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Blackhawks Reach Out to Boston Fans

By Andrew Goodman

Today, the Chicago Blackhawks showed what sportsmanship really is. The Stanley Cup Champions took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe that commended the entire city of Boston for their spirit and determination following the Boston Marathon bombings, and thanked them for their hospitality.

For those of you who are Bruins fans and think that this is just Chicago trying to rub their Stanley Cup victory in the face of the already beaten down city of Boston, I highly recommend that you take the time to read this letter. For a sport that involves slamming each other into walls, fights that aren't broken up by refs, and checking each other with sticks, you would think that being part of an NHL organization would come along with a tough-guy persona. However, the Chicago Blackhawks showed how sports should truly be played, and how important it is to respect your opponents. The team could have just as easily gotten the same message across with a tweet or by having some internet marketing company write up a sappy PR, but instead they took the time to print their kind words in Boston's most trusted paper to make more of an impact on a city facing hard times.

The advertisement was one that you couldn't miss. With the words "THANK YOU" written across the top of the page in big, red letters, I'm sure that this touching letter caught the attention of anyone skimming through their morning paper.

The letter, signed by Rocky Wirtz, chairman of the Wirtz Corporation that owns the Blackhawks, along with team president John McDonough read:

"Hockey is a tough game. As impressed as we were by the strength, talent, and competitive spirit of the Boston Bruins on the ice, we were deeply touched by what happened off the ice. Rarely have we experienced the hospitality you afforded us throughout the playoff series between two incredibly gifted teams.

"On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the entire Wirtz Corporation, we want to personally express our heartfelt appreciation to your city, the Bruins organization, and especially, the citizens of Boston for the remarkable welcome you showed our team and the many Chicagoans who visited.

"From Boston's political leadership to every member of the Bruins organization; from the players to the people on the street, you demonstrated respect, good sportsmanship, and a genuine love for the great game of hockey.

"Like the rest of the world, Chicagoans have been reminded in recent days of Boston's strength. Please know we tip our hat to your city's big heart and gracious spirit. You lead by example and have set the bar very high for others to follow."

This isn't the first time Chicago lent a hand to Boston. Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings, the staff of the Chicago Tribune sent pizza over to the staff of the Boston Globe, along with words of encouragement. These two cities, although sometimes opponents on a field, court or rink, clearly have a connection with each other that goes well beyond the parking lot of a stadium or the walls of an arena. This type of sportsmanship is what sports is all about, and the rest of the sporting world should take note of this move by the Blackhawks, because it is an example that the rest of sports should follow.