I’ve made an important decision: my son doesn’t have to be a Chicago sports fan.
Being a Chicago sports fan was a big part of my childhood and is still a part of who I am today. Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls and Cubs. Those are my teams. Why?
I grew up 25 miles from Wrigley Field, 19 miles from Soldier Field, and 17 miles from Chicago Stadium.
My dad took me to Wrigley Field every summer. We would drive to the start (or end) of the blue line and ride into the city, switch to the red line, and go see a game at least once a summer. A train ride and a baseball game? What more could a little kid want?
I wore Blackhawks jerseys on the ice rink in our yard and watched Blackhawks games on SportsChannel. I listened to Pat Foley on the radio, and came downstairs way past my bedtime to see a bench clearing brawl with the North Stars. I knew my Dad would have it on and wouldn’t be mad I was out of bed. I have Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita’s autograph on a 3rd grade drawing I did of the Blackhawk logo.
I had a Walter Payton jersey and remember collecting Chicago Bears football cards from the Western Springs police. (Some kind of community youth outreach program I guess) Even if CBS was showing a Bears 38-17 loss to the Lions, you and your family watched. For that ‘85 season, everyone’s living room was a version of “The Superfans.”
I remember the Artis Gilmore era Bulls playing an exhibition game at Lyons Township High School, anyone else? That was WAAAYYY before MJ. Later the whole world was swept up by Michael and the Jordanaires. My brother took me to a game with SRO tickets. We were way at the top, but before the game ended made our way down to the floor. I patted MJ’s shoulder and said good game as he walked off.
Those are great memories connected to growing up and family. They also happen to be about sports.
My son was born in Atlanta and currently lives 5 miles from Turner Field, and 7 miles from Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome.
I think he should have the chance to go to big games close to home and root for his hometown team. I don’t think I’ll push him toward my teams and make him wait until the Cubs, Bears, or Bulls come through town.
He should turn on local TV & radio or open a newspaper and see coverage of his home teams. That is, if newspapers are still around.
I suppose with national sports radio, the internet, NFL Sunday Ticket, etc. we could follow Chicago teams closely, but something just wouldn’t be the same.
Of course since hockey gave up on Atlanta twice now, I think it’s ok to nudge him toward the Blackhawks. 😉
Originally posted on Tumblr Sept, 2013