I was lucky enough to attend the Blackhawks game tonight as a guest of my sister who happens to work for one of Chicago’s fine Fourtune 500 companies that happens to maintain a skybox at the United Center.  Corporate America has it’s perks. 

Monday is an early day for my so I need to keep this short.  The shortest way I know how to do this is via some very quick quips and thus…

  • To all the people who thought Phil Emery was making a joke of the head coaching search these past few weeks at Halas Hall, my question to you is how would you have preferred he handle it?  If the options are to meet with a large number of candidates or a very select few, is it not better to go fishing with as large a net as possible?  Particularly if some of the key candidates that Emery wanted to speak with were still involved with their respective current employers and unable to talk about new opportunities until their teams were bounced from the playoffs.  Is it not in the organization’s best interest to speak to as many of the bright young minds around the league to gague how the Bears and their players are perceived, what trends seem to be emerging throughout the league, and who the next wave of leadership sees as the up-and-coming coaches behind them?  I can’t tell you whether Marc Trestman is the next great coach in the NFL or not.  What I can say is that I am all for the process that Phil Emery followed and my faith is in his judgement based on everything he’s said and done since the season ended.
  • Also, put me in the camp of supporting the Bears going the route of the cerebral coach as opposed to the fire-and-brimstone, spits-when-he-talks, wear-his-emotions-on-his-sleeve coach that many callers in the sports talk radio forum would prefer.  My theory is that much like with parents, the more a coach screams the faster his team (or the children) learn to block out the noise.
  • I’m also a fan of the hiring of Aaron Kromer as the new offensive coordinator/line coach.  He makes pro bowl offensive lineman like Cafe du Monde makes beignets.  Anytime you hire a coach and his entire former organization collectively groans, you’ve done something right.
  • It was fantastic taking in the Hawks game tonight.  6-0 in a shortened 48 game season is nothing to sneeze at.  The season is 12.5% over in the first eight days and the Hawks are still undefeated.  As a frame of reference, the NFL is far and away the shortest season of all professional sports (16 games in all) and it takes them a full two weeks to play 12.5% of their season. 
  • It may have been where I was sitting (admittedly the skybox community is a bit different than the diehards who pay for their season tickets before their power bills up in section 312) but I guess I was expecting a bit more raucous crowd tonight given that it was only the second home game, Detroit was in town, and we were there to witness francise related history.  It was a good anthem but not in the top 10 that I’ve participated in and I guess I was expecting it to be going in.  Perhaps the fan base still needs to knock the rust off after the lockout as well.    The standing ovation after the Hawks killed a 5-on-3 for 49 seconds was a nice touch however.
  • The Redwings went out of their way to make sure Patrick Kane didn’t beat them tonight.  They had someone on the ice shadow Kane for the duration of the evening and it was easily his quietest game of the young season.  I wonder if other teams will follow this approach going forward, and if so I’d like to see Patrick Sharp step up and make them pay for it.
  • Nick Leddy baby!
  • With the amount of times I’ve heard or read the words “Corey Crawford” and the word “focus” in the same sentence this season, I’ve got to ask… adderall isn’t illegal in the new collective bargaining agreement is it?
  • We sat next to two guys for the majority of the game, one of whom made his maiden voyage to a hockey game this evening.  It wasn’t just his first Blackhawks game or even NHL game, we’re talking first hockey game ever.  His buddy did a good job explaining the action and took home the line of the night,

        Hockey Virgin: When other teams come to town does the crowd chant “Dallas Sucks” or “Montreal Sucks”?

        His Friend: No, only Detriot sucks.

  • That line just slayed me.  I know it’s damn near blasphemous but I did get to thinking about the whole “Detroit Sucks” chant after that exchange.  I appreciate the rivalry as much as anyone, and lord knows I’ve yelled those two words as loudly and obnoxiously as I am physically able at various points in my life, but aren’t we glorifying Detroit in a way by continuing to deride them?  In keeping them on the front burner of our collective hatred it means that we’re keeping them in the spotlight regardless of the team they field.  I know that nothing personally offends me more as a sports fan than when the Green Bay Packers talk about their main rival now being the Minnesota Vikings after years of drubbing the Bears where the games became less the competitive.  Much the same, with the Bulls having won 16 games in a row over the Pistons I know it burns Detroit fans to the core when our NBA team looks past theirs to the next real opponent.  If things keep going the way they have this year in the NHL, maybe the best thing that could happen for the Blackhawks would be the day where the Red Wings become just another game on the schedule. 
  • Believe it or not, hockey games are better with a dessert cart incorporated.
  • Finally, after my What Do You YouTube column went up last week, the number one piece of feedback I got was, why didn’t you post that video with the voiceover of the NFL guys?   The video in question is below, and certainly warrants a view, but I think it deserves to represent a category that I did omit which I will call, The Viral Video Club where people go to YouTube to watch the video of the moment to stay in tune to popular culture.  I’m a guilty card carrying member of this club and try to bring a collection of these type of videos to you via my somewhat regular Friday Fun columns.  I appologize for the omission.  Enjoy watching these famous athletes not really say the things it sounds like they’re saying.  You’re now in the know with the hip intern that sits by the paper shredder.