Espn Page 2: Riding and dying with the Bulls
Funny article by Scoop Jackson. Snipets:
Ride or die? That is the question. And the Chicago Bulls are forcing me to answer it.
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The ride began with a column I wrote back in November. Their record at the time was 2-11. It was their sixth straight year of starting off the season with at least six losses. They began this one 0-9. "Fed up" is an understatement. PO-ed is a more accurate description of the feeling I had. And I'm not a Bulls fan like that. I just live in a city that forced me to love them.
The column dogged them. Not as a team – as an organization. It painted the owner and former GM as devils, and not the kind from Duke; used Tyson Chandler as a pawn, and not the kind in chess; called the organization 7:30, and that doesn't mean the time. Wrote: " ... the last three letters at the end of the team's name were missing."
Bulls. Hit. Get it?
The night of the day I turned the story, they won the first in a five-game winning streak. When the story hit the streets, they were in the middle of their second five-game winning streak. I called Tim Hallam, director of PR for the Bulls, and told him they "owe me for reverse-jinxing the team." He never called back. Over the next months, I'd hear through the vine that it'd be smart for me not to show up at the United Center.
That was until last week, when – in the middle of a nine-game winning streak, which put them in position to have HCA (home-court advantage) in Round 1 of the real season – I received a call from someone inside the organization. They wanted me to come to a game. They asked me to present the game ball.
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So are the Bulls that special, overachieving team that beat Cleveland by 12 last week in OT? Or are they the lack-of-defensive-awareness team that got that fanny spanked by 20 last night in Miami?
Both. But this year, they've overachieved 41 times, which is 20 more times than they had this time last year. Even after getting thumped by a Shaq-less Heat squad, there is belief once again on the streets of Chi that the Bulls are the one team no team in the East (except maybe Miami) wants to face in the playoffs. A belief we haven't had for seven years.
So with that, I ride.