Chicago Sun-Times
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Blackhawk Success Is Part Of My Medicine

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God bless you.
And the Chicago Blackhawks, too.
He surely has so far bacause, in case you're just tuning in, the Hawks have returned to the Stanley Cup NHL finals for the first time in 18 years.
Last year this time, Len Zhiem and I were the main beat men covering the Hawks for the Chicago Sun-Times and they were already on the rise behind the tandem of wunderkinds Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, new coach Joel Quenneville and a slew of unstanding veteran attackers, defensemen and goalies swirling around them.
Though I struggled physically at times because of a weak heart and other health issues, the Blackhawks bent over backward to make my job as easy as possible. What I'm proudest about is that they did not have to bend any rules. I got handicapped parking, for example, because I have a handicap license plate and placard that entitle me to it. I also thus was entitled to use of the elevator to avoid carrying my equipment up and down long stairs. I also got press row seating because I was a beat reporter.
We news reporters, or sportswriters, are supposed to be objective when we cover sports teams. And those of us who are serious professionals try real, real hard.
But do you want to know the truth? We are still human. So few of us really are absolutely objective because we primarily love to cover winners. I will not lie about the facts that I enjoyed being close to and covering the championship likes of
* Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Larry Holmes, Chicago cruiserweight Alfonzo Ratliff, Thomas "Hit man" Hearns, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier and Michael and Leon Spinks.
* Lee Stern's Sting, the two-time North American Soccer League champions (1981 and 1984) led by coach Willy Roy and ace goalscorer Karl-Heinz Granitza,
* Jerry Reinsdorf's Bulls, which won six NBA championships in eight years behind star players Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson.
* Mike Ditka's Rush, which won the Arena Football League's championship in 2006
* Coach Steve McMichael's unbeaten 14-0 Slaughter, Continential Football League champion of 2009.
My health problems helped eliminate me from covering the Blackhawks this season. Len also is no longer covering the team. Adam Jahns and Mark Potash are doing an outstanding job for our paper. But Len and I still feel we've a strong part of this success since we covered them right up to the season that hopefully will end with a championship crescendo.
I've always loved covering winners. Especially Chicago winners. And I've covered plenty. During my 38-year Chicago Sun-Times sportswriting career, I was the beat man covering Ratliff, the Sting, the Bulls, the Rush and the Slaughter when they won their championships.
That's 11 Chicago championships I've covered. I don't believe any other Chicago sportswriter has covered that many champions on his beat watch. I'm no magic charm. Just blessed,
Moreover, I'm no different from most other sportswriters. There' s always more fun, popularity, pride and decent paying free lance writing assignments in covering a championship team than a losing team.
Covering winners is also better for one's health. Players are harder to deal with when they are losing and readers aren't that much interested in losers either. So you have to work harder to get good stories from bad teams and then there's little readership interest in them when you do.
Consequently, I'm finding some medicine in the current success of the Blackhawks. So are others who are sick. Anything that gives us a smile on top of a good feeling and improved self esteem is medicine for us sick folk.

God bless you.

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I'm not a hockey guy myself, but I can't help but be happy for the Blackhawks. And it's always good for Chicago to have another champion. Based on the standings as of today, it looks like they're increasing your dosage!!

So, good for you, good for the Blackhawks and all their fans, and good for Chicago!

Go, Blackhawks!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Congratulations, John. You sure know how to pick a winner. Your cheer for the Blackhawks was not in vain. You cheered them on to their first Stanley Cup championship in 49 years. And to think that last year at the same time I was the backup to the illustrious Len Ziehm covering this team. I even covered some of the preseason. So I have a small piece of covering this championship team, the 12th in my Sun-Times career in which I was either the lead beat man (11) or backup (1).

Hey Rev, Do you still have your party hat and Hawks jersey on? You've got to be feeling pretty good right about now, with the medicine of a Stanley Cup win! Enjoy, Marie

BANKS' RESPONSE: Yes, Marie. These are beautiful days for Chicago. This first Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship in 49 years makes for on groovy summer. Don't you think? Now, let me see. I was the lead beat reporter for two Sting North American Soccer League championships, one Rush Arena Football League championship, one slaughter Continental Indoor Football League championship and four Bulls NBA championships. Plus, I was backup reporter for one Fire Major Indoor Soccer League title, one Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship and two Bulls NBA championships. Now, run and tell that.

Hey Rev, Just checking in to see how you are faring. Given the Black Hawks' win of the Stanley Cup, you've got to be doing a really fancy jig now, even with all your equipment. I agree that something happy like this provides a sorely needed shot in the arm, pun intended. Remain blessed, Marie

BANKS' RESPONSE: I didn't do much dancing, Marie, but a whole lot of screaming. And to think that I know and have talked to and written stories on every player except Marian Hossa, who was injured during the preseason and not available for me to interview.

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Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on May 26, 2010 12:54 PM.

It Ain't Easy Living A Tethered Life With A Heart Pump was the previous entry in this blog.

Thank You Jesus! New 1B Status Moves Me Closer To New Heart. is the next entry in this blog.

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