13 June 2010

Last thoughts on Friday's Blackhawks parade

Although I remember the Bears winning the Super Bowl in 1986, I wasn't old enough to go and celebrate their return to Chicago. Half a million people showed up to the parade route that frigid winter day, putting up with single digit temps and -23 wind chills.1

I can only guess that if it hadn't happened in the middle of winter, it would have looked a little like what downtown Chicago looked like last Friday, when the city formally welcomed back their Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks.



The original estimate was that there were 350 thousand people that would come downtown that day.2 By the time the Hawks reached the rally, that number had increased to two million.3 It's a good thing that everyone was in a good mood, because there was no room anywhere to move along the parade route.

The weather was hot, the alcohol was present and everyone was pushing against each other. Tempers were starting to flare up with people trying to weave their way through the crowds trying to get a better spot. Normally I would think that would be a sure fire recipe for disaster. While the police presence was there, there was definitely nothing they'd be able to do if any chaos started up.

I had brought more gear hoping that I'd be able to get some good shots that day but in the end, all I could manage to do was get my phone in one hand, my video camera in the other, hold them up and hope for the best.

blackhawks parade #2 2010-06-11 blackhawks parade #3 2010-06-11

I have to admit, I was a little nervous when the bridge filled up. Once we got to the other side there was just nowhere left to move.

All in all it was a good day. I wonder how many of the two million were people playing hooky from work that day. Sorry to all my friends who got delayed text responses when you were trying to find out where I was. It was hard trying to hold my space and reply back at the same time.

To some of the other notable folks we ('we' meaning me and all my new friends that you tried to slide past that morning) met that day:

To all the folks that were trying to get to their graduation: Sorry about that. To be honest, nobody really believed you were really trying to get to a graduation. We didn't really care that you all had matching shirts on either. I think we may have started to believe you after the third or fourth separate group of you tried to get by. It really didn't matter though, as there wasn't any room to move and we really weren't just standing there trying to make you late.

To the lady trying to get to her job interview: I hope you made it. If you didn't I hope they understood and didn't hold that against you. In this economy it's nice to see people getting new opportunities. You were very polite and we felt bad that you had to walk down that street that day. Now, the lady behind you screaming at everyone on your behalf - complete tool. I'm pretty sure you guys weren't together, seeing as she was in all Hawks gear and you were dressed very professionally, so understand that most of those comments were directed at her and not you.

To the guy at the end of the bridge sharing his bottle of Capt. Morgan: Thanks for the offer playa, but probably the last place you needed to be right then was sitting on the railing of that bridge. Half that bottle was gone, and I doubt that it all went to the friendly faces passing by.

To all the companies that tossed out shredded office paper as the parade drove by: Sure hope there wasn't anything important that was accidentally shredded for that. There were more than a few Enron jokes flying around, but you might have already guessed that was going to happen.

To the Blackhawks and their organization: Thank you for making an otherwise depressing sports year feel real good.

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1CBS 2 Chicago
2Newsradio 780 Chicago
3Chicago Breaking News

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