The rivalry between two proud sports cities such as Boston and Chicago can often be bitter, but in the wake of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune put that rivalry on hold and dedicated its sports page to the mourning city of Boston.
According to Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe, the Tribune released a touching sports page featuring the logos of each of Boston's major professional sports teams. The spread reads, "We are Chicago Red Sox, we are Chicago Celtics, we are Chicago Bruins, we are Chicago Patriots, we are Chicago Revolution."
Such camaraderie across cities is uncommon in the sports world, but when something as awful as the Boston Marathon bombing occurs, people tend to come together despite their differences and disagreements.
Perhaps non-sports fans will have a difficult time appreciating the meaning behind the gesture, but for anyone who understands the importance of sports in both Chicago and Boston, this extending of the olive branch is both significant and heartwarming.
Chicago sports fans identify themselves with the White Sox, Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears and Fire, so putting "Chicago" ahead of Boston franchise nicknames is the ultimate sign of respect. Sports are sacred in Chicago, but given recent events, the Tribune clearly has its priorities in order.
There has been an outpouring of support for the city of Boston across the United States and the world. This gesture, in particular, will resonate with sports fans.
Things will eventually return to normalcy, and Chicago sports fans will cheer for their teams against teams hailing from Boston, but there are more important things at hand right now. It is paramount that people stand united next to the city of Boston, and the Chicago Tribune realizes that importance.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter