The days are getting darker for Bulls fans, and I'm not just talking about the end of daylight saving time. Millionaires are fighting with billionaires over a few percentage points of a multibillion-dollar pot. If you're a Bulls fan, you've braced yourself for a cold, hard truth: There might not be any ball this season.
Before you compose a handwritten letter to David Stern, streaked with tears of frustration, anger and whiskey (we've all been there), know that you've got a friend. A vulcanized rubber friend that's 3 inches in diameter.
HOCKEY. I AM REFERRING TO HOCKEY.
If you miss that sports fix two to four days a week, the Blackhawks are here for you. And get this: They're pretty damn good this year. Now's the time to jump into the NHL with both feet. Here's a primer to help you decide which Blackhawks can replace your favorite Bulls.
Derrick Rose: Although Jonathan Toews is the captain and probably the Hawks' best all-around player, Patrick Kane is the fastest man on the ice in every game so far. No. 88 on a breakaway looks like No. 1 on the fast break: Something awesome's going to happen, and very quickly.
Joakim Noah: Awesome hair and awesome defense? Duncan Keith was the NHL's best defenseman two years ago, is consistently among the league leaders in ice time, and his shoulder-length hockey hair is without equal.
Kyle Korver: Big fan of the good-looking sharpshooter? Too easy: Patrick Sharp is your new man-crush.
Kurt Thomas: Your favorite Bull was Kurt Thomas? Really? If you believe players only get better with age, enjoy defenseman Sean O'Donnell. He's 354 days older than Thomas. (Really.)
C.J. Watson: You loved hearing Stacey King say his name, I get it. Switch out the Bulls' No. 32 for the Hawks' No. 32 and you get John Scott. He has two roles: 1) Deterring other teams from hitting our guys and 2) Hitting other teams' guys. His nickname is "Murdersaurus." It sounds even better out loud and when the other guy is bleeding.
Hate the Red Wings, hate the Canucks, strongly dislike everyone else. Red and black color schemes still work. Enjoy four games in the next six days!
Alex Quigley is a RedEye special contributor.