Monday, October 27, 2008
Are we ready to care?
As far as I'm concerned, Chicago is a three-sport town. We like our football, baseball, and basketball (probably in that order), but generally spend our time worshiping the same teams instead of the good ones. I'll bet more people can tell you about Dragan Tarlac than name a single player on the Chicago Fire (who just clinched homefield advantage for the playoffs). I'll bet there's a good chunk of you out there than can name the entire starting roster for the Cubs and Bears, including reserves, but can't name half the starting lineup for the Blackhawks (now 3-0 at home).
The difference? By season's end, if the Blackhawks keep it up, you'll care. If the Fire win the whole thing - again - well, life goes on. The Fire gets no media attention - newspaper or television. I understand that no one gives a shit about soccer, but when you have a team in your town that's dominating, you tend to give them some attention and ride the wave. See a game, cheer from your couch, or at least get to know the game a little better so that you can pretend you "know" the team or followed them (sounds a lot like a bandwagon fan...Chicago clearly has NONE of these...). The Fire deserve your time, and are generally one of the best soccer teams year after year.
The Blackhawks are doing as much this year to draw attendance as ever (new record set at a homegame last week), and not blacking out games on TV definitiely helps. The Fire? I think I've seen one game - by accident - on channel 3 before I switched over to AUX to watch the White Sox 2005 Championship DVDs for the 3000th time (where's the Blu-Ray release!?).
Do yourself, and your town, a favor. Get yourself to care about the Fire - talk about Chris Rolfe's 9 goals (three of them gamewinners), Jon Busch's masterful defense (10 shutouts with a 1.10 goals-against-avg), or Andy Herron's inability to score a goal despite taking so many shots (the Larry Hughes of MLS). Also, and much more importantly, soccer players date hot chicks. Get the Fire some media time, and the Chicago Tribune will be a daily subscription to Maxim.