Monday, May 18, 2009

You Can't Spell "Wing" Without "Win"...

My favorite part of the media coverage of this series is how the Wings are (once again) being portrayed as the old, slow veterans versus the young, speedy Blackhawks. With the exception of Lidstrom, Rafalski, Draper, Maltby, Holmstrom, Chelios, and Osgood, the core of the team is in their late twenties or early thirties. Z, Datsyuk, Hossa, Franzen, Kronwall, and Stuart are all between 28 and 30. I know that Chicago only has four guys (Huet, Khabibulin, Sopel, and Pahlsson) over 30, but things have changed since the '02 Cup. And as to the speed issue, while Chicago might have greater average team speed, all I can say is suck on this.

UPDATE: (5/18/09 3:04) Mitch Albom agrees with me!

I've also been thinking about the Chicago fans' "Detroit sucks" chants at the end of their Game 6. I couldn't figure out why there was so much hatred there, when I, as a Detroit fan, couldn't care less about them. Then it occurred to me that it's a lot like the UM-MSU rivalry. You see, I started college at UM, and then transferred to MSU for reasons (not GPA-related!) that I prefer not to discuss. While at UM, I learned a deep-seated hatred for OSU. Nobody liked MSU, but it was kind of an afterthought. However, when I got to MSU, it turned out that everybody there hated UM with a passion. I think it was Michael Hart who later compared MSU to a proverbial little brother who UM's just expected to beat. I couldn't have said it better. UM has better, more intense rivalries with schools on their level. Beating down little brother is just something fun to do when things get boring. I imagine that this is similar to what goes on in Chicago fans' minds. The Wings are the better, more accomplished, smarter, better looking, Golden Child of a big brother, and the Blackhawks have to resent that.

I've been doing a lot more reading of "opposition" blogs this year than I usually do. It's always fun to find out how hated my boys are. I love the fact that everyone outside of Hockeytown despises the Wings. I bask in it. Whenever I travel outside the state, I make sure to drape myself in Wings gear so everyone knows that my heart belongs to Detroit. The best part about it is that the Wings are hated for all the right reasons. They've been so good for so long, and accomplished so much in recent years, that it's easy to imagine a level of jealousy and resentment from less-fortunate teams. When in full-flight, the Wings can systematically demolish an opponent in any number of ways, from finesse passing to mucking it up in the corners or the crease, all the while out-classing you at every turn. In a salary cap world and draft lottery system that are designed to create parity and prevent one team from being dominant for too long, the Wings have continuously found ways to reinvent themselves and stay ahead of the pack. I know I'd be bitter if I was on the outside looking at a team like that. This is in contrast to the Ducks (I know, I just can't let it go.) who are hated for all of the wrong reasons; namely, that they're classless goons from the top down.

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