It’s been two days and already the question is being asked: “Where were you when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup?” Thankfully two days hasn’t erased my memory, though my story surely differs than most die-hard fans.
These past couple of days, I’ve read through hundreds of Facebook posts, countless tweets, Google+ postings, and quite a few articles and blogs about the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. I’ve laughed at the many memes that have been created and smiled at Coach Q and his toilet-papered house. Somehow, surprisingly, I’ve even managed to get some work done at the office.
Still, the near complete distraction caused by the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup – and the dramatic fashion in which they won – is something I’m not so sure I even felt when they won it all just three years ago. I’m excited, I’m pumped, I’m craving for more.
And I think it’s because I missed the entire game – thanks to some bad weather and my cable going out.
That’s right. I didn’t get to see Boston take the early lead. I didn’t see Andrew Shaw take a puck to the face, get knocked out, require stitches, only to come back and play (something only a hockey player would do I might add.)
I missed the game tying goal and the game winner a mere :17 later. I missed watching the celebration.
Instead I sat on my couch listening to the game on the radio. (Archaic, I know, though it reminds me of those AT&T commercials where they talk about how easy kids have it in today’s world.) And as pissed off as I was at the time at Wide Open West (my cable/internet provider), I’m over it now. Perhaps even a bit appreciative.
Despite being a Stanley Cup clinching game for Blackhawks, the fact that I was forced to listen to the game as opposed to watching provided some added perspective. It certainly was a different experience as the wife and I sat on the couch with an old, scratchy, radio.
The real credit goes to play-by-play announcer John Wiedeman, one of the best in the business. He not only paints a picture as to what was happening on the ice, his style allows for the listener and experienced fan to fill in any gaps that may otherwise be unspoken. Some people may not understand that, but I think many sports fans do.
As the game progressed, I found myself just closing my eyes and following along as if I were there.
Wiedeman’s call on the game tying goal, the game winner seventeen-seconds later, and the final call proclaiming the Blackhawks are once again Stanley Cup Champions is something that will give me pause for the rest of my life.
Again, I didn’t “see” a thing*.
In some ways, radio is becoming a lost technology and I can only imagine how technology might change during the lifetimes of my own kids. I’m sure someday TV as we know it now will become “a thing of the past” and my future grand-kids will ask “Grandpa, what’s Ultra HD?”
* (Oh. And don’t get me wrong. I will go back and watch that game in its entirety. I can write about “appreciating” this experience all I want and claim to be all nostalgic, but c’mon. The Blackhawks won the frickin’ Stanley Cup. As a fan, I’m pretty much required by law to watch that game multiple times.)