It’s become something of a question in recent days. With the Chicago Blackhawks‘ struggles in the first half of January, this question would naturally be raised. The Hawks have won two Stanley Cups in four years and are looking to get their third. In short, the Hawks are among the elite of the NHL. But is this leading Blackhawks fans into a different line of thinking? Are Hawks fans so used to success that they are, as some in the media are saying, spoiled?
Considering the Hawks were not even competitive for much of the late-90’s until say, 2007, since “Dollar” Bill Wirtz didn’t exactly cultivate a winning franchise, what with his penny-pinching. In essence, a lot of the younger fans might be unfamiliar with what it’s like t have a consistently good team (although the Chicago Bulls of the 1990’s should temper that idea). But this might also be coming from a lot of the older fans who remember the Hawks’ successes of the past. So, what might be behind this thinking?
Perhaps it’s the fact that this can happen to the fanbase of any successful team. A Google search saying that New York Yankees fans are spoiled can bring up a couple results. Heck, even Los Angeles Lakers fans can be called spoiled. The fans of any successful team can get used to their team’s success and any bad stretch the team is dealing with can cause the fans to panic. Chicago sports media, who are aware of the fans’ concerns, try to reassure the fans.
But are Blackhawks fans too used to their team’s success? Yes and no. Yes, because the Hawks are still one of the best teams in the league. No, because of the flaws that were exposed during the Hawks’ funk. Yes, because it’s made them forget about the struggles under Wirtz. No, because they’re enjoying the current run of success and they’re just not used to the team being this good.
Perhaps this is a good sign. Now that the Hawks are consistently successful, the fans will be demanding a winning product. What’s wrong with that?