I've been hoping that someone else would write this. Since nobody has really covered the convention (at least that I could find), and I'm still pissed off, I've got no choice but to talk about the Blackhawk Convention.
Background is important. So, I'll start just mentioning that I'm a life long fan, which for me means that I barely remember Steve Larmer playing. But, I endured the Alpo Suhonen and Lorne Molleken eras, the Theo Fleury experiment, and hundrends of Eric Daze back-issue scratches. I saw enough of Alexi Zhamnov to make me gag. And I know what it's like to have Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasek on the same team. I feel I'm qualified as a fan to comment.
Last Christmas, my brother bought me two tickets to the 2010 Blackhawks Fan Convention. I didn't know exactly what went on at the convention, but it seemed like it would be something pretty cool. About six months later, I found myself with tickets that I could sell on eBay or Stubhub for nearly $700 at the spike of Blackhawk-hysteria after the Cup win.
I thought long and hard about what to do with the tickets. In the end, it was the "I can't believe the Hawks just won the Cup. This is once in a life time shit. I need to go to the convention to see the Hawks up close" thought that won me over. No deal.
Leading up to the convention, I couldn't explain to friends and colleagues what was going to happen at the convention. The only concrete details I could find were that there would be some "seminars" and other sessions. But, I figured that, it being a Blackhawk convention, that there would be tons of opportunities to get autographs, maybe get some pictures with players, and even get my picture with the Cup
I was wrong. I thought the convention was horribly fan unfriendly--unless your idea of fan friendly is depressingly long lines and little opportunity to see actual hockey players.
I got to the convention on Friday about an hour before the "opening ceremonies" only to find that the hall was maxed out and I couldn't get in. Next, I found out that the another hall, where televisions were set up to watch the opening ceremonies, were also maxed out. That sucked. It's bad enough not to be able to see the stuff live. But, it's inexcusable to be unable to see the simulcast.
Next, I realized that there was little chance of me getting up close to any of my favorite players. This was due to the autograph procedure. When you get to the convention and register, you get a scratch off. The scratch off determned if you would be able to get an autograph from Towes, Kane, Sharp and some other more notable Hawks. After 5 seconds of scratching enough to see the "sorry. but you are not a winner", I realized that there no chance for those getting up close to those guys. (Full disclosure: We could have fought through heavy lines to get Brian Campbell, Dennis Savard and some other people's autograph's. But due to some odd ass wristband policy, followed by the line-hungry douchyness of young, new blackhawk fans, it didn't seem worth the long lines.
Finally, I returned on Saturday hoping to see the Cup. I was already dejected that, per convention rules, I couldn't get my picture with the Cup, but only take a picture of the Cup. But still, the actual Cup would be cool to see, right? After finding the line for the Cup, I asked some people how long it took to see the Cup. They told me 1 hr 45 min. Fuck me. So, I didn't see the Cup.
My biggest complaint is that the convention didn't meet my expectations. It may have been fun for some. But, going to "seminars" and listening to Kyle Beech talk about his workout routine or something is not my idea of fan fun. I just wanted to see, and maybe even get a picture or autograph with one or more of the core blackhawk members. Is that asking too much for a Fan Convention? I'm curious if others had fun.