Eighteen months ago, vandals did $50,000 worth of damage to Pro-Tech Roofing Co.'s office in Des Plaines.
After workers repaired the smashed, spray-painted walls, the office was empty and white. So ProTech's human resources coordinator, Bille Marcum Jr., decided to add a little black and red.
Marcum took an item from his Chicago Blackhawks memorabilia collection — an autographed photo of stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane from the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field — and hung it on the wall.
A few days later, he added other Blackhawks items. Then others in the family-run business — including Marcum's brother, Kyle, and their dad, Bill — started bringing in their Blackhawks stuff, too.
“One picture led to a flag, which led to the bobbleheads. ... It just kind of branched off from there,” Bille Marcum said.
Today, the office is a shrine to the Blackhawks, containing more than 100 team-themed items on the counters and walls. That includes a larger-than-life poster of Patrick Sharp, ticket stubs, photos, and a red, white and black border atop every wall. One wall says “Let's Go Blackhawks” in large letters.
Because the Marcums are avid, lifelong Hawks fans, and they have been season ticket holders since 2008, they have lots of Blackhawks merchandise.
It's obvious the Marcums are superfans just by looking at their office's exterior. ProTech's front window is filled with a dozen Blackhawks bobbleheads and a “Countdown to the Cup” chart, which Marcum updates after each game.
Last week, Marcum put out a wipeboard near the door quoting Blackhawks announcer Pat Foley: “Tree Games Left!”
“The kids love it,” Marcum said, noting all of the children who walk past the display each day on the way to classes at AMA Dance & Music School on the building's second floor.
Marcum, 25, of Homer Glen, is even sporting a playoff beard, just as he's done since 2010.
“My friends think (the beard's) ridiculous,” he said, laughing. “It's never been this long before. It's kind of a nuisance, and I don't like it. But I can't shave it now.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.