Nothing brought the people of Chicago together more than the Blackhawks finally ending their Stanley Cup drought.
The Taste of Chicago, World Cup or even the prospect of an Olympic Games being held in Chicago do not compare to the bliss that was shared last June. No one could deny that the Blackhawks captured a city's heart and imagination in a way no one could measure.
Throughout the experience, most fans believed that the Hawks would get the Cup. With the strains that awaited due to the salary cap at season's end, it was now or never for a team that was as talented as any club in recent memory. People expected it to come to fruition as a strong regular season led to a magical postseason.
The same sense of pre-knowledge and confidence is not shared with the other Chicago team that is looking to end a drought of its own. Of course, I am referring to the Chicago Bears, who are two wins away from winning their first Super Bowl title since the "Shuffling Crew" under Mike Ditka strutted their stuff for everyone in Super Bowl XX.
This Bears team is not much like the Blackhawks team that people so easily embraced. The Blackhawks featured young, dynamic and down-to-earth personalities that people could connect with. The Bears, who by many accounts are Chicago's No. 1 team by leaps and bounds, don't exude that feeling.
Players such as Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher have gained personas as being prima donnas and stand-offish to some. This is the opposite of the feelings that one gets thinking of players like Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews.
But in many ways, the Bears drive to a championship, which continues this Sunday against the hated rival Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field, will be somewhat connected to that magical Hawks run more than a half a year ago.
The city of Chicago went through the Bill Wirtz regime with the Blackhawks, the White Sox won a title in the last decade but always seem to come up just short, the Cubs are the Cubs, the Bulls went through a decade of rebuilding after MJ left and the Bears have been up and down, mostly down since the Ditka years.
And suddenly, Chicago fans wake up in a new decade. The Blackhawks are Stanley Cup champions, the White Sox are poised to take a shot at the World Series, the Cubs have solid young talent (I tried, Cubs fans), the Bulls have a team that could go deep into the playoffs with a MVP frontrunner and all of a sudden the unexpected Bears are on the doorstep of greatness.
For anyone that was able to take in the scene of the victory parade for the Blackhawks all those months ago, it was a sight to be seen. The jubilant mob lined up beyond what the eye could see waiting to see the newly crowned heroes.
People were fainting from the intense summer heat and were exhausted from running from street to street. In several weeks, we all hope that their will be another parade with opposite weather in the forecast.
People would be lined up—some might even get frostbite instead of fainting—but it would surely be a sight to see.