Chicago Blackhawks- Stanley Cup Champions 2013

In my personal (and VERY biased) opinion, I don’t think you’ll find a bigger sports town than Chicago.  Sure, L.A. has the Lakers, NYC has the Yankees, Detroit has the Red Wings and Green Bay has that one football team.  All of them are home to dominating teams who have had their fair share of success.  But those towns just don’t seem to have the same passion for ALL of their teams as Chicago does.  However, I will admit that I have a ton of respect for Boston who I think would be the runner-up for “best sports city” given their loyalty to the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins.  But again (totally biased) there are few cities whose fans live and die by the fates of their favorite teams like this one.  From the lows of enduring over a century without a Championship like my beloved Chicago Cubs, to the extreme highs of winning 2 Championships in 4 seasons like the Blackhawks, Chicago LOVES their sports teams.  So unlike the Bostons of the world who seem to win some kind of MLB, NHL, NFL or NBA championship every other year, we have to celebrate these big wins like it’s the last time it will ever happen….because it very well could be.  At least in my lifetime.

With that in mind, I find it hard to believe that just one month ago, I was sitting in a Wrigleyville bar watching the Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals which pitted the Chicago Blackhawks who were one win away from clinching the Cup against the Boston Bruins.  It was late in the game and every Hawks fan was anxiously hoping that there wouldn’t be a need to play Game 7… but sadly, in the back of my mind I was certain there would be. But with only 1:56 left in regulation, Bryan Bickell gave Chicagoans the most exciting, yet nerve-racking, 2 minutes in the history of hockey and probably the world (at least in my warped mind) when he scored a game tying goal which was promptly followed by Dave Bolland’s game winning goal 17 seconds later only to end the night by hoisting of the most coveted trophy in all of sports- The Stanley Cup.

 Days later, somewhere around 2 million fans gathered in the heart of the city to celebrate the 6 game triumph over the Bruins by watching the victory parade and rally for the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions and attempt to get an up close glimpse of Lord Stanley’s Cup.  The parade started at the United Center where players, families and past legends boarded trolleys and double-decker busses and made their way down Washington St as they headed to Hutchinson Field for the rally.

Now that I have had a full month to recover from the stress, anxiety, depression, excitement and excessive happiness of the playoffs as well as the euphoria, exhaustion and intoxication related to the celebrations that followed, here are some of my favorite shots that I got of the parade and rally from that wonderful day.

1.The early morning sun reflects off of the building across the street illuminating the Art Institute and one of the iconic lion statues that happens to be wearing a Blackhawks helmet.

The early morning sun reflects off of the building across the street illuminating the Art Institute and one of the iconic lion statues that happens to be wearing a Blackhawks helmet.

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2.Every large crowd always has at least one moron who decides to do something stupid to draw attention to himself.  This one decided that climbing to the top of a really old light pole would be a good idea.

Every large crowd always has at least one moron who decides to do something stupid to draw attention to himself. This one decided that climbing to the top of a really old light pole would be a good idea.

A view of the crowd from Buckingham Fountain looking down Congress Parkway towards Columbus Drive.

A view of the crowd from Buckingham Fountain looking down Congress Parkway towards Columbus Drive.

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Here comes the President’s Trophy escorted by Mike Gapsky, Jim Keintzelman, Paul Goodman, Jeff Thomas, Clif Reif and Troy Parchman.

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Look at Coach Q… only took winning the Stanley Cup to get him to smile.

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Patrick Kane #88

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Andrew Shaw ways to the crowd. As you might remember, Shaw took a puck to the face during Game 6 and still managed to come back to game after getting a few stitches.

 

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Fan favorite, Dave Bolland salutes the crowd as he passes by. Bolland’s goal late in the 3rd period of Game 6, which came 17 seconds after Bryan Bickell’s game-tying goal, ending up being the game winner to clinch the Championship for Chicago. Two days after the parade, he was traded to Toronto. Thanks for the memories, Bolland.

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Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Sheldon Brookbank and Brent Seabrook

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Michael Frolik and Michal Handzus wave to the crowd.

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The Captain escorting Lord Stanley!

The view of the Chicago Skyline from the very back end of Hutchinson Field where the rally was held.

The view of the Chicago Skyline from the very back end of Hutchinson Field where the rally was held.

Security was VERY tight for the rally which included only two points of entrance, mandatory bag checks, countless police officers and even a couple sets of snipers on each side of the rally to hopefully help prevent any bad guys from doing really bad things.  Luckily their services were not needed.

Security was VERY tight for the rally which included only two points of entrance, mandatory bag checks, countless police officers and even a couple sets of snipers on each side of the rally to hopefully help prevent any bad guys from doing really bad things. Luckily their services were not needed.

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Players line the stage at the rally as Shaw makes his speech to the crowd.

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Celebratory fireworks as they play Chelsea Dagger and hoist the Stanley Cup!

In just a few days, we’ll get a small dose of the long-missed hockey season (yes, it only ended 4 weeks ago, although that seems like forever) as we head to the 6th annual Blackhawks Convention at the Hilton downtown. We’ll see them hoist Lord Stanley at the Opening Ceremonies and have a chance to get up close to meet our favorite Blackhawks.  If my heart is strong enough to handle the excitement of the next few days, hopefully I’ll be able to post some photos of the convention!

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This entry was posted in Amusement, Blackhawks, Chicago, Festivals, Life, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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