Growing up, Dad and I would always make it to a few Blackhawks games a year, but as the years passed and tickets got more and more expensive, we went to less and less games. All I can remember from the last game we went to is gorging on Connie's Pizza and nearly losing it all as we were screaming in the closing seconds of the game. Fond memories....
When I came across tickets from a co-worker a few weeks ago I knew it was that time again. They were in the third balcony, seats 7 and 8 but I didn't care we were going to a Blackhawks game.
So there we where, standing on the edge of the balcony watching as players whizzed below us. My childhood heroes, all long gone of course, replaced by players barely as old as I.
We took our seats as the anthem rang through the rafters. The puck hit the ice and I looked over at Dad who was on the edge of his seat clapping and cheering as he so often does in his black leather arm chair.
Many a time has he relayed the story of staying up all night as a kid listening to the Hawks on an AM radio under the safety of a bed sheet. I can't help but imagine that kid sitting right next to me; if he would have guessed this is where he would be so many years later, a successful business owner with his son, a day before his 24th birthday, cheering as if they were the only ones there. Riding high with every goal and shouting what the call "should" have been because we obviously saw it better from the third balcony than the referee who was on the ice.
I never knew that kid under the bed sheet, just the man I grew up calling Dad, but I know tonight, as candle number 24 is blown out, I will come one step closer to understanding the kid under the sheet that was sitting in seat 8.