By Tim Baffoe–
(CBS) Growing up as the oldest of three boys, I had a lot of experience with my younger brothers trying to establish some sort of territoriality amid my alpha dog rule of our household. One brother might write scribble his name on every single one of his toys. The other would perhaps race to the kitchen to beat me to my favorite drumsticks on BBQ chicken night.
It was eye-rolling then to the savvy veteran that I was, laughably cute when I look back on it today. Oldest siblings can attest when I smile and sigh, “Oh, those young ones,” right?
In retrospect, I should have crushed them both when I had the chance. The Chicago Blackhawks need not make the same mistake I did.
Sighs and smiles were had a while back when the Nashville Predators first tried their cute little attempt at being respected by being anything but respectable. Remember in 2013 when they were so bothered by Blackhawks fans traveling to their city and arena and — gasp! — spending money? Money that the Predators were otherwise not making when the Blackhawks were not in town? The Predators disallowed anyone from buying single-game tickets when Chicago was the visiting team. Aww, those scamps and their dumb business acumen.
Then the Predators were surprised when the big brother Blackhawks took the bigger piece of chicken over their measly drumsticks and still showed up, so the colicky Predators hit Chicagoans where it really hurt: no more “Star Spangled Banner” for those alphas to cheer during. That would show them, while also making the rest of the league respect a paranoid professional hockey team in Tennessee.
It isn’t cute any more, though. Actually, the Predators have jumped passed mildly annoying and are in full-blown psycho-spoiled-baby-brat mode. Which is why beyond any normal rooting interest for Chicagoans, the Blackhawks need to destroy them. Not just a series win, but an embarrassing sweep into college football spring practice season.
The paranoia has become so sad that the pretentious Predators started planning back in December what would become the following practices, per The Tennessean:
— The team allowed season ticket-holders to buy extra playoff tickets before they went on sale to the general public.
— Playoff tickets to the general public at first went on sale only at local Kroger stores and at Bridgestone, meaning buyers had to purchase them in person.
— When the Predators eventually put playoff tickets online, they were available only to purchasers within the team’s television viewing area.
That’s some lame “I’m gonna hide my candy where you’ll never find it” garbage that deserves various kidney shots and pink-bellies, but then these whiny pests took it beyond levels of decency. If fans bought tickets on StubHub, the pernicious Predators are trying to scare them away by saying those tickets will be no good and that you need to have a credit card scanned for entry. StubHub has assured fans that the team is lying.
Hopefully after every Chicago goal scored, a Blackhawks player does some sort of celebration involving a faux credit card swipe. Destroy these turds.
Oh, and there will be no more “God Bless America” sung in lieu of the national anthem because the pukey Predators realized that everyone was laughing at them. To drown out that laughter — and cheering Hawks fans — Nashvillbillies in attendance are being encourage to sing the anthem.
“It would almost be against God, country and apple pie to shout and cheer through the person next to you singing the anthem of the United States of America, wouldn’t it?” team president Sean Henry told The Tennessean.
What would it be if you abandon the song altogether in previous games because of hurt pride, though? Nevermind.
Heaven forbid actual hockey fans were present and loud during a Stanley Cup Playoff game. Yes, actual people with even a tangential knowledge of hockey. Because, see, those hardly exist in Tennessee. That’s not a stereotype by me— that’s an actual column in The Tennessean.
Or as the author calls it, “a primer.” In other words: “We have a playoff hockey team in our geographic area, so here’s how best to pretend you care until they lose.”
It contains plenty of helpful pointers, like how there’s no halftime, the name of one of the team’s best players, how there’s also Carrie Underwood’s husband and subliminal tributes to the Confederacy. (I’m assuming the last part because I stopped reading after my brain was overcome by the horn on the General Lee.)
The Blackhawks desperately need to put this petulant little brother in its place, lest it be allowed to grow into the scourge my siblings who don’t read my columns and make fun of me at family gatherings are today.
Kill with extreme prejudice, and then move the Predators’ corpse of an ego to Las Vegas where other Napoleonic failure siblings go.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.