Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 7/27/13
The Chicago Blackhawks embarked on their sixth annual fan convention July 26, and more than a few fans showed up. I did what any self-respecting person would do and pay more than their fair share of money to attend the convention. I showed up with a couple of friends, went through the painfully long check-in line, and cringed at the length of the line for opening ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. The main event Friday would start at 5 p.m. Once my pass was annoyingly placed around my neck , I got some Lou Malnati’s, regretted eating so much, and prepared to deal with thousands of fans in a crammed International Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Why I decided to do this is still a mystery. Opening ceremonies started on time, and as usual, the Blackhawks media production crew hit the nail on the head with their video montages about the team, the Stanley Cup run, and the new “pre-game video” featuring calls from signature goals in the series versus Boston. Chicago has to have the best media production crews in all of sports. I would be more than willing to be proven wrong. Former Blackhawks and current television analyst Eddie Olcyzk was master of ceremonies, and introduced everyone from current and past players attending the weekend festivities, to the front office brass responsible for building the team in a tough salary cap era and firing Susannah Collins. The players received warm ovations, especially favorites like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Andrew Shaw. I was excited to see past greats such as Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote, and Tony Esposito. Another thrill was being able to reach out and touch the Stanley Cup like a pre-teen trying to rip the shirt off an N’SYNC member circa 1998. That’s right; I went nuts at the opportunity of getting a quick touch of the most hallowed trophy in professional sports. Damn proud of it. The rest of the night included autographs from Nick Leddy and Brandon Pirri (who cares, right Jay Cutler?), and a trip around the merchandise floor and game area. I worked with the guy “working” with Tommy Hawk from a past internship, so it was good to catch up with him. Besides that, the night at the convention was blah. The only entertainment left that evening was a performance from Second City. Chicago’s premier improvisational comedy group. The show would include Hawk players, but if it was anything like last year’s show, a screaming teen fest and crappy one-liners from the players, attending was optional for me. Saturday would provide more entertainment for me. A designated autograph session for staying both days at the Hilton, a potential meeting with Tony Esposito, and unexpected tomfoolery waited.  Follow me on Twitter @jeffrotull44 for more sports and entertainment ramblings. If you play fantasy sports, check out The Fantasy Fix, where my weekly column ‘Peaks and Valleys’ covers your add/drop/watch needs during baseball and hockey season. The post Chicago Blackhawks Convention Day 1 Recap appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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