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Time to celebrate and forget about life for a while

OPINION

  • Fans celebrate the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship early Tuesday in Wrigleyville.
Fans celebrate the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship early Tuesday… (Getty Images )
June 26, 2013|By Hector Luis Alamo Jr., @hectorluisalamo | For RedEye

Life is tough, and some lives are tougher than others. People find themselves doing things just to get by. The most notorious activity is drinking, of course, but there also are those who hit the gym, the club, the mall or the hay. Some people obsess over buying the latest gadget, and some people schedule 30 hours of "Call of Duty" each week.

For reasons I'm sure the average RedEye reader could fire off in a heartbeat, Chicagoans look to take a vacation from reality more than the people in other cities. Maybe that's why Chicago's considered such a "sports town." What else but sports gives us a regular excuse to eat, drink and be merry—and "forget about life for a while," as Billy Joel put it?

That must explain the Blackhawks mania gripping the city.

Suddenly—as of a few weeks ago—all of Chicago is horny for hockey. I mean everybody. The old and the young. Black, brown and white. Poor and rich. Quite literally everybody and their mama.

This is no bandwagon. This is a titanic party ship floating just off Lake Shore Drive, and if you're not on it (like I'm not), then you'd better watch what you say and to whom. You're liable to get a slapshot to the mouth by some hairy mountain of a man wielding a souvenir hockey stick.

Don't get me wrong. I don't know why I'm not on the ship. A big part of me wanted to be excited with the rest of the city, but when it came down to it, I just didn't try enough and didn't care enough to hop aboard.

I'm excited for Chicago, though. I like to see smiles on the faces of my people as they dance in the streets. A lot of the people in attendance on Friday won't give two shits about hockey, but they'll find that they can't help feeling complete bliss.

They'll wear the jersey of men they know nothing about and wave to faces they'd never seen before June. I want to hear them chant the chorus to "Chelsea Dagger," which is emblematic of the city's escapism—no lyrics, just a bit of gibberish and a hypnotic drumbeat to lose yourself in.

Good for them, and good for the city of Chicago.

Lord knows we need a reason to celebrate, to forget about life for a while.

Hector Luis Alamo Jr. is a RedEye special contributor.

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