As a sports fan who works in downtown Chicago I deal with fans of all the Chicago sports teams. There's pie in the sky, "this is our year" Cubs fans; there's the "can't let go of the MJ years" Bulls fans, the increasingly bitter and ignorant Bears fans, the often needy for validation White Sox fans, and lastly the cult-ish Blackhawks fans.
The Blackhawks fans are rising the totem pole of annoying Chicago fans faster than you can say "who cares."
What's the problem with Hawks fans? Easy, they don't get it. The majority of Hawks fans think that by having a little bit of success they can now stick their flag on the top of Willis Tower and call this a Hawks town. Sorry, it's not that easy.
In fact, Hawks fans will soon understand it'll be mission impossible.
See, many people my age weren't raised with hockey as a part of our sports watching diet. Football, basketball, and baseball are staples, but hockey? Just because I casually tune in doesn't mean I truly care.
After all, I used to watch Soul Train on Saturday mornings. Clearly I and many others are capable of watching something without being truly invested, and that's how the city of Chicago is with the Blackhawks.
That's not to say that there aren't true Hawks fans; there are. But when the Hawks eventually reach the Stanley Cup finals, be it this year, next year, or in five years, their presence in the championship round won't garner nearly the attention from the common fan that any of the big four teams in Chicago would get.
Will any amount of success change sports landscape in the city to a more hockey friendly one? Maybe, but I doubt it. But has Anaheim's success turned that city into a hockey town? For all their success, have the Penguins supplanted the Steelers as the No. 1 team in Pittsburgh? Of course not.
The truth of that matter is, that now and for the foreseeable future Chicago is a Bears town first, a Cubs town second, a Bulls town third, and then everyone else falls in line. The mild amount of success that the Hawks are having is certainly helping them, but it hasn't changed the city.