'Miracle' fueled Hawks anthem tradition

Updated: February 22, 2010, 7:01 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

The tradition of clapping and cheering during national anthems at the United Center is one that fans believe makes attending a Chicago Blackhawks game exciting and unique.

According to Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz, that tradition started 30 years ago Monday after Team USA beat the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice."

Wirtz told ESPNChicago.com that after watching the Olympic victory at home with his family that morning, he attended a Hawks game at the Stadium that afternoon.

"That was the first time people started cheering during the national anthem," he said. "That's when it started, everyone brought flags and were chanting ["USA, USA"].

"It was really something to see. And it still sends chills up my spine."

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