ESPNChicago.com columnist Jon Greenberg was scrolling through Twitter last night and suddenly paused.
“At first when I saw [the news about Derrick Rose’s injury] I thought ‘Is this one of those things where somebody accidentally retweets something from a year ago?’” Greenberg said. “Then I checked my email and I wondered, is this for real?”
– Tom Waddle, ESPN Chicago radio host and former Bear
Not only was Rose’s potentially season-ending injury for real, but so too was the upper-body injury suffered by Blackhawk forward and NHL points leader Patrick Kane, putting him on the shelf for several weeks.
“He and Patrick Kane – the best basketball player and the best hockey player – went down the same day,” Greenberg said. “And most people are talking about Rose. If there is one athlete that can push Patrick Kane from the center of the conversation it is Derrick.”
As Chicago sports fans processed the double dose of disappointing news, ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Chicago 1000 AM became go-to places to process and ponder the unprecedented night in Chitown sports.
“Collectively, Chicago sports fans are devastated,” ESPN Chicago radio host and former Bear Tom Waddle told Linda Cohn on the 2 p.m. ET SportsCenter. “I’ve been in town 26 years, and I don’t ever recall having to handle a story like this. You do lose one of your top players in a given sport every now and again, but to lose two guys that are this talented in their respective sports is something the Chicago fan base for both teams is going to struggle with for quite some time.”
Hourly traffic to the site peaked last night after news broke in the 10 p.m. CT hour and site traffic has been up significantly day-over-day, according to the station. No fewer than 10 stories related to Rose and Kane populated the front page by midday, including Michael Wilbon’s report from outside the Bulls’ facility and this take from Scoop Jackson.
– Sarah Spain, ESPN’s Chicago-based reporter
“‘The Night Chicago Died’ – the title of the old hit song sums up how Chicago sports fans felt Tuesday night,” said ESPN’s Chicago-based reporter, Sarah Spain. “In the matter of a few hours, fans went from nitpicking over minutes and pairings and breaking down the standings to wondering if their teams will still have enough to put up a fight down the stretch. The phone calls and text messages have been coming in all morning, everyone crying over a dark night in Chicago sports. It’s certainly a busy day for callers and the mood, in general, is that Chicago sports fans have been through enough with the way the Bears imploded this fall.
“Some have no more sympathy for Rose, arguing that the Bulls need to move on, or at the very least are calling in and texting to say that they expected another injury might occur,” she said. “A lot of other people are in shock, empathizing with Rose having to going through yet another surgery. A lot of people are weighing on which team will survive better without its “star.”
Dan Quinn, Paul Melvin and Tara Chozet contributed to this post