Blackhawks loss won’t keep them down

By Sam Bauman

The Blackhawks’ historic streak finally ended March 8 against the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks tallied a point for 30 straight games, including the first 24 games of this season. The historic steak will go down in history as being the greatest start in the history of the NHL, but the streak is more than just a number.

This Blackhawks team helped bring hockey back. Sports Illustrated’s cover article this month features the Blackhawks and sports the title “The Franchise That Brought Hockey Back.”

The media attention for the entire sport of hockey has shifted to the Blackhawks. Hockey is being covered by ESPN and the Hawks were even getting attention from stars like LeBron James on Twitter. All of this attention brings an added pressure for this team to perform. The Hawks will be expected to go to the Stanley Cup–even to win it all–and anything less than that will be seen has a disappointment in the eyes of many in the sports world.

This phenomenon isn’t just limited to hockey, though. Throughout sports history there have been teams which have had historic runs. Every time these teams gain national attention, the sports world and the general public assumes these teams will win it all. However, when these teams falter they are considered among the greatest collapses and disappointments in sports history.

For example, the 2007-2008 New England Patriots became to first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to finish the regular season undefeated. By all accounts the Patriots should have handled the New York Giants with ease; after all, they were 12-point favorites against a wild card team. But the Patriots lost. The loss was unexpected. More than that, it spoiled all of the records the team had set that year.

It can’t be disputed that records are fun. Records are trendy and grab people’s attention, but they mean nothing compared to championships. Records are made, and they can be easily broken. The one thing that no one can ever take away in the world of professional sports is a championship title.

There will inevitably be another team that has a better streak than the Blackhawks had. It may not be next year, or even 50 years from now, but eventually the record will fall. The pressure to win is on the Hawks now. Anything less than the Stanley Cup will be a disappointment.

The only thing that matters for the rest of the season is winning the Stanley Cup.