Forgive any Chicagoan this morning. They were probably up late last night. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. They have won 3 out of the last 6 in a salary capped world. That’s a dynasty. What a great team. Great players. They also do a lot for the community. If you haven’t watched this video of Duncan Keith, watch it. You will shed a tear.
As a kid growing up in Chicago, I never saw a championship in any sport. It wasn’t until the 1981 Chicago Sting in the old NASL that Chicago won anything. Then came the ’86 Bears, and the 90’s were the Bulls. In 2005, half the city celebrated the White Sox. Now it’s the Blackhawks. Forgive us for relishing in this a little.
Back in 2003-2007, the Hawks were left for dead. One time I went to a game in March. There were about 200-300 people in the arena. We had a skybox. Instead of watching the hockey game, we watched the NCAA basketball tournament on the television in the skybox. They were that bad.
Old Man Wirtz refused to change. He had milked the brand and the franchise for everything he could. He refused to show home games on TV. He didn’t pay players. Then, he died. His son took over and remade the franchise.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned about running a business, building a business, and thinking innovation first when you look at the Blackhawks. If you are a startup that’s having trouble, put their logo up in your office. Take a page out of their book and rise from the ashes.
If you are a NY Knicks fan or a fan of another seemingly hopeless franchise, there is hope. Take it from this Cubs fan.