I started my New Year’s sports roadtrip in Chicago, where the Blackhawks beat the Red Wings 3-2 at the United Center. The game was exciting, with five goals and lead changes spread out across the three periods, and some brawling by Todd Bertuzzi. Although the game was tight and balanced, Chicago stayed slightly better throughout the night.
This was my first visit to the United Center, and it’s an impressive, fun place to watch a game. It feels both large and consuming at the same time, and from the start of the National Anthem, the fans keep it loud.
While we weren’t treated badly by the home fans– they completely ignored us– I was disappointed by their striking lack of cheering creativity. (The sticky floors did not surprise me.) The home fans had one chant teed up for the night, and they started with it shortly after the Anthem and stuck with it well past the end of the game: “Detroit sucks.” I expect to get some vitriol as a visiting fan, but this really was a lame showing, and the fans couldn’t even muster the collective action to cheer positively for their own team. Classic “little brother” behavior. They also have the most grating goal-celebration song I’ve run into yet, and it had me begging for “Celebrate Good Times (Come On!).” One bright spot was Chicago’s “Ice Crew,” although I still might prefer the Central Division rival Predators’ Ice Girls.
Previous Live Coverage:
Michigan’s unfriendly welcoming of Nebraska
B1G Roadtrippin’: Michigan at Illinois
Nashville recap: Georgia escapes, 33-28
B1G Roadtrippin’: Michigan at Northwestern
The Little Brown Jug stays in Ann Arbor
Recap: Detroit Red Wings’ Red & White Game
Motor City recap: Tigers win, 2-1
Music City recap: Vanderbilt wins, 45-14
Concert report: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
Concert report: An evening with Bruce Hornsby, Béla Fleck, the Noisemakers, and the Flecktones