Yesterday morning, I broke a story that the the United Center had removed the "Madhouse on Madison" sign along the lip of the 300 level. Thinking this would be interesting news, was to put it lightly. The intarwebz were ablaze with outraged fans which I, quite frankly, found on the annoying side of amusing. The story was later confirmed by the Bulls vice president of branding and communications, Susan Goodenow. Lets all take a breath, and relax.
First of all, this makes complete sense if you look at the fact that Chicago's very own United Airlines has paid $1.8 million for the last 19 years for the right to have their name on the building. This may now seem like a modest amount, but when the deal was arranged, 20 years ago, this was no drop in the bucket. Now take into consideration that many local and national broadcasts are opened with something along the lines of, "Welcome to the Madhouse on Madison" and you might have an slightly unhappy sponsor. You might get a carefully worded and uncomfortable email that includes the words, "what are we paying for?". I wouldn't blame United for this at all. Jump on them all you'd like, but they agreed to a naming deal that isn't exactly being followed, because the Blackhawks media and promotions department is trying to beat the smoldering remains of the Chicago Stadium to death.
And that brings me to my second point...
The United Center is not, nor was it ever, the Madhouse on Madison, no matter what horseshit the Blackhawks marketing team feeds you. The Madhouse stood at 1800 west Madison, across the street from the United Center, from 1929 until 1995. In 2009, the Blackhawks marketing and promotions department tried to play on the nostalgia of the old barn, and erect that gaudy sign. TWO THOUSAND NINE! For fans to be outraged over an incorrect four year old sign is silly.
If the Chicago Cubs built a brand new, state of the art, stadium and named it Wrigley Field, the die hards would march to the front office with torches and pitchforks, demanding the heads of the responsible parties on silver platters. It's actually disrespectful to the history of Wrigley Field.
Nicknames are supposed to be organic, and created off the cuff.
Anyone who creates a nickname for themselves is just this guy: