Hockey fans in Chicago have long had a punk rock mentality when it comes to their fandom. Ironically, they seem to have an inferiority complex when it comes to the coverage the Chicago Bulls. I’m not sure where this came from but I think I know for sure – the rise of social media has given these folks “Facebook Balls.” Social media often gives people a platform to voice their opinions. The hockey fans here seem to have a problem with the Bulls.
Reading the comment sections of the media outlets in this town is similar to drinking a 40 ounce of Malt liquor; you do it even though you are well aware of the consequences.
Here are two of the comments I’ve seen:
Trade the heartless Rose hawks avatar
Hate thug NBA
More often than not, these guys have an avatar with them wearing a Blackhawks sweater while practically dry-humping the Stanley Cup.
As much as Blackhawks fans hate the Detroit Red Wings, I think they want what the Red Wings have in Michigan. They want the Blackhawks to be the main sports team in Chicago. That’s not going to happen. Basketball is the number one sport here. The sports can be played all year round. The sport has a stellar linage locally. Hockey can’t say that unfortunately.
Why the NHL fanbase has decided to make the NBA their own punching bag might be some sort of mystery, but I believe it’s turned into some sort of cultural backlash. It’s no secret the majority of NHL players and fans are white.
The NBA has more fans from all the minority groups: Black, Asian, and Hispanic. The NBA has become a part of hip-hop culture. Rappers for years have dropped the names of NBA players in their rhymes and rappers such as Usher and Jay-Z both own portions of teams.
I simply think the hip hop influence in the NBA turns off a lot of people, especially people who do not understand the culture. Do you remember the outcry from that Knicks vs. Nuggets fight 06-07 season? The participants were called thugs and cowards by many observers.
But the fact that fighting is embraced in the NHL and yet called “thuggish” and “criminal” in the NBA is a hypocrisy I’ve never understood.
I’ve always wondered how long-time Blackhawks fans felt back in 1992 when the team was in the Stanley Cup Final while the Bulls were in the NBA Finals. Not only did the Bulls get more media coverage, they won their second championship in a row. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games. As a young sports fan at the time, the moment was bittersweet.
Apparently, hockey players are tougher than basketball players. This is one of the dumbest theories I have ever heard. The thing about both sports is that they demand different things of the human body. I’d love to see any hockey player play on plantar fasciitis like Joakim Noah did. Apples and oranges here.
Another instance in irony about this is that several of the Blackhawks are often seen at Bulls games. Maybe some of you should take their lead in hockey/basketball relations.
Follow me on Twitter @evanfmoore