The Blackhawks blackout effect

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Jonathan Bryan Toews kissing the Cup. | Credit: Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Bryan Toews kissing the Cup. | Credit: Chicago Blackhawks

I’m glad that the Blackhawks were able to bring home the Stanley Cup on June 24. I don’t think my buddy Kyle’s liver could have handled another game.

As the NHL’s season has come to a close he’s been watching Hawks games at bars with our group of friends, the tribe. Typically the tribe would knock back a few beers, order grub in the third period and then call it a night. 

Problem was, the final series of the season started off with a triple over time thriller between the Hawks and Bruins that lasted five-and-a-half periods. Chicagoans usually work themselves into a frenzy rooting for their home teams, the tribe is no exception.

When the Bruins scored an early 2-0 lead in the second period June 12, the night was still young so everyone at the bar kept on drinking, cheering on the team to make a comeback. Thus began Kyle’s drunken odyssey.

That first game would go into a second and eventually a third overtime, but near the middle of the second one Kyle realized that he needed to eat something or risk blacking out. By this point everyone at the bar had resolved to keep on drinking until the game was over, regardless of how long it lasted or if they had work the next day.

Figuring that the game would be over by the time he returned, he hoofed it to a White Castle about a mile and a half away from the bar. He later told me that he felt like the twenty-minute walk only took a few seconds. Drunk walking is amazing.

White Castle Crave Case

White Castle Crave Case

Anyways, once he stormed the White Castle’s gates he demanded a Crave Case from the cashier, who obliged. With a cardboard brief case full of greasy sliders in hand, Kyle began the trek back to the bar.

To his surprise when he got back the game was still going on, tied in triple overtime. Tired, drunk and sleepy, Kyle took it upon himself to start devouring the 30 sliders he had lugged back with him…knowing full well he’d pay the iron price for this feast the next day on his porcelain throne.

Eventually the game ended in the wee hours of the morning. Kyle, the tribe and most of Chicago headed home that night happy that the Hawks won but dreading the next day’s sleep deprived hangover.

Thankfully the Hawks only had a few more intense games to play before winning the cup June 24. It’s their second championship in the past four years and fifth in the franchise’s history. Afterwards Kyle told me he physically couldn’t handle another epic game like the first one between the Bruins and the Hawks. Thankfully he didn’t have to, as I’m pretty sure it would have killed him. Ω

Notes from the peanut gallery.

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