The Blackhawks have already opened their season, but those games were away games, and because the economy has forced me to cancel my cable and pawn my TV -- and no, I will never stop making jokes about the economy -- I wasn't able to watch those games. (The real reason: My beer-fueled social schedule. But let's keep that between us.)
No, tonight feels like the real Blackhawks opener, the night when the Hawks open the United Center for the first time this year, they're pulling out all the stops. Know how I know? The Blackhawks PR site told me so. Tonight is the "Blackhawks Red Carpet Event."
A marketing scheme to the fullest, the Blackhawks Red Carpet Event sounds exactly like a car manucturer's desperate seasonal sale, maybe something in the late-winter, right around Oscar season or something. Each player will roll up in a limousine, be introduced, and will walk out on a red carpet to a cheering crowd of tens -- nay, hundreds -- and maybe someone will go home with a nice new Honda at a low low financing rate or something. Never count out John McDonough's creative genius.
Despite my mocking, people are genuinely excited for the Blackhawks this year, as well they should be. Not only are they being marketed well, they have an interesting team that should, at the very least, compete. Also, they will actually be on TV this year, an outcome created by the death of cranky luddite and former owner Bill Wirtz. TV! Like all the real teams! Like everyone post-1950! Woo-hoo! There is nothing to not be excited about.
Me, I'll be attending Wednesday night, myself a new ticket holder brought on by a moderate interest in Blackhawks hockey. No matter how much I make fun of the team, the truth is the same: We're all pretty excited about hockey these days. Now the team just has to win.