Thursday, June 27, 2013

More talking about the Hawks...

As of late, this became a hockey blog. This was true with the last Stanley Cup the Black Hawks won in 2010. I followed many of the playoff games back then too often posting video highlights from the NHL's YouTube channel. Went so overboard the posts about the Hawks weren't just about the games but all aspects of Black Hawks history and traditions.

Lately it was my intent to post about the current ownership of the Hawks. Back in 2007 at the start of that NHL season, longtime owner William Wirtz had passed away. Many longtime Hawks fans weren't happy with his management of this historic franchise. He refused to air home games in the Chicago market unless such games were televised nationally. He was quick to trade players especially when the teams were doing poorly then turned around and wondered why fans weren't as supportive of the team and thus weren't coming to games.

This Chicago mag article about the Black Hawks showed how bad of shape the team had been in light of Wirtz' passing. I learned in that article that the Hawks wasn't getting much coverage from many of the local TV, radio, or print outlets in the area. It probably doesn't help if the team isn't winning but certainly if the team is all but invisible because it's unable to attract casual fans.

Anyway at current the Hawks are under the ownership of Rocky Wirtz who had undone some of the longstanding policies of his father. Home games are aired on TV not only on cable but on our local station WGN. They got back some of the many legends who were alienated from this team. And resultantly the team is more popular than ever before. Most importantly the team is not only a winning team, but they have captured two Stanley Cups in four years.

I would consider myself something of a casual sports fan. I'm not into the strategy and stats as most sports fans seem to be. The business side of sports is more interesting to me and the Hawks is a good case study on this aspect. How many sports franchises has had such a marked turnaround as the Chicago Black Hawks. After the death of a longtime owner in less than two or so year's time we have an immediate contender and the greatest show in this town.

Of course when it comes to sports franchise a lot of ingredients have to come together. The Black Hawks had to make some changes to its office and really have to come up with a plan to get fans into the United Center. They needed good players for the fans to watch on home ice.

It's fascinating to read this one of many stories on Rocky Wirtz since he took over the team. He deserves a lot of credit for making many of the necessary changes. I heard the D-word (dynasty) come out as of late I hope there are more Stanley Cups are coming before this decade closes.

BTW, it must be noted Chicago teams aren't known for multiple championships. If the Black Hawks won more championships perhaps they can match up to the Chicago Bulls although not as frequently since the Bulls had two three-peats in the 1990s. Chicago Argus does a good job of comparing the current Black Hawks teams with other Chicago championship teams. It just makes me wonder how many more Championships will the Hawks win in the future if it's meant to be!

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