The Chicago Bulls suffered a truly frightening incident after taking off from the cities biggest airport. Basically, if no one on the Bulls was afraid of flying, there’s a really good chance someone’s going to be thinking twice now. Former Bulls center and current radio analyst Bill Wennington talked about what happend n ESPN 1000′s “Waddle and Silvy Show” when not one, but two plane engines went out shortly after takeoff:
“Apparently a compressor in engine No. 3 had some trouble, and it sounded like it exploded, but I guess it’s like a jet engine backfire, which is very loud. Sparks fly out of it. It happened actually right after … the captain thrusts the engines forward and it revs up and starts to go, about three seconds after that you hear a ‘Boom!’ ‘Oh, what was that, are we stopping?’ The plane keeps going down [the runway] and you’re thinking, ‘Oh no, why aren’t we stopping?’
“It was funny, because we’re in the back of the plane, and the engines are right by us, and we hear it. They can’t hear it [in the front of the plane]. And apparently they couldn’t feel anything. And so we take off fine, and about five minutes later, two more booms, ‘Boom!, Boom!,’ and a couple people saw flames and sparks and stuff flying out [while looking out of] the window. We’re all thinking, ‘Well, it’s been nice.’”
Luckily for absolutely everyone involved, the pilots managed to get the plane turned around and landed safely back at O’Hare. However, the trauma is one that will not be soon forgotten. Another former player-turned-Bulls-commentator, Stacy King, was also on the plane. He spoke to Bulls By The Horns regarding the scare.
“Honestly, it was really scary. We thought we were going to go down. And so they turned us back around and got us back to the airport. We made it back safely. … So, thank God, we made it back and we were blessed to land safely. After getting on the ground that night, I was ready to get on a bicycle and ride to Indy. I was shook for a little bit.
“I’m not going to sit up here and lie, if I had a teddy bear, I probably would have been grabbing it. It was a frightening situation. Our pilots did a good job of getting us back down. You can fly with one engine. We had an extra engine, so they had two engines left. So we weren’t in any kind of danger as far as doing a nose dive. Whenever you see flames come out of an engine, that’s a little bit scary.”
Yeah, you’re right; that is a “little bit scary”.
Or a ‘lotta bit’, but either way.
Since, the team has been making the rounds on one plane borrowed from the Chicago Blackhawks and on another from Mark Cuban, according to CBS Sports.
— Louis Amundson (@LouAmundson17) March 7, 2013
The easy thing to say here is that the scare puts basketball and life into a little bit better of a perspective. It is easy to say, and it is true. The Bulls, without their superstar point guard Derrick Rose for the entire year as he rehabs a torn ACL suffered against Philly in last year’s playoffs, have struggled. Recently, the squad was beating San Antonio in the Spurs’ home building entering the fourth quarter. However, the team totally collapsed and lost by double digits.
Such a performance is very much a reason to work harder in practice, or watch more film, for example. However, the recent plane near-disaster proves once again that it was, and forever will be, only a basketball game.
Not life or death.