Hockey in July

I have never subscribed to the idea of "Christmas in July." What does that even mean? Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but the holiday must only be celebrated in the winter season. Hockey is a different story.

Spending time at Wrigley Field yesterday made me realize that, as the Cubs' fans join in on a chorus of boos and hatred toward their team, the Chicago Blackhawks play a big role in the Friendly Confines. Defenseman Brian Campbell threw the first pitch and led the 7th inning stretch, there was a hockey puck contest on the scoreboard with "Here Come the Hawks" playing over the PA, and the team's "One-Goal" advertisement was on the scoreboard through an entire inning.

When president John McDonough left the Cubs to join the Blackhawks, you knew he was going to bring over some of that marketing expertise and help bring hockey back to the city. He did just that, and the players helped by making a deep run through the postseason.

I have never talked about hockey during the Chicago baseball season, and I am sure many others are the same way. Yet, now, fans including me are still into the hockey team. Other than Derrek Lee's three-run homer, the Wrigley crowd gave the biggest ovation during Campbell's on-field appearance and his "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" song (even though the singing was not very good).

This seems even more relevant now that the Blackhawks played a game at Wrigley Field earlier this season. Fans are waiting for hockey, with Marian Hossa coming from the Red Wings, Kris Versteeg and other young players re-signing, and some nice draft picks coming Chicago's way. Yes, there is also the Bears and QB Jay Cutler, but hockey season is still big for the city here in July as well.

That type of summer fever has not been seen in a long time, but it is now. The Chicago Cubs seem to be catching on.