Despite Bruins ink, Mt. Prospect man is Hawks fan
Any other time, it might not seem as bizarre, but hockey fans who happen to glance at Steve Lang's legs these days are sure to pause for a second look.
On the side of his left leg is a tattoo dedicated to hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr, complete with Orr's name, number 4 and a Boston Bruins logo. A date below the symbol commemorates the legendary goal Orr scored against the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup for the Bruins more than 40 years ago.
With the Chicago Blackhawks about to face the Bruins for the Cup Final starting Wednesday, die-hards might assume that Lang, a lifelong Chicago area resident, is a traitor.
Yet Lang insists he's always remained true to his hometown team — and the Hawks-themed tattoo of a yellow 'C' with two red tomahawks on his right calf proves it. Feathers hang from the 'C' and the years the team has claimed the Stanley Cup are inked in around the symbol.
"It's not (tattoos of) both teams," Lang explained, saying the Orr tattoo is just that — a dedication to "one man from Boston."
Lang, of Mount Prospect, said he can still vividly remember details from May 10, 1970.
He was only 14-years-old, but the chills he felt watching Orr fly through the air after slipping the puck past goalie Glenn Hall in overtime has stuck with Lang all these years.
"That day was just a really special day for me," Lang said, adding that he was a follower of the Bruins at the time because the Blackhawks were one of the worst teams in the NHL's Original Six — which also included the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It was one of the greatest plays I ever saw in my life," Lang said Orr's goal. "I loved Bobby Orr. I still, to this day, think he was the greatest player."
For years, he harbored the idea of getting a tattoo in honor of Orr, who briefly played for the Blackhawks in the late 1970s after a decade with the Bruins.
"I had the design for the Bruins one long before I had the one for the Blackhawks," Lang said. "It was something that was stuck in my head since 1970."
He even asked Orr for permission to use his signature in the design, but received a response back saying that Orr respectfully declined.
Lang ended up getting the Blackhawks tattoo first, about a year after they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. In December, Lang finally got the Orr tattoo.
Since he's had both, strangers regularly approach to ask if they can take a photograph of one or both tattoos. During trips he's taken to Toronto, Phoenix and St. Louis, Lang said random passers-by have stopped him and questioned how he could be a fan of both teams.
"Every day it happens to me," Lang said, noting that this week people came up to him during an early morning work out at a gym to see who he is rooting for in the Final.
So which team does Lang hope will win this year's Cup?
The Blackhawks, of course.
"Absolutely," he said without hesitation, adding that he is excited to see two Original Six teams facing each other. He predicts Chicago will win in seven games.
"I think that this is going to be a battle," he said. "They're going to have a tough time because those teams are pretty equal."
And if the Blackhawks win, Lang already has his next tattoo planned: a small '2013' placed above the '2010' already inked on his right calf.
- Share Facebook Twitter
Article sent to (required)E-mail
Article sent from (required)E-mail Name
Subject Line (article title)
Message (optional)Success - Article sent Click to close
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.
Contact information ( * required )Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *
Article InformationTitle URL
Message (optional)Success - Reprint request sent Click to close