Any NHL Fans out there??

I’m not their greatest fan. I’ve watched some of the games this year and they have been exciting. I miss the old Stadium. Lack of TV support kept me from following and truly appreciating this team. Not an excuse, just a reason. So in all fairness to our coverage of sports on The Lounge, here you go Chicago fans:

12 thoughts on “Any NHL Fans out there??

  1. I like to watch them play, but I won’t buy a hat because of the politics of the logo. (Bring it, Art; I will crush it like a runaway Zamboni in San Francisco.)

    I’m actually frequently surprised that they don’t get more heat about the name/logo.

    • Personally, I don’t know the history behind the logo. What’s the problem?

      I’d like to hear from MathArt. I got your back if you can help me to see this clearly. Come on, 2 on 1 power-play. Whadya say MathArt?

      • Good heavens. The Blackhawks’ logo is, of course, a Black Hawk indian. Dave clearly feels that is an insult to Native Americans. Dave noticed my comment about Chief Illiniwek (so, at least he was paying attention). We can safely assume Dave is part of the problem in this nation. How I long for the demise of political correctness! … Dave, … Animal Farm. Read it again (it would only take YOU about 10 minutes.)

        The Hawks are really good. They could well go the distance. In any case, it is really great that hockey is back on the map in Chicago. (BTW, I played varsity hockey in college. It’s a great, albeit brutal, sport.)

        • Impressive restraint, Art. I thought I could taunt you into more than that. Dang. You’re onto my tactics, I think!

          One, minor correction: the logo refers to a particular, specific person. Black Hawk was a member of the Sauk tribe and leader of a war group made up of Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo fighters. He is also notable for dictating (after his capture, while being paraded around the country on a multi-city tour) what became the first Native American autobiography ever published.

          Some more info here and here. And, before anyone freaks out–I know Wikipedia is not necessarily reliable as a source, but I include it because it has a number of interesting, quality references (see the Source list at the bottom).

          So, the imagination game would be to consider the acceptability to constituent groups of the Chicago Joshua’s with a picture of a hockey stick/trumpet or maybe the Kansas City John Brown ‘s, skating around with a picture of John Brown on their chests holding a bible and a gun (Black Hawk was, after all, an ‘insurgent’ in his time, or maybe the Chicago Popes, featuring Pope Julius the II in his big ol’ Triregno, with a cross slung over his shoulder and (the picture of Black Hawk, similiarly, shows him in sacred regalia). The source of the objection lies in the reduction of a complex and real person into a cartoon, exacerbated by the historic (and consequential) reduction of the broader group in similar ways.

          And lest anyone object that they do not find the “New England Patriots” to be an offensive name, it should be noted that the effects of the characterizations of WASPy New Englander’s as “Patriots” and Native Americans as “Warriors” are vastly different. Few people think of George Wasghington as JUST a rebel war leader, while it is not unusual for many to continue to think of Native Americans as JUST wearing feathered headdresses carrying tomahawks, which is, as I said, a cartoon.

          • I’ll keep my promise MathArt.
            With less than a minute of penalty time left…
            To MathArt, PhiloDave, and anyone wanting to put on a pair of virtual skates,
            How many fans do you think know the history of this logo? I’m not trying to make excuses but don’t you think the history and the sport are so disconnected that the point has become irrelevant?
            Yes, if there was a team called the Chicago Popes, it would offend many because it is relevant to a very large group of individuals and the team would be raising issues that happen to be contemporary.
            Don’t you think the history of Black Hawk has been transformed into something totally different that it is simply a sport logo and nothing more?

            The idea has changed. We root for a hockey team with a name and an image. Period.

            When did it go from paying tribute to a person to becoming a derogatory remark? Should the hockey team change it’s logo now simply because it is the politically correct thing to do, as MathArt has stated? I think he wants a better reason than that. The team should have changed the logo some time ago. We’re crying over spilled beer and nachos.

            Look, up on the big screen it’s a Gieco commercial with a caveman!

            LINE CHANGE!

            Don’t worry MathArt, I’m trying to set you up for the slapshot.

            The Sophist

        • Maybe my favorite sentence of the fortnight, if not of the semester:

          We can safely assume Dave is part of the problem in this nation

          And I do agree–it is really great that Hockey is alive again in Chicago.

      • Your questions (and some riffing) in the order they were asked:

        1. I have no idea, and don’t see the relevance. Ignorance may explain why people don’t understand what is offensive about the logo, but it doesn’t excuse the offense.

