Open Mike: Give it All Up Mike Tufano October 3, 2013 Features, Open Mike CHICAGO BLACKHAWKSStanley Cup Champions2010 & 2013 Two nights ago I watched something special. Sitting 500 miles away from the United Center I watched the members of the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks raise a Stanley Cup championship banner1 to the rafters of the United Center to join the previous other 4. As a Chicago fan, I’ve been blessed to watch at least one championship in every major sport during my life. I grew up at just the right time to get to see it all. When the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in my lifetime, in 2010, that made Chicago the only city to win all four major professional sports championships in the previous 25 years. The only people reading this are K-State fans, and that means I may have already lost you in my first paragraph today. Thanks to CHICAGO BEARSSuperbowl XX Champions geography, most State fans are also Kansas City fans, which means that they may or may not be old enough to remember ’85, and there aren’t even four major pro sports in which to win a championship2. But not me. I grew up on the Iowa-Illinois border, about a 3 hour drive from Chicago, and I remember each and every title. The first Superbowl I remember watching was the ’85 Bears shuffling3 their way to a 46-10 win4, and starting what should have been a dynasty, but never was. A few years later I was in the car, on the way to Chicago, when Michael Jordan and the Bulls finished off Magic Johnson and the Lakers in game 5 to win the NBA Championship. I couldn’t watch that CHICAGO BULLSNBA Champions’91, ’92, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98 game live, but don’t worry, there were 5 more to follow5. In 2005 I watched a magical season unfold and the White Sox did the unthinkable and won the World Series. They never had gotten the desperation press that the Cubs get, but as a White Sox fan, the only slightly shorter championship drought had me thinking that I’d never get to celebrate one either. But Jenks handled the comebacker, got the ball to Konerko, and I was found myself running around my house screaming, and celebrating a World Series victory6. So Tuesday night, when celebrating the Blackhawks’ second Stanley Cup in four years, and pondering the future of another possible CHICAGO WHITE SOX2005 World Series Champions dynasty, on the other end of the Madhouse on Madison this time, I realized something. I was watching the banner raising while sitting in my home office. If you’re one of the few reading this who have been there, you know what that means. It’s a room filled with nothing but K-State decorations and memorabilia. As much as I love the Bulls & Bears & Hawks & Sox, they don’t get an entire room. Only the loyalty that comes with having actually been a part of an institution can bring that on. That’s why when I talk about a team from Chicago, I say “they,” but when I talk about K-State, I say, “we.” And we’ve certainly celebrated. Nebraska in ’987. The Elite 8 in ’10. Big 12 Championship Game in ’03. 3MAW in ’13. Each of those, and more, have meant as much to me as each of those world championships that they won. But if you want to know where my loyalties truly lie, I’d give up every one of them for just one national title in just one of those sports at K-State8. Notes: 17 seconds. 17 SECONDS! [↩] No, soccer doesn’t count as one of the major pro sports, sorry Kansas City Wizards fans. [↩] This includes going to the mall to buy the cassette tape of the Superbowl Shuffle the day it came out. I still have it. [↩] It didn’t mean anything to me at the time, but that was over former K-STate QB Steve Grogan [↩] 3 of which happened while I was at K-State, and I spent an awful lot of time watching Bulls games in my dorm rooms. [↩] I also may have run outside on my lawn and screamed… likely confusing to a neighborhod full of old people who had no clue the World Series was still a thing. [↩] The greatest day of my life. [↩] It’ll happen. Just not this year. [↩] K-State fans, we salute you!