Sports journalism and commentary so often becomes about extremes. Watch a player block a shot in an NBA game and he’ll be referred to as “arguably the best shot blocker in the league”. Watch an NFL quarterback complete a tough pass, and they’ll call him “arguably the most accurate arm in the NFL”. Worse yet, if you’re a team with high expectations getting off to a slow start, the panic button is hit. All of a sudden you can’t turn on Sportscenter without seeing “What’s wrong with the Lakers?” And the Blackhawks currently find themselves on the other side of that coin, after dropping two straight to the Anaheim Ducks last week, and the Los Angeles Kings last night. So after posting 24 straight games to start the year without a regulation loss, why suddenly are Chicago writers and analysts, who a month ago struggled to find a weakness on the team, hitting the panic button and writing “What’s wrong with the Hawks”? Is it possible that the Hawks just lost two tough, close, competitive games to the 2nd best team in the Western Conference and the reigning Stanley Cup champions? If the Heat end their win streak tomorrow night against the Bulls (which, lets be honest, would be oh so sweet), and then lose again a few nights later to the Spurs, two of the better teams in the NBA, will Sportscenter be saying “Heat in trouble”?
I understand the job to cover, analyze and break down a team. But what the Hawks did to start the season was incredible. I think it earned them to right to lose two games to very good teams without having to break down what has gone wrong with the team. Lay off the panic button. Take each game for what it is, be realistic in your analysis – – and for gods sake, keep on reading arguably the best damn Chicago sports blog there ever was.