Monday, June 13, 2011

My brief love affair with Boston Bruins hockey


"Guess where I was last night?"


Alright, let me start off by saying this:

I am not, nor will I ever be, a fan of the Boston Bruins. I hate the team with a passion that resinates throughout the entire Northeast division in the NHL, and have always been proud to waive my blue and white flags during the course of a season. Not only that, but that little trade that sent a few first round picks to Boston in exchange for Dwayne Klessel Phil Kessel, along with the success that Beantown has had following the deal; well, that's sent me over the edge. FUCK the Boston Bruins.

However, I will say: the passion that Bostonians show for their team is astounding. There aren't too many US markets that present true love for their hockey squads (Minnesota, Buffalo, New York, Detroit, Philly, Chicago, and Boston), but the ones that do aren't afraid to show it. That's what I love about the city of Boston -- apart from some of my favourite movies taking place there (e.g. The Departed, Good Will Hunting) -- the fact that no matter what the sport, fans will be loving it. Come on, don't tell me you haven't tried to do a Boston accent when your with your buddies, because we all talk like that when we're drunk.

Faaacck you ya faaaackin' homo, Imma gannnaaa smaaaack ya with maaaa baaatle when I'm done maaaa draaaaank.

Or something like that. Boston just has something about it, a real down-to-earth atmosphere that cannot be matched by any other major city across North America. There's a hard working attitude that the citizens love, and a rough sandpaper feel that we can all relate too.

Larry Bird, Manny Ramirez, Cam Neely, Bill Russel, Tom Brady, Bobby Orr, David Ortiz -- tough son of a bitches who gave it their all every night, and were loved for it. Fans enjoyed watching them play through pain, succeeding in the harshest of climates.

Bill Simmons, who I have a secret man crush on and should probably get help for writes a regular column for ESPN, is well known for his love of Boston sports, growing up with season tickets for the Celtics, attending Red Sox games in the summer, and catching the odd Bruins clash. More recently, he has wrote about how he has been following the playoff run that the B's have been making, pointing out how his love for the team has returned following many past disappointments, and that the atmosphere he feels for their playoff games has been some of the most goosebump-giving experiences he's had in awhile.

And that's why I like them -- this is a team that doesn't deal with any bullshit. Going into the playoffs with the most Canadians on their roster, from top to bottom, they're a team that I would love to cheer for regularly (hint hint, Burkey). It's old school and frowned upon, like masturbating on an airplane, but aggressive hockey, sticking up for each other, and being intimidating physically is what wins you Stanley Cups, period. These guys don't just knock and ask for a cup of sugar, they kick down the fucking door with a bazooka and look for the SOB that claims ownership of a title they dream about.

Don't get me wrong, I don't feel right about fistpumping after every Bruin goal (cue scene in shower, where Hunter is scrubbing himself with copious amounts of soap, muttering to himself "Still not clean, still not clean"), but the way Vancouver plays hockey -- ugh, it's painful. I'm sick of the diving, the whining, the fact that TSN now has a "Vancouver Quest for the Cup" (which made me lose respect for them), the fact that everyone I know is pulling for a Stanley Cup in V-town, and that if I don't cheer for them, I'm not cheering for Canada.

Tonight's game six, and a Vancouver win gives them the Stanley Cup. For a few more nights, I'll be rooting for the Boston Bruins, Canada's real team.

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