post this while it's "news."

In other OH MY GOD IS IT A SLOW NEWS DAY IN HOCKEY "news," this screengrab from in the past hour:

ONE! finally

Meaning more, finally posting about "one game needed for the Blackhawks to win the Cup," not that it's finally down to one game. I had about five minutes in the past week or so when the malaise keeping me from wanting to blog lifted, and it was soon after Sunday night's game...but Blogger was down (at least for the Midwest, it turned out) then...and for the next 18 or so hours (!!!!). So by the time it came back...not feeling it. (Sorry, I should keep my transparent attempts at getting encouragement to keep this blog going off on the blog and on Twitter where they belong. And are completely unsuccessful. But, you know, people, by all means keep tweeting on and on about how many views YOUR blog gets...) Anyway, Sunday was extremely exciting, and I've finally gotten past my resentment at not being able to go to Finals games into joy at the Blackhawks' success. (Yes, what a hero!)

Hmmm...I don't have any good "One"-related pun headlines handy. Still working on a feature about some of the whoppers the Chicago papers have come up with...but I've been remiss in not featuring According Twomey's "Blackhawks Numerology" series: here's the entry for One.

The other big sports news Sunday, at least to me, was @eyebleaf (as I know him on Twitter, where I wish I'd given him Chicago and Greyhound and Megabus tips) getting to the 30th major league ballpark in his #TBRTOAL project (The Baseball Road Trip of a Lifetime)--visiting all 30 in 60 days. Seattle's was last, as noted on his blog. So much for me following it along on here...but he hasn't written up all the entries for his Stealing Home series at the Globe and Mail, so I've got time to relate it to my own ballpark adventures (14 MLB parks in two years, mostly by myself).

quick note I'll delete later

If you wind up doing nothing tonight, as I might despite multiple sports and non-sports things to go to in Chicago, I've learned you can find AHL Calder Cup games online (in the usual places I find to get major league sports feeds online). Just saying. Game is a 6 pm Central, so I'd miss a bunch since I'm actually going out for a little bit. Game 1 was a surprise and this could be an exciting series to watch.

Still feeling incredibly depressed about doing this blog, and this has nothing to do with the Blackhawks losing their past two SCF games (sure, that doesn't help, but I wasn't feeling up to it during the Sharks series either). Ugh, I hate asking for encouragement/help (i.e., email. I'd say phone calls but the friends I talk to on the phone don't read this blog).

silly headlines (Chicago newspaper edition)

As one of the few American cities to still have two daily newspapers, Chicagoans are treated to TWICE the chances for silly sports headlines. At first I thought these were the same paper, because I've often mixed them up after the Tribune partially switched to the Sun-Times' tabloid format. But nope, they BOTH did it. Here, actual photos of actual newspapers I bought!

After game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals:

Not just a groaner, but he's, uh, SLOVAKIAN. Sure, maybe it was one country when he was born there, but you're supposed to say Czech Republic or Slovakia now, right?

After game 2:

I haven't seen puns like this since during the Olympics (did I post much then? bet I have some extras I didn't use). Maybe the recent world championships had some too. I can accept it when the competition is between different countries, but it seems extra-silly during NHL playoffs.

Oh well, the Chicago newspapers just aren't used to having to write THIS much about hockey, are they? Today was the latest date the Chicago Blackhawks have ever played.

I don't know if the papers will have anything good for game 3, but the postgame from

Did I post a Giroux one already? I know they have fun with Leighton, too.

before the first-ever Stanley Cup Final game, United Center

I let my disappointment at not being able to go to a Final round Blackhawks game, after dozens of regular season and playoff games, kind of keep me from participating in hockey blogging much last week. But I wouldn't let it stop me from going by the United Center Saturday evening, before the 7 pm game. The building opened extra-early, at 5. I made it there after 5:30 and stayed for a few minutes, then got two buses back to get home before the game. The sunlight was harsh (some 90 degree weather last weekend) so these aren't quite what I wanted, but they're historic and all, right? The first Stanley Cup game played and won in this building, and Chicago's first SCF win in 37 years.

I took a photo of this sign before every game I attended. (All the UC signs say "Home of the Bulls." I'm guessing we'll see at least one "Home of the Blackhawks" next year.)

If people say "meet at the statue," this is usually the one they mean:

First Flyers fan sighting (there was a taunt about giving his sister her shirt back) (not by me):

You shouldn't judge people on appearances. Unless it's these three--then go right ahead:

I usually enter on this side because my tickets were usually through TicketExchange. Sam from Second City Hockey sells The Committed Indian bulletin nearby. I said hi (nice beard!) and bought a copy--not the first time I've gotten one for a game I couldn't attend.

Couldn't resist sneaking this shot on the Damen bus north, even if with her hair and Kane jersey she probably (right or wrong) fits the stereotype of a Chicago "bandwagon" fan. Whatever, I've seen a lot of people who aren't stereotypical hockey fans or bandwagon fans...I just can't always get a quick photo of them!

I didn't go before yesterday's game; I wanted to run some errands and besides, Chicago was cloudy and rainy for nearly all of Memorial Day. (Until I was out running errands in a hoodie and the sun came out and it went up to 75 and humid.) I saw many people online refer to a pregame nap; well, I had a pregame ritual of taking photos of West Side/Oak Park vacant storefronts and shopping at a Mexican grocery, instead. The sun came out right before the Flyers-Blackhawks ridiculously symbolic. (Er, for the home team.)

Note: the updated version of the post before this one still holds. I figured I could post something though, and I wanted to at least blog before I went to my next sporting event. Tonight's my first White Sox game of the year, and somewhat incredibly my first night baseball game in Chicago.