Chicago players and organization demonstrate the true spirit and values of professional sports
There is a rose in Spanish Harlem . . . it only comes out when the moon is on the rise and all the stars are gleaming . . .
From the song Spanish Harlem
Having lived in Chicago, I could not help but feel a sense of civic pride as our hockey team won the coveted Stanley Cup, defeating a very tough Boston Bruins team in six games.
Even though I am not a “paint your face, stand up and cheer in front of the television camera” kind of fan, I nonetheless was caught up in the excitement shared by all Chicagoans as our team reached the pinnacle of hockey supremacy.
However, what created a level of pride that far surpassed the thrill of the cup victory was an unusual demonstration of true sportsman by the team and its ownership. In an open letter to the City of Boston that appeared in that City’s local newspaper The Boston Globe, Chicago Blackhawks team owner Rocky Wirtz and team president John McDonough wrote the following:
In expressing their appreciation and respect for both the opposing Boston Bruins and the City of Boston itself, the Blackhawks demonstrated the true spirit of sportsmanship, and the values upon which a champion is built.
Over the past several months there have been no shortages of sad and troubling stories from the world of professional sports regarding the conduct of athletes. Against this backdrop of growing fan disappointment and disillusionment, and similar to that rose in Spanish Harlem that only comes out at a certain time when the stars are gleaming, the Chicago Blackhawks did something that was both rare and moving at a time that their star was shining brightest. In doing what they did, the Chicago team reminds us of the importance of knowing and acting upon our core values in both victory and defeat, in sports and in everyday life.