“This is the book that Blackhawks fans have been waiting for, and I mean really, REALLY waiting for. It was difficult, even as a Blues fan, not to be a little happy for Blackhawks fans these last few years. This book is an excellent argument as to why.”—Will Leitch, author, Are We Winning? and God Save the Fan, founder, Deadspin
Unable to skate and surrounded by sports fans who cared more about Evel Knievel than hockey, Kevin Cunningham became obsessed with the Chicago Blackhawks as a confused eight year old. He has no idea why. Yet from that moment on he embarked on a fan’s journey that absorbed his childhood, destroyed his GPA, and made him seriously weigh romance against an away game at Calgary. What explains this fascination?
Home Ice combines memoir and history to explore how the mysteries of Blackhawks fandom explain big questions like tribal belonging, masculinity, and why you would ever trade Chris Chelios. In recounting the team’s—and his own—wins and losses (and ties), Cunningham covers everything from Keith Magnuson’s bachelor pad to the grim early aughts to Patrick Kane’s Cup-winner. Throughout, he explores how we come to love the things we love. Funny and touching, Home Ice is one Blackhawk fan’s attempt to understand why sports fandom is utterly ridiculous and entirely necessary.
I read four books in third grade. The first was Stuart Little, a kids’ book about a mouse. The second was Chariots of the Gods—only the classics for me—and the third an astronomy book by Patrick Moore, one of those fantastically crusty British crackpots who wore a monocle and after decades of bachelorhood declared women had ruined the world. What can I say? Some little boys dig on dinosaurs. For me it was outer space. Learning about the Messier catalog, which numbers certain objects like galaxies and nebulae, prepared me for French-Canadian hockey names.
I stand by my last choice: Stan Mikita’s I Play to Win. Judging from the rest of the reading list, it was the first grownup book I ever read written by a sane person.