To Our Friends in Boston
In the summer of 2011, I visited the great city of Boston for the first time. Sarah had a conference there so I tagged along. What a wonderful place to visit!
We started up north of the city on Cape Anne with good friends who graciously invited us into their cabin on the cape. We dined on fresh clams and lobster and enjoyed the hospitality of these fine folks.
Onward, down to the big City, we took them to a Red Sox game the next day. It was my first time at Fenway Park. It won’t be my last! What an amazing ballpark. Yawkey Way shuts down to the cars and becomes a pedestrian paradise for baseball fans. There are beers, hot dogs, and hats for sale. And there are people everywhere! Outside of Wrigley Field in Chicago, is there any better ballpark?
As Sarah had her conference, I went off to explore Boston on my own the following day. I walked the Patriot Trail, enjoyed a lawbstah roll, and ended my day in Boston perfectly as could be for this sports fan – I took in game three of the Stanley Cup Finals at Sullivan’s Tap Room.
Hockey is a big deal in Bean Town. And the Bruins were fighting for their finals life, down 0-2 going into game three. This game was being played across the street in the ‘Gawden, AKA Boston Gardens. No one calls it TD Ameritrade.
But scalper tickets were starting at $500, and I don’t like hockey that much. An old lacrosse buddy of mine, Jon Ledwick, took me to the local dive, Sully’s. We drank PBR after PBR discussing the Bruin chances.
The game did not start well for Boston. But something happened near the end of the 1st period. A cheap shot hit was given by a Vancouver player. A near-deadly blind side rush that knocked out the Bruin player who never saw it coming. It was a high hit, it was ugly and it was despicable.
The entire bar silenced. Then you could feel anger swell around you. “You don’t DO that in Bawston, buddy!” one man shouted at the screen. “Not in argh house!” another one cried out. The thick eastern accents get even better with drinks and anger!
Suddenly, a team who seemed ready to lie down and get swept turned on a dime. They won game three 8-1! And the city, seemingly emboldened by one dirty hit, surged in support behind the Bruins. I’d never seen a city work as one and bring so much focused energy and get behind something so quickly.
It was almost as if you could reach out and touch the anger and need for retribution in the air. Boston came back and won the Stanley Cup a few days later. An amazing turn around in a series Vancouver had in their hands. They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with an unnecessary and cheap hit. A comeback inspired by one ridiculously shameful shot. Let that sleeping dog lie, goes the old saying. Vancouver woke up the sleeping Bruins and with one dirty hit, the entire North East, too!
On Monday, Patriot’s Day in Boston, the city was once again victim of a cheap shot. A low-blow. A cowardly hit. This is the city where freedom started. Where American truly began to gain the courage needed to best the King of England. But some scumbag decided to dishonor this great city on the day they celebrate this glorious history. With a cowardly backpack full of explosives, this idiot snatched three lives and spread so much sadness.
I’m not from Boston. I don’t know Boston too well. But I know Boston is not afraid. I know the intent of this attack, to spread fear, will not succeed. I know that Boston will pull itself off the tarp and be better for this hit it has suffered. The rest of America has your back!