This is going to be harder than I thought. You see, you and I, we're not really on what you would call "speaking terms". You are fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, while we love our Detroit Red Wings. We've long been on opposite sides of the table, arms locked in an intense battle for Central Division supremacy.
Like the "heir apparents" you believe you are, you've taken our best punches and emerged, climbing to the top of the sugar pile just 2 short years ago to claim hockey's greatest prize. We didn't congratulate you, because to do so would be to acknowledge that you were good, something that makes every Red Wing fan want to tear the sleeves off their flannel shirt and move to Nashville. You see, we don't want you to succeed, and that's just fine, because we know the feeling is more than mutual.
Most of the time.
Unfortunately, there's that pesky team south of you that seems to think that they should still be mentioned when it comes to the elite teams in the Central. No, not Nashville; they're cute and all, what with their playoff appearances, but they're about as annoying as a mosquito bite on an elephant.
No, I'm talking about the Blues. The boys from St. Louis busted out the Austin Powers pump and grew themselves a coach. Now, after being good for the equivalent of about 1/6th of the season, they're puffing out their chests, ready to announce their arrival as a contender.
But you sure showed them on Saturday night, didn't you? A 5-2 beatdown of the Blues finally exposed Brian Elliott as the AHL-goaltender he is, even if it came at the expense of the return of David Perron, a feel-good story we can get behind (because fuck Joe Thornton, that's why).
A game between the Hawks and Blues usually makes us Wing fans giggle, because it's like watching two freshman try to pick up the captain of the cheerleading squad. You guys went through the ranks and built up the numbers on the easy ones, but damn if you didn't finally nail the hot girl. The Blues, they're still fumbling with the bra of that foreign exchange student that doesn't speak any english but knows that a guy who drives a Chevette is a stud in her country, so it must be the same in America.
Still, even though you guys came out on top, keeping you ahead in the division race (for now), we couldn't help but notice that there was some, how you say, ill-will between you and our "friends" at St Louis Game Time. In particular, this nugget caught our eye:
So while Gametime may bleat on about how our captain in a pansy because he doesn't lose his shit trying to pick fights, or wonder why Kane needs to protected, or think that hockey games are settled by who wins the post-whistle scraps, we'll head to the exits with our two points and a firm statement about who belongs where, thank you very much.
You see, this is where we are similar, you and I. Like you, we don't give a shit about scrums or fights or who hit who the hardest. It's about the 2 points that are available in every single game, and who has the cojones to reach up and take them.
That didn't sit too kindly with our Gametime compatriots. No sir. In fact, some of them were downright nasty. I won't rehash the entire debate between you two (as much fun as it would be for Wing fans to read it), but towards the end, the unthinkable happened. A Blues fan actually uttered this:
ive always come from the Detroit is a much bigger rival than Chicago point of view
and ive always hated the red wings more than the hawks. so i hate to say this. but boy are their fans 100% more classy. they love to whine, but at least they dont send hoards of trolls over here.
Go ahead and rub your eyes: that indeed is a Blues fan saying that Wing fans are classy. You got a St Louis Blues fan to admit that the fans of the Detroit Red Wings are "classy". Unless you can somehow end world hunger, I can't think of a bigger accomplishment.
And for that, I thank you. Because tomorrow night, when the Wings travel south to take on these same Blues, we're going to hear all the regular chants of "Fuck Detroit"; "Detoilet"; "Detwat" (my personal favourite); and "Dead Things". However, reading it won't make me mad, because I'll know that no matter how much they rip on us, they'll still hate you more.
Why should that matter? It doesn't really. It's just that we Wing fans have become accustomed to being the unwanted person. We're the uninvited guest who stays till the end; no one wants us there, but we stick around, eating your food and drinking your beer. It's just nice when we see a group like SLGT take their frustrations out on you, because then we know it's not us.
Sure, some Blues fans may come on over, furrow their brows and purse their lips and tell us we're all assholes and fuckers and morans and other things that are supposed to insult us as they try to understand how Wing and Hawk fans could get along, even for a short while. Like you, we'll sit back, laugh, and watch as our clearly superior team wrests yet another 2 points away from an overachieving bunch that will fall far short of expectations.
Yours in friendly animosity,
Winging It In Motown
P.S. As nice a feeling as this is, on December 30th, it all goes away.