Local fans get tattoos to show Blackhawk loyalty
By Mike Danahey and Erika Wurst email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2013 6:52PM
The Blackhawks C with tomahawks logo on longtime Hawks fan Maureen Burnett of Geneva. | Mike Danahey - Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 27, 2013 6:33AM
SOUTH ELGIN — Maureen Burnett of Geneva expressed her love of the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday in a pretty permanent way.
She went to Augie’s Place Tattooing in South Elgin to get a tattoo of the team’s C-with-tomahawks logo on her upper torso.
“I’ve always wanted one, and it was time. I was going to come in no matter what,” Burnett said as she sat for what would be her fourth tattoo.
However, Burnett made it clear that her devotion to the team isn’t fair weather but dates back 30 years to seeing the team for the first time in a standing-room-only game at the old Chicago Stadium.
“I love the fast pace and the excitement,” Burnett said.
She and friend Larry Kling last attended a game two seasons ago, sitting in the 300 section.
“It’s so expensive now,” Burnett said.
Still, Burnett’s passion for the team and hockey in general has included buying 10 different team jerseys and traveling to Boston, Detroit, St. Louis and Pittsburgh to see Hawks’ road games.
“I want to have every jersey and see the Hawks play in every NHL stadium,” she said.
Her travels brought her up close and almost personal with a Hawks player once. Back in 1987, on a trip to a game in Pittsburgh, Burnett and her friends wound up staying in the same hotel as the Chicago squad and sharing an elevator ride with defenseman Keith Brown.
Burnett is not alone in expressing her affection for the Blackhawks through body art.
Tony Pomeroy at Augie’s — the artist behind Burnett’s work — said that the shop has done about nine Blackhawk-related tattoos during the playoff run, the biggest being about the size of a softball.
An informal survey of other tattoo establishments in northern Kane County showed a handful of people already showing their support for the team with new body art.
In Elgin, staff at Topnotch Tattoos downtown guessed that between five and 10 people had come in for Hawks designs in recent months.
Others also were bleeding black and red long before the Stanley Cup returned to Chicago this year.
“Bandwagon fans won’t go as far as to put something permanently on their bodies,” 31-year-old Naperville resident Brian Cooney said Tuesday.
Cooney, who hasn’t missed a Hawks game in six years, proved his allegiance to the team before Monday’s night championship was even close to being in the bag.
It was in January that the die-hard fan showed up at a local tattoo shop looking to ink up his leg with the logo.
“My whole leg will be dedicated to the Hawks,” he said of the artwork, which will come complete with the skyline and a Stanley Cup. “They brought life back into the NHL.”
Cooney isn’t alone in wanting to prove his dedication.
Shops around Chicago region are anticipating an influx of fans.
Allie Sider of Tatu Tattoo in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood said that things should swing into full gear at the shop come Friday’s Stanley Cup show-off parade.
Things were pretty slow at the shop Tuesday, on account of the heavy drinking that fans likely did Monday night, Sider said.
But, as the week wears on, he expects to see the die-hards lining up.
“Not that many people will get a logo of the team, unless they’re super fans,” he said.
At Deluxe Tattoo in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood, the Hawks didn’t even need a Stanley Cup victory to win a spot on the foot of one female customer.
The small feathers on her foot likely mean more today, after the big win.
“We will absolutely see an upswing” in Hawks tattoos, an employee said. “We have no time for walk-ins, but we are getting phone calls.”
Tattoo artist Mark Hoffmann, of Dinosaur Tattoo Studio in Waukegan, said he began seeing Hawks fans come in as early as last week.
“We will start seeing more in a day or two,” he said. “The Hawks just won, people need to get their money together ... after a big win, you always see fans coming in to get their team engraved on their body permanently. They want to show their pride.”
That also was expected by Chris Baker, of Ink 180 in Oswego. Baker spent Tuesday morning sketching out Hawks logos in anticipation of fans who would likely pop in.
“It’s fun — people get into it,” Baker said. “It feeds into the insanity ... . I can’t imagine if the Cubs ever win the World Series. I will probably have to hire 20 artists and be here around the clock.”
In Aurora, at Skin of A Different Color, artists stood on stand by, waiting for the inevitable.
“I’m sure we will do a bunch this week,” one artist said. “It’s still early.”