The last time the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they were the Black Hawks. Bobby Hull was still fuzzy-faced, and hadn’t even started wearing out No. 9 yet. He wore no. 16.

John F. Kennedy was president. Barack Obama hadn’t been born. Mary Tyler Moore was on television—as Dick Van Dyke’s wife.

We hadn’t figured out how to get to the moon. Hell, we were just getting the hang of floating a guy in space on a tether.

The Green Bay Packers hadn’t won a single NFL championship under Vince Lombardi. The Lions were good.

Norm Cash was using his illegal, cork-filled bat to hit .361. It was the same year Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris both threatened Babe Ruth’s single-season HR record.

There were still Edsels on the road. Ty Cobb was still alive.

The Pistons had just finished their first season in shiny new Cobo Arena. Dave DeBusschere was still playing for the University of Detroit.

“Gay” meant happy. Everyone smoked.

Hull was a 22-year-old kid in just his fourth season with the Black Hawks. He had most of his teeth and all of his hair.

We thought we had it bad in Detroit with the Red Wings, who went from 1955-1997 without a Cup. That was a mere 42 years.

The Blackhawks are going to win the 2010 Stanley Cup. It could be this week, or it might take them until early next.

They have a 2-0 series lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, who used up their city’s century’s worth of equity when they rallied from 0-3 down against the Boston Bruins. You come back from 0-3, you’ve used up your share of comebacks for the season—and beyond.

The Blackhawks are going to win this thing, and gone will be the 49-year drought. If you’re a Chicagoan, that’s two down, one to go. The White Sox, in 2005, ended their dry run that started in the early 20th century and overflowed into the early 21st.

All that’s left is the Cubs.

Don’t laugh.

The Black Hawks should have nipped this drought in the bud in 1971, when it was only 10 years old. They had a 3-2 series lead in the finals over the Montreal Canadiens, and a 2-0 lead in Game Seven—at home—but couldn’t seal the deal.

Jacques Lemaire got the Canadiens on the board in the Cup-deciding game with a shot he took from near Elgin that somehow eluded Tony Esposito. Momentum shifted like the winds at Candlestick Park in April.

But the Black Hawks blew it back in ’71, which was a pattern with them. Since their ’61 Cup, the Black Hawks went to five Finals and lost them all. Saturday night’s Game One victory was their first in the Finals since 1973.

It’s all ice under the bridge now. It’s Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free. You can take all that ghoulish history and shove it in your five hole. The Blackhawks will be Stanley Cup Champions in a matter of days.

Every dog really does have his day. Blind squirrels find nuts after all. A broken franchise is still right twice a half-century.

The Blackhawks will be Cup champions for the first time since 1961. Someone get the Good Book and see if we’re one step closer to the Apocalypse.

This is for guys named Eric Nesterenko and Chico Maki and Pit Martin and Cliff Koroll and Mike Veisor. And for guys named Bill White and Dale Tallon and Phil Russell and Murray Bannerman.

Hell, it’s for Dennis Hull.

Some team was going to end a streak when these Finals were over. The Flyers haven’t won the Cup since 1975. And counting. But that makes more sense; they play in Philadelphia, where the Phillies are just now starting to win the World Series again after about 236 years of going without, where the Eagles are allergic to the Super Bowl and where the 76ers have just hired Doug Collins, for goodness sakes.

Get used to it, folks: Chicago Blackhawks, Stanley Cup Champions.

I don’t know—it’s still like cheese sauce on chocolate ice cream to me.

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