by Ben Joravsky
That would be Robert Marvin "Bobby" Hull, aka the Golden Jet, about whom Mayor Emanuel said: "Bobby Hull is looking down on this team with great admiration."
For the record, Bobby Hull is most definitely not looking down on anything, because he's very much alive—as the mayor will no doubt realize when Hull shows up for today's Stanley Cup celebration.
Mayor Emanuel made his comment on an ESPN radio sports-talk show Tuesday, the day after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup. Here's the link. (And, by the way, thank you, Matt Farmer, for sending it to me.)
In defense of the mayor, I think I can understand why he made that mistake, as egregious at it is. Obviously, the mayor doesn't give a hoot about sports.
And, really, what's wrong with that? I can tell you there's a lot of better things you can do with your time than sitting in front of the tube watching everything from roller derby to synchronized swimming.
But enough about my childhood.
The problem is that as a rich guy from Wilmette, Mayor Emanuel has very little connection to the "regular guys" of Chicago whose schools he's closing, taxes he's raising and streets he's inadequately policing.
So, he obviously feels compelled to compensate by pretending to care about sports since sports is what regular guys presumably care so much about. (You might want to read John Byrne's Tribune article on this subject.)
And so it was that the mayor found himself on sports radio the other day struggling to answer a question about what it was like watching the Hawks win Monday's big game . . .
"I grew up in the Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull era and I think Bobby Hull is looking down on this team with great admiration."
Look, I'd have a lot more respect for the mayor if he'd answered like this . . .
"I really don't know much about the Blackhawks. Yes, I can recite the names of the two greatest Hawks, but that's only because an aide wrote them on a piece of paper. My thing is—if so many Hawks fans are happy, then I'm happy for them."
Man, if Mayor Emanuel talked like that, I might even be inclined to vote for his reelection! Well, provided he reopened most of the schools he closed. And reopened the mental health clinics. And stopped trying to spend $55 million in property tax dollars on a basketball arena for DePaul and some hotel. And took back the $29.5 million he gave those developers to build the upscale skyscraper in River North.
And a few other things that I can't think of at this particular moment.
Here's my advice to Mayor Emanuel: Stop pretending you care about sports. I doubt it's going to swing anyone's vote one way or the other. Actually, you'd be surprised by the number of people in town who really don't care about the Blackhawks any more than you do.
Why, my informal survey shows that many Blackhawks fans have only recently jumped on the bandwagon and probably couldn't name more than five members of the team.
All of this leads to the following question regarding the mayor: What's worse—pretending you care about the Blackhawks. Or pretending you care about the kids whose schools you are closing?
Feel free to discuss it among yourselves, Hawks fans, at today's big rally.