Image courtesy Kristen Kmetez via yfrog Photo
You are familiar with Robert McCloskey's children's picture book "Make Way For Ducklings," right? Where a mama duck and her babies waddled through Boston with the help of a kindly cop, making their way safely to the Public Garden? So they could put on their Bruins gear and root on the hockey team during the Stanley Cup Finals? No? Hmmm. That's the way the story went today. People visiting our fair city might just think we've quacked up, but when your hockey team has finally made it back to the championship round, you get a little spirited.
You may remember in years past that Andy has supported his favorite team by trying to grow a playoff mustache - one that I had thoughts of shaving off when he was sleeping. His devotion and belief in the B's has never wavered. Except for last year when they blew a three game lead and then a three goal lead in Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers and any opportunity to play on toward Lord Stanley's Cup last year. After that he packed up all his B's gear and stuffed it in the bottom drawer of the dresser. It took him every minute of the off-season to recover from that agony. But he did. He pulled his t-shirts, hats and jerseys out one day at a time until he could accept the team back into his broken heart again.
I have shared the stress that watching this team play causes for him. In a way I feel badly that most of the time he is stuck watching the B's games with me and our cat Tedy. Tedy is afraid of the hockey horn that goes off whenever a goal is scored for the home team. And I am just not a hockey chick. Oh sure, I understand the game. I watch with interest and support the team's play. But I don't have that passion inside like I do for the Red Sox. I don't live or die with every shot. And so when they advanced to the Finals and he was choking back some man tears, I felt bad that I couldn't bond with him more over the moment. I went to bed, leaving him up alone to celebrate with all the post-game coverage. I found him snoring happily on the couch in the morning, dreaming no doubt of slapshots and kick saves.
So whether or not you care about hockey or the Bruins, know that the Bumble certainly does. Along with one of the sport's original franchise cities. This city may have seen championships from its football, baseball and basketball teams lately. But the hockey fans here don't care about that. Those moments were cute and all, but the real athletes haven't gotten what they deserve yet. The ones who take pucks in the teeth, fight for their teammates and make their moves look easy while doing it all on skates. All their fans care about is hockey. The Cup. Even the ducklings know to make way for Bruins.