By Rich Lindbloom
What’s with all the negative vibes? You’re bringing me down man. Just about everything I read or hear about the Hawks requires anti-depressive prescriptions. Perhaps it would be a wise idea to take the belts and shoe laces away from those of us who inhabit the upper reaches on the United Center. The most depressing movie I ever watched, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, would be a comedy compared to reading most analyses of our struggling team. While I will admit I’m not exactly feeling groovy at the moment, I refuse wallow in the muck of doom and gloom. (There’s enough of that in the real world.) While preparing to jump off the wagon, it appears the vast majority of fans have grabbed hold of the white flag. Need I remind you Hawk fans, surrender is not an option!
Actually, I came across how all those playoff rags (ok Don, rally towels), we see waved so often in the playoffs, came to be. In the 1982 Conference Final playoffs against the Canucks, our mighty Blackhawks took on a team that arguably had the ugliest uniforms in the history of the NHL. The home uniforms were enough to make you sick to your stomach; I’m pretty sure they were designed by someone who was on a “bum trip.” When I looked back to see who was on the Hawks that year, I was amazed at the talent on the team. The top four Hawk scorers were Savard (119 pts.), Wilson (85 pts.), Lysiak (82 pts in 71 games) and Big Al Secord (75 pts., but more importantly 303 penalty min.) Vancouver had a few ruffians of their own, most notably Tiger Williams. Of course Richard Brodeur played completely out of his mind.
The Canucks won the first game but followed up with a loss in Game Two, 4-1. The third period was marred, (or highlighted I guess, depending on your perspective), with numerous brawls that ended up totaling 150 minutes in penalties being assessed by the overwhelmed zebra. Roger Nielsen, the Canuck coach, finally had enough of the officiating. He grabbed a white towel, fastening it to a stick and mockingly started waving it at the referee. Several Canuck players followed suit, (monkey see, monkey do), and Nielsen was eventually tossed for his lack of respect and dissing one of the NHL’s finest. When Vancouver returned home for game 3 there was a little surprise for all the fans in attendance that night. A white towel was draped over every seat in the Pacific Coliseum before the game!