Blackhawk Nation: An Open Letter to Joel Quenneville

Mary Ann Reitano@MusingMaryAnnContributor IIIDecember 17, 2010

Coach Q and the Gang
Coach Q and the GangDave Sandford/Getty Images

Dear Coach, 

How goes it?  It seem like just yesterday we were all laughing along with you as you pulled toilet paper off the trees in your front yard.  Well, Coach, there isn't much laughing going on these days, in fact, the complete opposite to be honest.  June almost seems like it was a mean trick played on us by Fate.  Not much seems to be working right this year.  

I know, I know, we all knew that it was going to be tough going with the salary cap and losing a bunch of guys in the off-season but I think the guys have had enough time to start gelling as a team. I'm probably going to get hell for this, but someone has to say it: the guys seem like they have lost their passion.  Some may still have it yet collectively, as a team something is missing. 

Game after game the finger gets pointed at the offense, then the defense, then goal-tending, etc.  Then, as if that weren't enough, then we have injuries piling up on injuries and guys moving back and forth from Rockford so often that I-90 should be adding a lane of traffic stenciled with "HAWKS ONLY."

Players are brilliant one night and then off the next three games almost expecting someone else to pick up the slack. Now, don't get me wrong, Coach, we don't expect you to win every game, we get it; you win some you lose some.  Yet, we want to see the guys out there hustling every night no matter what the scoreboard reads.  

Remember back in school when you came home with a bad grade and you thought your mom was going to ground you?  Yet, if she knew you tried your best and still got the 63 percent, then it was all good in her eyes because you gave it your all and still came up short.   If this were the case with the Hawks, then there wouldn't be the rumblings that there are today among Hawk fans.  The only thing that seem to be beginning to sort itself out is the goal-tending situation.  For that, we are thankful. 

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Coach, fans were booing you in your own house this week!  Yes, I know, it was a horribly wrong thing to do and they should all be banished for it but it gives you a sense of what it is like for us in the stands and those of us watching these disasters unfold on our TV screens. 

Just check out the Hawks' Facebook page, we are squabbling amongst ourselves over the little tawdry things because we are all so frustrated with what is going on on the ice.  Heck, there are a few Hawk fans who are acting like trolls over there calling people out, name calling, etc.  "I'm a better Hawk fan than you!", "I've had season tickets since before you were born.", "I was there during the lean years in the late 90's when Chicago Stadium was only one-third full."

Do the guys need a reality check, Coach? Are they just tired from the crazy summer?  Have they forgotten about the fans in the stands?  I have a buddy with season tickets and he uses the money that would be set aside for vacations and uses those funds to pay for his season tickets—that is his annual vacation—his season tickets.  No plane to some tropical paradise for a week of R & R or skiing in Denver—he attends the Mass of the Faithful on Madison Ave. and wouldn't have it any other way. This is who you play for, Coach. 

Maybe it's time for some tough love, Coach.  Bring Denis Savard in for a pep-talk, maybe have the boys do some Herbies or send a few to Rockford for a week or two to jog their memory about from where they cometh.   

What has repeatedly come to mind is a saying that I heard growing up, "Pancia piena cerca riposo." Translation: A full belly looks for rest.  When taken literally, say after a big meal, it has no negative connotation.  Yet when used figuratively, it refers to someone who, having reached a pinnacle or goal, doesn't see the need to try too hard anymore. 

Whatever the issue(s) may be, Coach.  We leave it in your trusting hands to sort out.  You got us to the pinnacle and you are the one we trust to get us back on track.  There are no such things as bandwagon fans in the Blackhawk Nation as far as I'm concerned.  If we hung in there for 49 years, we can hang in there for anything. This is one of the things that makes Chicago great and while we may be grumbling, no one is going anywhere, that's for sure.

Yet, if I were given an opportunity to vote, my votes would be for Savvy to come in or a trip to Rockford for a few of the guys.  Herbies sound good but we don't want anymore injuries. 

Tell the guys to look into the crowd during warm-ups and ask them to remember watching their heroes play ...tell them to remember their love for the game.  Because that love is the one thing that they truly share with the fans on the other side of the glass. 


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