Monday, October 23, 2006

It's Gotta Be the Logo, Money

I like Spike Lee from the old days. His movies School Daze and Fight the Power were looked upon as the modern voice of the people in the American Civil Rights movement. His black and white, Marrs Blackmon spots for Nike Air Jordans also represented a tipping point in American sports marketing and advertising, and the "It's gotta be the shoes, money" tagline helped usher in urban-speak as marketing tool. And I ate it all up. God, I loved Air Jordans. I loved the Nike Air Jordan silhouette, and I loved the tagline.

But now, and in an analogy having very little to do with the original reference, I wonder aloud, "It's gotta be the logo, money." What is the logo of which I speak? Well, the Blackhawks' indian head logo of course. How else do you explain the sudden-as-an-explosion demise of the suprisingly hopeful Blackhawks season?

The 4-2 start the Blackhawks skated out to inspired hope for a few of us hockey fans hibernating in Chicago. Whispers were overheard concerning the glorious red sweater, the "fastest game on ice", the NHL scoring leader Martin Havlat. The up-tempo scoring and welcome-to-the-new-NHL style of play garnered a second look from the passing fan. Maybe even a trip to the United Center for something other than a Bulls game was warranted.

But two fateful nights and three critical injuries may have just blown all that hope to hell.

On consecutive nights the Blackhawks lost afore-mentioned Havlat and then C Michal Handzus and G Nikolai Khabibulin -- Handzus for the season with a torn ACL. These players were leading the mini-renaissance the Blackhawks were experiencing, but add to those injuries a stunning 5-4 last minute loss on the road in Dallas and a humiliating 4-3 loss at home to the lowly St. Louis Blues, and we have all the makings of a Greek tragedy.

Our friend over at Ron Karkovice Fan Club blames it on bad Bill Wirtz kharma; I'd like to take his theory one step further. I'd like to postulate that the Blackhawks are in fact the victims of a double set of bad kharma.

The state of Illinois has been in the crosshairs concerning the use of Native American imagery as sports mascots and symbols. The NCAA has banned the University of Illinois at Champaign/ Urbana from hosting any basketball tournament of 64 games as long as they continue to use Chief Illiniwek as their symbol of school spirit even with the support of local Native American groups.

Could the Blackhawks have the Great Spirit doing a raindance against them too? Are the indigenous people's voodoo attempts affecting the pride that once was Chicago hockey? Are there sweat lodge services and peyote war-pipe programs being performed to the demise of a professional sports franchise? Hmmmm. I wonder.

Another question or two should be asked. Has any Native American lamblasted the Blackhawk organization for its taking advantage of the proud Blackhawk name? Has any living relative of Blackhawk himself done so for that matter? Have there been protests outside the UC or the old Chicago Stadium? Hmmmm. I wonder again.

What I do know is that the bad aura that is Wirtz is bad enough without the added religious fervor surrounding the rape and pilaging of the indiginous peoples of Illinois. Or maybe the indiginous people of Illinois just hate Bill Wirtz as much as we do. Maybe they don't want their proud names or symbols being involved with the money-mongering man driving the ship that is the Blackhawks. Maybe a peace-pipe service will be performed once Wicked Wirtz is wompommed from the front office.

Maybe Spike Lee should make a commercial or movie about their plight. He can call it, "It's Gotta Be the Logo, Money." It's gotta be.


Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

You know what's even crazier? I've posted more about the Blackhawks than I have about my beloved Bulls. What's up with that?

4:51 PM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger Jeeves said...

The Bulls haven't opened up the season yet. I'm expecting an avalanche of stuff once the season starts.

3:21 AM, October 24, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Yeah, me too, Jeeves. Luckily I will be at the UC on November 3 for the Bulls home opener against the Sacramento Kings.

Otherwise I'd be sitting at Blog-a-Bull live blogging like we did at ChiSox Blog and SSS.

I will try to have pics from the game however.

I love the White Sox; they are my first sports love. But I live and die with the Bulls...which probably explains why I haven't said much yet about them.

Let me list my top ten sports loves...and this is gonna be tough:

1. Tough call but I'm going with the Bulls. (I have a friggin tattoo of the Air Jordan symbol over my heart for cripes' sake.)

2. The White Sox come in a very very close 2nd, maybe even 1b to the Bulls 1a.

3. Notre Dame, and I can't explain why.

4. Da Bears. I remember exactly where I was at the day they won Super Bowl XX. We blew off fire works and even hit pans with wooden spoons to make noise.

5. Blackhawks. I only started watching in the late '80s but what an indoctrination! The National Anthem to open the All-star game at Chicago Stadium during the Gulf War is better than Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl cuz it was by the fans. Look it up on YouTube sometime and you'll understand.

6. Illini Hoops...since The Flyin' Illini in '89, I've been hooked.

7. Northwestern football. Yeah, the come outta nowhere Big Ten champs on the mid '90s was awesome. Gary Barnett, Pat Fitzgerald, Darnel Autry. Too bad Keyshon Johnson and USC ran over them in the Rose Bowl that year.

8. DePaul Hoops! Mark Aguire before he was a dick. The Legend Ray Meyers. Rod Strickland. Dallas Comegys. David Booth. Ty Corbin. Dave Corzine! Q Richardson. Bobby Simmons. Chicago needs Depaul back.

9. Chicago Wolves. And I put them here so the next team won't rate so high.

10. Chicago Cubs. And it was hard not putting the Fire here. But Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson are too classy to place them below soccer.

5:55 AM, October 24, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

So I looked up the anthem, started a YouTube account and can now post vids.

I feel good. And James Brown is NOT dead.

6:22 AM, October 24, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Illini Hoops BELOW the Blackhawks? Even the office help for the Blackhawks doesn't rank the Blackhawks that high. That isn't Kool-Aid Bill Wirtz is selling. You must be drinking. Cheer for the home team, but at least cheer for a team that has tried to win in the last ten years.
For that matter rate the Wolves higher. Don't support Daddy Wirtz any more than we have to.

3:13 PM, October 26, 2006  

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