In a city full of stink a modest group of supremely talented men are attempting to eliminate all the nasty odors with the invigorating, intoxicating scent of winning. With Six straight victories on its march toward repeating as Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackshawks appear ready to pull a broke city wounded by senseless violence, out of the darkness and into the light on the team?s big shoulders.

Normally Chicago is a city full of negative people expecting bad things to happen. If not to them then to their city and especially their city?s five title starved pro-sports teams. On the rare occasion, one of the teams was talented enough to challenge for a title the drought would always manage to live on. Be it a late seasons collapses, billygoat curse, the Bartman ball, or Chris Conte forgetting he was an actual football player in an actual football game on one of the last and most important plays of the season Chicago?s sports franchises have a rich history of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory so to speak.

Sure, we had the Bulls Six NBA titles in eight years but that doesn?t really count because they had arguably the greatest player ever to grace the courts of the NBA, Michael Jordan leading the way. Even a city like Chicago with decades of futility behind it cannot stop keeps a superhuman like MJ from winning titles when he was competing against mere mortals. Add to it that the first of the titles came two decades ago, so that the memory for most is fuzzy and in the time since the Bulls have been to exactly zero finals those teams from the 90?s were the direct result of one player MJ, and thus an aberration not to be seen again. Want proof? Take a look at Derrick Rose?s knees from the back of Jason Williams?s motorcycle. Ouch.

We had the 85 Bears. Sadly, that teams a comet that burned bright and burned out fast but was for a brief period the most beautiful football team that the NFL had ever seen. That all ended when egos, age and injuries ripped the team and its future title hopes apart.

The 2005 White Sox accomplished one the rarest achievements in Chicago sports when it won the World Series but Chicago is a two-team town when it comes to baseball. It is safe to say that the Cubs hold a 2 to 1 advantage when it comes to popularity among the local fans. The White Sox are and always will be the second and its title resulted in a city split on its celebratory mood.

Ten years ago, the Chicago Blackhawks were terrible, fan interest was at a low, and media interest was even lower. In terms of popularity, the team was fifth out of fifth, dead last. Then a few things happened. The string of dreadful seasons resulted the #1 pick in both the 2006 and 2007 NHL draft. To say the Blackhawks used those picks wisely by selecting Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane is an understatement. The foundation for future titles was cemented with the death of the team?s universally despised patriarch, Bill Wirtz. The torch was passed to his son, Rocky, and with it the rebirth of a once proud franchise and a whole new generation of fans.

Winning will go a long ways toward repairing ruptured relationships from the past. It also helps when the team doing the winning is likable, humble, hardworking, and openly embrace the love a long dormant fan base was showering them with.
In 2009 the Black Hawks rewarded its rapidly growing legion of fans with the teams first Stanley Cup in 49 years. As quickly as the 2009 team came together to forge a championship it was ripped apart due to salary cap concerns. The team, because that is what the Blackhawks are a team, dug its heels and re-loaded never falling back into the quagmire of mediocrity from whence it came but remaining one of the NHL?s top teams. Every home game has been played in front of a full house of enthusiastic fans. Last year, just to prove the first one was not a fluke the Blackhawks went out and won the Cup again.

The second championship capped a season in which Blackhawks were the league?s best team from start to finish. It was a title won with as much heart as it was talent as evidenced by the squads thrilling series win over the hated Red Wings after trailing three games to one. It ended in memorable fashion when the Blackhawks went from facing a deciding game seven for the Cup to Champions in a 17-second span at the end of the game.

After the last Cup even the most cynical of Chicago sports fans was converted into believers. So often Chicago teams have let its loyal fans down. Regardless of the sport, every game seemed to come from the same basic script that always had Chicago coming up short. However, this team didn?t read the script. They improvised instead and in the process, millions of residents came together and celebrated a success everyone could share in. The festive atmosphere that overtook the city after each playoff victory was palpable.

For a city, coming apart at the seams the Blackhawks has become a source of stability so desperately needed. And it looks like they are ready to do it again.