The life of a Hawks jersey is a hazardous one. Spilled beer. Hot wing stains. Grill smoke. Smeared mascara. (Well, hopefully not the last one.)
Like any weather-worn piece of sports paraphernalia, a Blackhawks sweater can see its fair share of disaster. But one diehard hockey fan just wants to see bright white and red Hawks gear as the team waits Monday one win away from winning the Stanley Cup.
“I’m just a ridiculous fan, that’s how it is,” said David Gibson, owner of Gibson’s Couture Cleaners in Irving Park. Since the beginning of the playoffs, Gibson has been offering a free dry cleaning of any Hawks sweater -- a service that normally costs $8.50. Fans who want a quick clean before games 6 and, if necessary, game 7, can bring them into the 3545 W. Irving Park Road location and expect same-day service.
Gibson ran the same promotion in 2010, and saw 100s of jerseys pass through the shop during the playoffs. This season, he’s kept the promotion low-key, bringing the cleaning requests from a flood to a trickle. But in the spirit of wanting to see an entire city out in its finest -- and cleanest -- Hawks duds, Gibson said he’s going to be generous.
“I’m going to extend the promotion through the entire season next season,” Gibson said, adding it will happen win or lose in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Gibson, a self-described superstitious super fan, said his entire block of 3900 Irving Park Road has watched almost every game together this season. They’ve hunkered down in a neighbor's lucky basement, where Gibson said they’ve won six games. His dry cleaning business even has the mark of his Hawks passion. A mannequin usually dressed in a wedding gown now dons a Blackhawks sweater worn by his late mother-in-law the night the Hawks clinched in 2010.
“It’s been an exhausting playoff run,” he said. “We’re all drained.”
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