        2. Popes are no more or less relevant to hockey than Chief Black Hawk. Never seen a Pope on skates, but you say that would be offensive because of contemporary issues. Chief Black Hawk was concerned about and fighting against governmental dishonesty and an ongoing genocide carried out for and justified by ideas related to racial superiority or economic necessity or both. Those aren’t contemporary issues? Of course they are. There’s also the comment about the “large group;” How many native Americans would have to be offended before their concerns count (keeping in mind that there would be a lot more of them if they hadn’t been so efficiently slaughtered)? Either neither is offensive or both are. I see no distinction that holds.

        3. Transformed? You claimed earlier that few know it. It seems more accurate to say that the history has been mis-presented and mis-understood rather than transformed. If I took a swastika and said it is my team’s symbol, would I have transformed it? What if I did it in a part of the world that didn’t know about and so didn’t care about the history associated with the symbol. Would I have transformed it? Or instead, would it, upon being perceived by someone aware of BOTH histories, as having two histories (or more, if its historical symbolisms are taken into account) but nonetheless be perceived as still an undesirable, if not inappropriate symbol for a sports team because of the fascist/genocidal connection, even while understanding the lack of malice on the part of the fans who walk around in the jackets with swastikas? I’d want to walk up to the team administration and say, “Hey, you know, in other parts of the world, from other points of view, this symbol of yours is representative of _____,” and if they said, “We’ve transformed it,” I’d say, No, you’ve added another meaning to it, which does not remove the other. And your fans might not be aware of it, but that is not the same as saying that no one is aware of it. Ask a Sauk (or person concerned with Native American history/issues if the idea that informs the characterization of the logo is that of “a hockey team and nothing more.” I don’t think you’ll get a yes. At least not as frequently as you hear other words.

        4. How do you know it’s a tribute? You may want to say after the example in number 3, “Ah, but swastikas are one thing and the image of a noble warrior Chief is another. This logo is meant as a compliment, a tribute!” Are the Bears named the Bears because someone wanted to pay honor to the Nobility of the mighty Bear? Were the Cubs named for the positive qualities of the young ursine—playfulness, curiosity, general vulnerability to attack from larger predators? Ok, maybe that one fits.

        Even if we set all of that aside, though, and agree that the team name was chosen for some kind of relation to qualities attributed to the man in the (little known, biased and narrow) historical presentation of his story—indomitability, fierceness in warfare, effective leadership, unusual intelligence—would the transformation of a person, in all his complexity, who became known because his life was dedicated to a cause that is now generally recognized as justified, if not righteous, into a mono-faceted cartoon whose limits are drawn by much larger (and pejorative) social beliefs about his people be perceived by him as a tribute? I doubt it. Even if it was meant as one.

        If you or they want to honor the man, learn and teach his history to those who don’t know it. Try to honor his ideas—at least those you agree with. If you want to pay tribute to him, name a something meaningful after him, or—if you think that might be offensive to too many people (he did some horrible things, after all), then bring someone to see his statue in Oregon, IL and talk about the complexities of understanding history and creating justice.

        Naming a hockey team for him (WHILE willfully ignoring the historical basis of the name) is not paying tribute. That is diminishing and seems to be, in effect, the opposite of complementary. We name schools and buildings and streets for people we admire. Sports teams are named for Myths. The Fighting Freire’s, symbolized by a pair of bare feet or the Chicago Mahatma’s (picture Gandhi in traditional dress holding up his famous walking stick and a book) would be no less offensive. The difference is that people understand why those are offensive (because they know and understand the history and recognize the presence of “those” people in “our” culture. The same cannot be said for Native Americans on either count. Like I said, ignorance is an explanation, but not an excuse. Should they have changed it a long time ago? Yes. They didn’t. Does that mean they shouldn’t now? No. Must there be a protesting, offended group in order to justify such a change? There is. Must the majority agree with them in order for the change to be reasonable rather than an accession to “political correctness” (whatever that means)? I don’t think so. If that were the standard by which we judge historical changes, then Brown vs. Board would have been merely “politically correct,” not Constitutionally correct.

        The fact that we’re used to something doesn’t make it right.

        Finally, to Art’s point regarding Animal Farm–it is not my contention that the Wirtz’s MUST change their logo for the good of the commune. It’s a free country they can call their team what they want. Clearly. Their ability to do so, however, does not require my assent for their choice nor grant them immunity from criticism for their blindness to the damage their choice incurs.

        • Well stated. (told ya I needed a course in Logic)
          He shoots, he scores!
          Catch you on the next round.

          Cubs? Really? Did you have to go there?

          I’m processing the following statement for now:
          “If that were the standard by which we judge historical changes, then Brown vs. Board would have been merely “politically correct,” not Constitutionally correct.”

          • You’re a generous reader, and I couldn’t resist the Cubs thing. Sorry.

            Good luck with that sentence. If you figure out what it means, let me know.

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