By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) If we can base it off of Games 4 and 5, the Boston Bruins look like a fighter moments away from being knocked to the canvass.
They somehow managed to be the worse team in Game 4, and they showed no signs of redeeming themselves whatsoever on Saturday. The Stanley Cup Final should conclude tonight with the Chicago Blackhawks winning their second championship in four years.
That likelihood, combined with a sport that so often attracts newer fans whenever the team is good, leaves perhaps a bit of confusion on how to treat winning the Stanley Cup. We’ve lived through Bulls championships and a White Sox World Series title. A few of you dinosaurs can recall the ’85 Bears, even.
But each of those wins meant something different to fans and evoked different reactions. Some appropriate and some not. Here’s a helpful guide in case you’re not quite sure how to approach tonight’s Game 6 so as not to embarrass yourself or the city (because Chicago bandwagoners are known nationally).
DO: sport your Toews, Kane, or Hossa sweater. I’m on the record as being not a fan of playing pretend by wearing a jersey, but Blackhawks fans seem to wear them more than any group of Chicago fans, and fighting against that for now is futile.
DON’T: commit a jersey foul. This means do not wear one with your name on the back (especially with the number 69), guy who still creates players with his name in video games on rookie mode. Do not wear one of a player who is still playing in the league but not on the Hawks. Do not, under any circumstances, ever do this, you awful, awful person. If I see any of you jackasses on television, I will organize a mob to find you and punish you with extreme prejudice.
DO: be thankful the team doesn’t have to play a cardiac situation of a Game 7. No real fan wants this series coming back to Chicago.
DON’T: even mention how it’s unfortunate that the Hawks won it on the road. There is no good argument for that. It doesn’t diminish the championship whatsoever. So 20,000 fans that overpaid to see a game didn’t get to jump up and down in place and chant along to “Chelsea Dagger.” These people that would prefer the series go seven games exist and should be publicly mocked.
DO: turn up the music in the tavern or on the home system and play the usual mix of celebratory songs. Your “Sweet Home Chicago,” your “Celebration,” your “We Are the Champions” if you will. Those songs are otherwise annoying, but they’re completely appropriate in victorious times.
DON’T: chant along to “Chelsea Dagger,” speaking of the team’s goal song. It’s gone the way of the Atlanta Braves’ Tomahawk Chop and the Miami Heat fans ruining “Seven Nation Army.” I’ve long been put off by thousands of people together chanting the same thing. It’s Jim Jones stuff. If you want to be cool and different (and confuse the Johnny-come-latelies), sing the refrain to Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” which has been adopted by the hardcore anti-Daggers.
DO: cheer loudly when the Hawks score goals and finally win.
DON’T: shoot a damn gun. We have enough issues with guns in this city already. Don’t be the person that perpetuates a stereotype. Also, as we approach Independence Day, I know many of you have already stockpiled fireworks. Keep them in the garage until July 4. A Cup win doesn’t warrant the hillbilliest of the hillbilly blowing crap up. Maybe you’re a terrible parent, but lots of people would prefer their infants be asleep at 10pm and their dog not spastically barking. Think about what you’re accomplishing by making loud artificial noises (the answer is somewhere between nothing and looking like an asshat).
DO: hug and kiss and love your fan brothers and sisters (with permission). Be a good winner if near a Bruins fan and appreciate the hard work that team put into coming up short against the superior Blackhawks.
DON’T: fight a Bruins fan or anyone else, for that matter. Losers revert to violence. If you’re going to rib the enemy, there is an art and pride in being a great troll toward another fanbase, even one as stupid as Bostonians. Be creative. Psychological victories trump physical altercations every time.
DO: appreciate the victory on your own personal level.
DON’T: chide the newbies for not committing the blood, sweat, and tears you have, and on the converse don’t begrudge the salty veteran fans for being hesitant to share a slice of victory pie. I think fans have evolved since 2010 where there was a lot more serious tribalism within the fanbase itself. The longtimers were seriously rubbed the wrong way by the bandwagoners then, but I think both have grown to understand the symbiotic relationship they both share, even if it pains one or the other to say so. But both groups are still learning to coexist, so let each other enjoy this regardless of differences.
So have fun, but please be responsible and not give the rest of us a bad name. This has all the makings of a special night, but let’s make it special for the right reasons.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa before earning his degree from Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @TimBaffoe , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.