Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally

Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Parade & Rally

paradeOver two million fans crowded the streets of downtown Chicago this morning to congratulate the 2010 Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks, on their victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Hawks, their coaches, the management and everyone’s family and friends paraded down Washington Street in double-decker buses.  Former players/legends also joined in on the celebration.

The parade passed right by our office, so we decided to break out the Flyers jersey that was hung in the lobby during the series.  It seemed to be a hit with the other people that were waiting for the parade nearby us (video below.)

Towards the end of the march, fans broke through the barricades and stormed after the buses chanting ‘Let’s go Hawks.’  This caused security concerns but no one was hurt although fire officials told WGN that a number of people had to be treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Championship Rally

Shortly following the parade, the Championship rally attracted thousands of fans at the corner of Madison and Wabash.

Jim Cornelison opened the ceremony with his now famous rendition of the National Anthem.  Fans were then treated to a video montage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ greatest moments.

Several speeches were made, including a congratulatory speech from Mayor Daley where he unknowingly mispronounced head coach ‘Joel Quenneville’s’ name as ‘Joel Quell-ville.’ Eh, close enough.  Daley then announced the Blackhawks owner, Rocky Wirtz. Wirtz showed his appreciation by saying “Thank you Mr. Mayor. You throw one hell of a parade,” then thanked the fans and the team for their efforts.

Following individual acknowledgments of former players and current coaching staff, Quenneville took the mic and thanked the city for the impressive parade, adding “The Cup’s here and we’d like it to stay here a little longer.”  Couldn’t agree more, Joel.

Then, to roaring cheers, Eddie Olczyk announced each player to the crowd.

stanleycupPatrick Sharp thanked the crowd, his team, and then announced Kris Versteeg as a “player that can sing songs.” Versteeg sang an original rap to the amusement of his teammates.  Not sure if there will be a record deal, but it was still pretty funny.

Duncan Keith emotionally addressed the crowd.  “I don’t know what to say, best thing in the world,” he said. “By the way, who knows a good dentist?”  Keith lost 7 teeth when he took a puck to the mouth on the May 23rd win vs. San Jose in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

Patrick Kane brought on deafening cheers from the crowd when he took his turn at the podium.  His quick series-winning goal during overtime in Game 6 of the Finals stunned almost everyone (including the refs,) who didn’t see it until after the replay.

Dustin Byfuglien poked fun at Kane when he gave his quick speech and then handed him a black and gold wrestling belt.  Rumor is that the team purchased it for about three bucks on an away trip to be given out to to the player who they think won the game for them.  Kane placed it around his waist and proudly wore it for the rest of the rally.

To loud chants of ‘MVP’, Jonathan Toews brought the Stanley Cup onto the stage.  The team’s captain scored 29 points, the most of any Blackhawk in the Playoffs, and thanked the crowd by saying, “I didn’t know there was this many people in Chicago, this is unbelievable. You guys are the best fans in the world,” Toews said. “You made this special for us.”

No, Toews…you made this special for us.  Blackhawks fans, old and new, are eternally appreciative.  Thank you for making this season the most memorable ever.

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