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12-06-2012, 12:52 PM
  #33
No Fun Shogun
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And let's not forget the fact that the Hawks were essentially a non-factor in Central Illinois for the better part of an entire generation, leading to untold numbers of people growing up without hockey (myself included) that otherwise probably would've followed it if the Hawks were at least on TV.

One of the reasons why the Cubs do so well at the gate in spite of usually doing so poorly at the plate is because they mastered market extension. Northern Illinois is theirs, as is most of Iowa, northwestern Indiana, and big chunks of Central Illinois are battleground between them and the Cardinals, with my hometown of Champaign effectively being ground zero between Cubs and Cards turf.

Hawks fandom is growing significantly down there for the very fact that lots of the games are on TV (though not ****ing WGN games, as WGN America is too good for the Blackhawks, or vice versa), so lots of folks have been brought in that otherwise wouldn't have paid attention to hockey otherwise.

That's the main problem with Dollar Bill Wirtz.... he effectively prevented a generation of fans from enjoying the game and thusly significantly hampered the team's growth. It's not that big of a surprise that people wouldn't be as hockey knowledgeable as lifelong fans as a result of coming back in, and even to this day I can tell I'm not as knowledgeable as people that have followed the sport intently their entire lives in spite of the fact that I've watched hundreds of games, live and on TV, these past several years.

There's a lot more to the surge in Hawks fans than just the bandwagon, which is obvious from the surge in attendance and interest immediately after Bill Wirtz had died and well before they were a great team.

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