Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement. And by that I mean a huge overstatement. But I’m excited to get the ball rolling on a blog dedicated to all things Johnny’s. It’s funny…as I was deciding on a headline I was reminded of a cover of The Hockey News many years ago that had a big picture of Jeremy Roenick on it with him in some sort of “rock star” pose. He had written an article entitled “Why Hockey Rules. Don’t Get It? Get Real!” Quite possibly the worst title for an article I have ever seen. And, ironically, the article about why hockey is awesome was in a magazine that only big time hockey fans rabid enough to subscribe to it would be reading anyway. We all love you, JR…but Woodward or Bernstein you are not.
So anyway…on to the topic at hand. The spring/summer season of Johnny’s Adult League (JAL) is rolling along here. 100 teams this season. Unbelievable. It just goes to show that Chicago is truly a hockey town. And, quite honestly, it always has been. Even back when the Blackhawks were a minor blurb in the back of the sports section and you could hear crickets chirping at the United Center the core group of fans and players were always around Johnny’s. It’s great to see the sport expanding to a broader audience.
I know a lot of hard core hockey fans. I’ve heard grumblings the past few years about people being fair weather fans; “new fans” as some have called them. And, perhaps, I’ve even joked about them as well. I mean…it’s hard not to crack a joke at the guy sitting ten rows from the ice and screaming, “Backcheck” while the Hawks have possession of the puck in the offensive zone. But truth be told I love the enthusiasm (aside from the “backcheck” guy). It’s always great to see passion for a team, whether it’s new or old. I remember those lonely nights at the UC. It’s certainly a lot more fun now.
You can see it around Johnny’s as well. We have adults wanting to learn the game and getting involved with our classes. Others just hang in the bar with a beer and watch the action on the ice. It’s very cool to see so much excitement for the great sport of hockey, from the people who have been in skates since they were two years old to the people who just Googled backcheck after reading the last paragraph.
So hopefully we can get some insightful blogs up here about Johnny’s and hockey in general that will be informative, entertaining, and enjoyable to read. And if not…well…maybe I can get JR to write some articles for us.