Some observations from Don Clasen of Chicago, a former Des Moines newspaperman:
How 'bout them Hawks? The Chicago Blackhawks, that is.
The wife and I managed to go to only 6 regular season games at the UC. But we saw the first game in the Stanley Cup finals. My wife, the ex-banker, who supported me after I retired a few years before she did, is probably a more avid hockey fan and am. So she paid a few extra bucks to get tickets for the opener of the final series.
If you may recall, that is the game that went into 3 overtimes before the Hawks won.
It was a memorable contest to say the least. Upon our arrival we found cards on our seats that read: "NHL FAN CAM. GO HAWKS! WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012. I WAS THERE!" Made me feel right at home.
Our seats were in the middle of a long row and after the second period, as usual, we left to go to the john. Upon leaving our row I told the guy at the end of the row, "I won't bother you again unless they go to a triple overtime." Of course, we bothered him again.
The game was over at midnight and we got home at about 1 a.m. People asked me the next day if we were tired. I replied, "Heck no. We're retired so we could sleep in in the morning." But it wasn't easy going to sleep.
Now that the ice season is over, I don't know what I'm going to do with two baseball teams in last place in their division. Like the Dodgers of old, I guess we'll wait until next season.
Regarding the Cubs, the alderman in the neighborhood where Wrigley Field is located gave the Ricketts some disappointing news today. He said he wouldn't approve the big scoreboard Ricketts wants in left field unless it was cut down a third in size. He also opposes a small board in right and a bridge across Clark St. from the hotel he proposes to build to the ballpark. In Chicago, aldermen usually get their way.
Tom Ricketts has said he wouldn't shell out millions for the improvements if he didn'get his way. Several suburbs have made attractive offers for the Cubs to more. Until this latest obstacle, few have thought that Ricketts would consider another location. Now, I don't know,
Problem is, the ballpark is badly in need of repairs. Nets keep concrete from falling from beneath the upper deck. Several years ago, chunks of concrete broke off and fell into he seated area below. I don't know how long Chicago's building inspectors will allow this safety hazard to continue.
But the field is nice. Since my son owns a condo in the area, the Ricketts invited him and a friend to prowl the field after the season last fall. I accompanied my son to the park and was impressed with the playing surface. It is as good as the Sox park that I toured several years ago.
Hope you haven't been swamped by all the rain.
[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Great hearing from you, Don, and congratulations to the Blackhawks for their championship. The way things are lookings, neither the Cubs nor the White Sox will be hoisting any championship banners until the next century].