I suspect that, for most of you, I don’t have to give you any reasons to hate the Blackhawks’ next
victim opponents. It’s rather like putting on underpants — it’s necessary, it’s automatic, and if you don’t, you feel pretty damn uncomfortable. But humor me — here are five reasons to hate the Winged Wheel even more than you already do.
1. The Wings Whined Their Way to Realignment
The rumors of NHL realignment have been circling for years, and was amplified when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg two seasons ago and remained in the Southeast Conference. The easy way to readjust things would’ve been to swap Winnipeg and Nashville.
But no, Detroit has been bitching and moaning for years about all the traveling they have to do and the fact they’re in the eastern time zone in the Western Conference. WAH WAH WAH. Listen, Columbus is also in the EST and I haven’t heard them crying like a four-year old that just shit their pants. But have fun in the new Eastern Conference while the Hawks hoist that Conference III banner for the next decade. And thanks for destroying a 87-year old rivalry due to your belly-aching.
2. Mike Babcock’s Face
Every time there’s a shot of Mike Babcock on the Wings’ bench, he’s making a fart face. It’s as if the entire team had Taco Bell, KFC, and Milwaukee’s Best for their pre-game meal. I know coaching a NHL team is hard — I wouldn’t expect anyone to be behind the bench smiling and laughing the entire time. But with Babcock, I half suspect there’s about 10 pounds of kidney stones littering the floor of Detroit’s bench with all the grimacing he does.
3. The “Detroit Sucks” Chant
Look, I know it’s a time honored tradition — the Hawks play the Red Wings, the “Detroit Sucks” chants replace the “Let’s Go Hawks” chants. Fine. I don’t participate, except for that time that Niklas Kronwall killed Marty Havlat. But here’s when you don’t start the “Detroit Sucks” chants:
- When the Blackhawks are playing a team such as the Calgary Flames
- During the Stanley Cup parade. This actually happened — last I checked the Hawks didn’t play the Wings in the 2010 playoffs.
- When you’re in Detroit. Unless you have body armor and a really fast car.
We’re all sad that we’re only going to see the Wings at the UC once a year — that’s a lot of history getting flushed down the toilet of realignment. But let’s save these chants for that one game, and find some other way to mock the 28 other teams. Is there a creative way to chant “The Blues Smell of Pee and Broken Dreams?”
4. That Damn Name Bar
The Winged Wheel is a classic NHL logo. It’s not the Indian Head, but it’s the Original Six, man. So why do the Wings have the damn curved name bar on the back of such a classic jersey? The font is ugly, and if the player has more than eight letters in their last name, it’s awkward as hell. The only good thing is, if some stupid Detroit fan buys a bootleg jersey like the one above, you can safely say they own the most terrible $30 jersey in the NHL. So fug.
5. The Red Wing
The Detroit franchise, when formed in 1926, was originally named the Cougars, then the Falcons. When James Norris bought the team in 1932, he renamed them the Red Wings. The name comes from the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association — they were nicknamed the “Winged Wheelers.” I guess Norris thought that Detroit being the Motor City, a wheel would make a good name/emblem. But still, Detroit is named after a Montreal Athletic Club. For me, the name reminds me of work boots and pottery that people in Minnesota collect. Woo-hoo!
You’ll notice there’s one thing I didn’t add to my list of scorn — the city of Detroit itself. There’s a few reasons for that. First, it’s low-hanging fruit, and I like to be in the middle of the tree somewhere. Second, I feel bad kicking a city when it’s down. Way down. Detroit was the shining example of a city that worked hard, and made products that they could be proud of. But a shit economy, and an even shittier local government, has made the city a shell of its former self. Amid the empty lots and the abandoned factories there are some folks trying to make a difference — take the Heidelberg Project and the urban gardening movement for example.
But before we all sit on our high horse and mock Detroit, look in the mirror, Chicago. Have you driven through some of our neighborhoods? How many of our politicians are sitting in jail cells right now? We’re not as perfect as we’d like to think we all are.
But if you want to mock the city of St. Louis, feel free. They fucking suck.