Three Stanley Cups in five years is a treat.
Oh my heavens, have the Chicago Blackhawks epitomized what a sports franchise should be.
From the kind and generous fan interactions, to all of the nods to the lifelong fans who endured the brutalizing years, reaching an all-time low when ESPN named the Blackhawks the “worst franchise in sports” in 2006, it’s amazing what the Hawks have accomplished.
Rocky Wirtz has proved to be a freaking magician and an example to all those who want to revitalize a sports franchise.
In less than 10 years, Wirtz made and modeled the Hawks from the ground-up into the premier sports franchise of this decade. But, man, it seems to be going the wrong way fast.
Of course, when a franchise gains traction it attracts a large fan base, but saying the Hawks “gained traction” would be an insult to their success.
In this current age of the salary cap in the NHL, hockey teams just don’t win three Stanley Cups, let alone three in five years (which could’ve been four in five years if it weren’t a bad bounce.)
That’s unbelieveable. Extraordinary. Basically unheard of.
The Hawks are now the face of the NHL, and they’ve found themselves in an unthinkable situation.
Star forward Patrick Kane was accused of rape in early August after he was out drinking the night before in upstate New York.
Now, if you’ve been keeping track of the situation, you’d know just how messed up it is.
Through a rape kit test, it was found that none of Kane’s bodily fluids were on his accuser, which bodes well for his case, but doesn’t exonerate him by any means.
About one week ago, that same kit used in the test was found in the door of the accuser’s mother with a note saying the evidence was tampered with.
Rape is one of the worst and most disgusting crimes in America. Although, following these recent events, Hawks fans are proving to be some of the worst in the NHL.
Patrick Kane has not been proven guilty.
But he has not been proven innocent, either.
With the newest information that’s come to light (as in the accuser’s lawyer stepping down following the mystery surrounding the rape kit), it has not been easy to be a Hawks fan.
However, the general response from Hawks fans toward the allegations, as well as those who are reporting on the case, has been nothing short of vile, repugnant and disgusting.
Understand that Kane is more than a superstar in Chicago. He’s a public figure. Those coming to his defense have been more than understandable, as it’s almost expected.
But not for a rape investigation!
Many Hawks fans through any kind of medium, be it message boards, Twitter, Facebook or even daily conversation, have written the rape allegations off as nothing more than a ploy to get a substantial amount of money from Kane.
Just assuming that’s the case right off the bat is one thing. However, as soon as the allegations came out, Hawks fans alike seem to have taken that side without any qualms.
Unfortunately, it only gets worse.
The Buffalo News’ Tim Graham, one of the best sports reporters in the entire nation, has been on top of the case from the start, as he was the one who broke the story.
Since then, any fact and detail Graham has said about the case that puts even a shade of negativity on Kane has been met with disdain and insults from Hawks fans.
Heck, it even hit home too.
Julie DiCaro, an anchor on 670 The Score sports radio in Chicago, had to stay home from work due to a tweet from a Hawks fan that referenced her daily routine and ultimately threatened her.
“Not at work today because of a threat made on Twitter last night,” DiCaro said in the Tweet. “Can’t believe I ever thought Hawks fans would be different than FSU/PSU.”
Aside from the aforementioned tweet, DiCaro has also received countless other Tweets containing sexist, misogynistic, coarse and tawdry language.
I think now the question shifts from “Will Hawks fans stop this?” to “How low can Hawks fans go?”
The best and simultaneously worst part about this is both Graham, DiCaro and many other Chicago sports media outlets were reporting facts and the updates in the ongoing case.
Yet, they have all been treated as they’ve been slandering Kane’s name since this issue began.
This is such a touchy situation, since no one knows just how these allegations will end, but also because no one in Chicago wants to believe their lovable party boy could be guilty.
I want to say I’m not condemning Kane.
Like I stated earlier, he has not been proven guilty in a court of law. But he also hasn’t been found innocent.
Either way, there’s no reason to attack or verbally abuse the media for reporting the facts in the Patrick Kane case.
If the facts are stacking against Kane, is that really the media’s fault?
To many, but not all, Hawks fans: Shame on you.
You’re now twisting what was one of the most solid fan bases in the sports world into a shameful cesspool of garbage.