I must say, "committing to the Indian" never felt so good!
It's 7:12 pm on Tuesday night, and I'm still feeling a little leftover buzz from our Lunch with a Legend event this morning. Hawks legend Denis Savard DID NOT disappoint, and I must say, I enjoyed this event as much, or more, than any we've had in the past. As you are well aware, I am not the world's biggest follower of hockey. In fact, I'm a "Hockey Moron" with little to no knowledge of the sport. I didn't grow up with the sport and have laced up a pair of skates less than five times in my life, each time of the rental variety. I did develop a hankering for the game while at Boston College and that interest grew when I arrived in '89 and the Hawks were the hottest ticket in town. For the last decade, though, I've had the game on the "pay no mind list."
But that may have all changed today! And not because Savy (hell, I don't even know how to spell the Hall of Famer's nickname) handed me an authentic #87 Indian Head sweater with my name on the back. That was very impressive, as well as generous. It's not because Director of Media Relations Brandon Faber offered to host me and my family at the game of my choice. It's not the fact that John McDonough has helped turn the UC into the place to be once again. It's not even the high quality of hockey the Hawks are playing these days. It was spending time with one of the all-time greats and being reminded that he and his hockey fraternity brothers are the most down to earth athletes of all. With all due respect to my fellow footballers, and others in the sporting world, these guys get it. Maybe it's the family-like atmosphere developed at an early age, maybe it's all the humbling bus rides in the minors, or maybe it's just in their DNA. Of course, there are some jerks, but, personally, I find them to be fewer and far between in hockey.
And speaking of Denis Savard, you will never meet a more grounded Hall of Famer. Maybe he wasn't the best coach. Maybe he isn't capable of doing what Joel Quenneville is in the process of doing. But the fact that Savard has accepted and enthusiastically embraced his role as a Blackhawk ambassador, despite being fired four games into this season, tells you all you need to know about Savard and his brethren.
I can't tell you when, but I'm going to a Hawks game. For all the reason mentioned above. Not only are they a good young team, they're a likeable team. Maybe I'll bring Giangreco along to further enhance the experience. As you know, he could liven up knitting seminar. Don't worry though, I'm not about to become a "Hockey Snob," but it's time I truly "Commit to the Indian." By the way, the Bulls have an 8-point lead over Dwight Howard and the Magic at the half.
Oh, and the Hawks are up one-zip, midway through the second period. Be patient with me.
Tom Waddle is a co-host of "Waddle & Silvy," mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1000. Send comments, questions and feedback by clicking here.