To loyal Chicago Blackhawk fans, a Stanley Cup victory was never in doubt. But when photographing a victory celebration, there’s always the unexpected. What was supposed to be a crowd of 250,00 people quickly turned into a massive 2 million fan rally.
Once I arrived in the loop and saw the overwhelming crowd, my plans for photographing the event went out the window. I had originally though of shooting from two vantage points, one up in an office building and then from the street near the Cultural Center. I immediately abandoned the building view and proceeded to Washington Street. My contacts from working as a Chicago photojournalist for many years helped me get a great spot on the street. I would shoot from, inside the barricades and along the buses carrying the players right down Michigan to the rally point at Wacker.
When the bus carrying Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes, along with the Stanley Cup, arrived, a massive swarm of people followed. As thousands stampeded towards me, I tried to get as many shots as I could of the cup. In an instant, I was surrounded by thousands of fans with more flooding the street. Things got a bit ugly when a young woman fell to the ground and was trampled by at least a half dozen others. She sprang back to her feet and continued towards the players.
My plan to follow the parade to the rally came to a screeching halt when I got cut off by the crowd. I feel fortunate to have escaped with my health, equipment and some nice shots of the players and the big prize, the Stanley Cup.
In addition to my coverage of the victory parade, I’ve added some photos from around the city, showcasing Chicago’s Blackhawk spirit. Some of the memorable sights include Buckingham Fountain and the CNA Building.