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Blackhawks Thu Mar 17 2011

The 7 People You Meet at a Blackhawks Game

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Patrick Kane hoists the Cup at last year's victory parade / Tribune photo: William DeShazer

My love of sports is rivaled only by my love of people-watching. It's a habit I developed as a child that I've never been able to shake. Combine the two at a Blackhawks game and you find seven types of people. Chances are you've met them too.

White-Collar Hockey Elite

These men are hard workers -- typically VPs or CEOs -- heading to the game straight from the office. They have season tickets to schmooze their clients and impress their suppliers. These fans are the easiest to spot: a Chelios jersey (he's the captain, right?) over their white oxford shirt, dress slacks and loafers. (Tie optional.) These fans sit in the 100 level and sip Glenlivet instead of beer.

My Honey's Jersey

While some girls love hockey (myself included), others were clearly tricked into going to the hockey game. I'm sure he probably called and said, "I've got a big surprise for you tonight," then showed up with two XXL sweaters: one for him and a Toews one for her. Instead of the romantic dinner she'd envisioned, they are in the 300 level awkwardly eating undercooked French fries smothered in ketchup. Not only do these girls hate hockey, they don't care to understand it either.


Since it's too cold to meet at Wrigley Field for a Cubs keg party, these guys migrate to the United Center. They talk on their cell phones incessantly and break all the commandments of hockey. They get up to get more beers before the whistle and scream "SHOOT IT" every time the Hawks have the puck. They are drunk by the end of the first period because they pre-gamed heavily at a bar in Lincoln Park. They puke on the No. 19 bus on their way back to the Brown Line.

These women have figured out that going to a hockey game means spending the evening elbow to elbow with men. These ladies show up whiskey-drunk and scantily clad. They are the only ones wearing short sleeves in the whole UC, and wear six-inch heels even when there's a foot of snow outside. They troll for free drinks, cat-calls and future husbands. They don't watch the game and they are constantly giggling.

"Dad, I'm Tired"

These hockey dads want their son to be the next Marian Hossa. They shuttle their kids from open skate to travel games and to private skating lessons. They buy them gear and immerse them into the world of hockey-awesomeness. Their boys, while wide-eyed and adorable in their Kane jerseys, are snuggled into their jackets and asleep by the second period. Don't push too hard, dad -- they'll become serial killers.


The most enigmatic of the seven tribes, they come to the game early and file immediately to their seats at least an hour before game time. They are in their seats and prepared for an exciting hockey game ... which they leave in the beginning of the third period to avoid traffic. These traffickers miss the end of games, including five-round shootouts, just to make it back to the interstate in a timely fashion. At least they are home in time to see the highlights on the news.

Helmet Heads

These are the quintessential hockey fans. They have a collection of Blackhawks bobbleheads in their cubicles at work. They have Blackhawks calendars and mouse pads. They have season tickets and actually use them. They get fiery when Brian Campbell is called for a penalty. Hawks sweaters, ski cap and Stanley Cup flag included.

A Blackhawks game wouldn't be the same without all of these people. Some are arrogant, some are bored and some violate the rules of the game, but they all come together to dance to "Chelsea Dagger" after a goal. Except for the Traffickers, who missed the whole thing.

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