Hey there, CSN. I know you know me. I give you a lot of shit on Twitter. I don’t particularly want to, though I’ve come to appreciate it. But I wouldn’t have to if you didn’t really suck at the one thing you’re supposed to do, which is present sports. Sometimes it’s little things. Like how the filters on your cameras still make it look like the Hawks are playing in a garage. Or how you regularly don’t have the right replay angle for whatever Eddie O is blabbering about (Eddie O blabbering isn’t really your fault, but I sometimes take it out on you). Or your occasional tendency to have someone who knows nothing about hockey on your hockey coverage.
Sometimes it’s bigger stuff. Like the way you fired Josh Mora for doing his job (full disclosure: Josh is a close friend). Or the whole Susannah Collins debacle, though I know that was driven by the Hawks themselves and you just carried out their wishes. Or your insistence on putting Bobby Hull on my screen, when it’s pretty well known that Hull is a human hemorrhoid.
And yet you dig the hole deeper.
Remember this from last year?
I gave you a pass on that. It was a live shot, you can’t control what the unhinged and bewildered who line up behind your live set do, totally. It was an example of the kind of atmosphere the Hawks promoted and engendered last season, making a portion of their fanbase very uncomfortable or causing them to straight up leave. But I let you off the hook. You probably could have avoided it, but it also could have just been an honest mistake.
And then we get to yesterday. I didn’t see it until I happened to see a replay of the game at the bar I was at late last night. But this wasn’t a mistake. During your “Bud Light Fan Cam” segment before the 3rd period, where you just have a montage of shots of Hawks fans in opposing buildings, you had a shot of a fan holding up a sign to the glass during warm-ups:
This wasn’t a live shot. You took this before the game, and then a couple hours later, after it had been seen by what I have to believe are multiple people to be edited into the package, presented it. You didn’t just happen to pan by this. You chose it.
So the best conclusion I could draw from this, and read closely here, is that your production team is so rock stupid and ignorant that they didn’t have any idea why this might be a problem. Walking down from that, the next step would be they know what this is a parody of, and they though it was funny. Any other conclusion I draw is going to be far worse, and ending with your Hawks production crew is actually comprised of bigoted, racist lizards.
Now I look back at last year, and all the other things, and this, and I wonder if it isn’t all on purpose. Are you rubbing it in the face of the already alienated? Are you trying to glorify the worst of this fandom? Are they being held up as some sort of model? Does having a conscience mean I’m not welcome? Because you seem to be making that clear.
Let’s spend some time on Hawks fans here, because having traveled down this path far too many times I know exactly what the response from the Get-Fucked-Wit’-Yer-Book-Learnin’ section of the fanbase is going to be. “EVERY TEAM HAS STUPID FANS!” Yeah, we know. You keep saying, and then ultimately trying to prove it.
But why does the Hawks fans’ stupid seem to be worse? It’s hard to find another one that seems to keep having repulsive things happening within its ranks. Kings fans… maybe. The Canadiens traded PK Subban because he was black… but most fans hated that deal. And…? Yeah, having a hard time.
I know from personal experience that Hawks fans who show up in So Cal, at least a large portion, are a special kind of obnoxious. Maybe that’s everywhere, and I’m sure the residents of Nashville would agree. So congrats, whoever this disphit or dipshits are, and apparently they aren’t alone as stories of an aligned chant have made the rounds, have dragged us right into the same pool as Cardinals fans who chanted Darren Wilson’s name. Great place to be, isn’t it? Oh, except Hawks fans do it with a name and logo that we know will have to be changed one day, and possibly one day soon. Even better.
And you, Hawks organization. Shouldn’t there be some note to your broadcast partner, the one you actually partially own, that something so callous and racist probably shouldn’t be on your telecast? That this type of behavior from any of your fans is unacceptable?Also, considering we live in, y’know… CHICAGO, home to some of the worst police brutality anywhere for decades, you’d think this would be something you wouldn’t want anywhere near your team that plays in, y’know…CHICAGO.
Oh right, I and others have only been asking for that for two seasons now. You’re awfully quiet while you count your cash. But hey, McD will be front and center at the parade in June to be the first to tell you what a great job he’s done.