Good morning frents …
So I’m not particularly a huge fan of the new Internet content economy that celebrates the 17th anniversary of this or three years since we all saw that. After all, as Tony Soprano once told us, ‘remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.
But for whatever reason, I still like the admittedly arbitrary chances to revisit anniversaries when they end with a 0 or 5. And today is one of those big ones in Chicago.
Yes, it’s really been 10 years already
Chicago teams have won 12 titles in my lifetime, but there’s only one that routinely makes people volunteer where they were or what they were thinking.
That would be the first Stanley Cup in the Toews-Kane era and only because the way it ended was so unique it’d be impossible for anyone to forget the confusion that reigned.
For my entire life as a Hawks fan — over 20 years at that point — I had pictured what a Cup-winning goal might look like. A one-timer from the circle. A tip-in from the slot. Maybe a dramatic breakaway from the star player, if we were lucky.
A dice roll from the corner sliding under the pads of an AHL-quality goaltender?
No, that never occurred to me.
But it’s what I watched as I nervously stood in Roscoe Village’s Riverview Tavern (it’s now The Reveler) 10 years ago tonight.
“Kevin, I think he scored!” my then-girlfriend, now-wife said as she tugged on the sleeve of my Hawks sweater. She was the first person in the place to pick up on Patrick Kane starting to celebrate as he went into the far corner and turned up ice.
“What?” I said. “No he didn’t.”
“Yes he did! she said.
More people in the bar started realizing it, but I still wasn’t sold.
Then I saw Kane starting to draw a crowd as he crossed center ice.
Sticks were tossed. Gloves were thrown.
Holy crap, they’d done it.
It wasn’t the cathartic release I’d imagined. It wasn’t the feeling we got from Marian Hossa against the Predators or Brent Seabrook in overtime against Detroit or the 17-second turnaround in Boston.
But it was a unique moment in itself, a fluky goal that must still irk the hell out of Flyers fans. It’s the ultimate highlight of that first Cup run, relegating Jonathan Toews’ brilliance, Dustin Byfuglien’s dominance and Duncan Keith’s lost teeth on a lower shelf in our brains. And that’s fine. It’s tough to eclipse an overtime goal that wins the Stanley Cup, no matter how it went in.
The Hawks have since won two more Cups and are now considered one of the league’s jewel franchises. But in some ways, it’s still hard to believe that 2010 Cup ever happened. I became a Hawks fan at the tail-end of the Savard era and got irredeemably hooked by the Roenick-Chelios-Belfour teams that were blown up by the cheapest ownership and worst front office group in pro sports. More than a decade of the team being a complete and utter embarrassment followed.
It was all made worth it, though, on that night of June 9, 2010.
No, watching that slow-motion overhead replay to confirm that Kane’s goal crossed the line wasn’t what we were expecting.
But it really was so validating in more ways than one.
Five ways to celebrate the 10th anniversary
1. Watch the video (above) that a Philly fan shot of Kane’s goal from the stands and have a few laughs.
3. Watch Jeremy Roenick cry on live television and cringe at Mike Milbury.
4. Take this Sporcle of the Hawks’ Cup roster and try to tie my perfect score.
5. Pour one out for the glorious playoff beard I was wearing that summer.
Did baseball’s owners and players finally come to an agreement on Monday?
Did one side make another proposal the other side would never accept?
Theo Epstein held a conference call on Monday and talked about the Cubs’ plans to create a diversity committee to improve the organization's standards and practices.
“The majority of people that I’ve hired, if I’m being honest, have similar backgrounds as me and look a lot like me,” Epstein said. “That’s something that I need to ask myself why. I need to question my own assumptions, my own attitudes. I need to find a way to be better.”
In other news, Anthony Rizzo dropped 25 pounds thanks to his quarantine workout regime. Way to make the rest of us look bad, Anthony.
Have a link for Midway Minute? Email me!
• Roughly 40 members of the Illinois football team returned to campus on Monday. (Herald and Review)
• An educated guess on an Allen Robinson extension. (Bleacher Nation Bears)
• How a Naperville couple cared for their 3-year-old triplets who contracted COVID. This is unreal. (Daily Herald)
• It’s not everyday you see a picture of Wrigley without lights.
Also, 1981 looked a lot more like 1942 than it does 2020.
Have an excellent Tuesday, everyone. As always, thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter.