They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day but Chicago was almost destroyed in one. A fire that started late at night on October 8, 1871 carried on until the early morning of the 10th of October. When the last flame went out, the people of Chicago realized that over 300 people had died, 1/3 of the city’s 300,000 people were homeless and the vast majority of the downtown had been burned to the ground. It might strike you as odd to name a team after a horrible event but this club is not named for the disaster. We are named for the recovery.
Instead of abandoning the charred ruins for St. Louis, Milwaukee, or Indianapolis, those early Chicagoans decided they were going to stay right here and define what it means to be a citizen of this town. Buildings went up on October 11th. The world’s first skyscraper graced the Chicago sky in 1885. The population swelled to over a million people by 1890. The World’s Columbian Exposition took place in 1893 and significantly altered the future of mankind. In the 20th Century, Chicagoans built the largest building in the world, the tallest building in the world, designed the best urban park system in the world, and most importantly of all – beat out the Rust Belt.
This doesn’t mean Chicagoans are perfect nor are we invincible. Everyone has their mistakes, their tragedies and their disasters. Our city is no different for sure – we should never get smug, not even for a second.
However, if you choose to wear our colors, don our badge, raise our flag, cheer on this club or in anyway consider Chicago home… be prepared for greatness. This is the club that won every tournament that would have it in its inaugural year. This is the city that literally rose from ash to become a shining beacon to the world twenty-two years later. This is the club of Pitor Nowak, Frank Klopas, Bob Bradley, Peter Wilt, and C.J. Brown. This is the city of Daniel Burnham, Walter Payton, Jane Addams, Studs Terkel and Michael Jordan. When we are great, no one is greater. When we fall, no one is quicker to rise again. You cross paths with Chicago and you better believe it is going to be a Hot Time in Old Town. Game on Chicago Fire, never forget to embrace the spirit of those who overcame this city's darkest hour.