City of Champions: No Love For The Boston Bruins

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BLOOMINGBURG, NY – I certainly don’t mean to trivialize what today is and what it means in this country. Memorial Day is a tribute to all the military men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending the USA. Sure, as a soldier you know what you sign up for but it takes a certain brave individual to engage in combat during conflict–something I know nothing about but am indebted to all the true bad asses who never came back home.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY) ORG XMIT: LUC01

Meet The Matts is a sports web site (the best?) and I’m weighing in on a day I’ve been anxiously waiting for eleven days as if it were a holiday. At eight o’clock tonight inside the TD Bank Garden up in Boston, the puck drops for Game #1 of the Stanley Cup. I love my country, my family and friends and the Boston Bruins… just don’t dare ask me in what order. I’ve been through the highs and lows in all three of these aforementioned relationships and I realize there is very little sympathy for the Bruins. Let me explain.

There are nearly twenty million people living in New York state and a small percentage of these folk will be backing the Bruins against the Blues. New York City is home to an estimated eight million people, of which 7.9M are Boston-hating citizens for one reason or another. Let’s face it, most of the vitriol is sports related as the New York/Boston rivalry is as hot as any in the country. The abomination is success driven as the new millennium has been very kind to the Mass-es.

The Patriots have become the standard to what every sports franchise strives to be. Call them the New York Yankees of the NFL which is an argument for another time. Despised equally are the triumvirate of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft who have been the common denominator in the two decades success of the team. Christ, I even hate the sight of these monotone, robotic humans who very rarely show any emotion. The New York Giants are the Pats Achilles heel having beaten them in two Super Bowls and yet Big Blue fans despise New England as much as the oppressed New York Jets fan. This shows the depths to which the city can’t stomach Boston teams.

There was a time where the Boston Celtics ran roughshod over the NBA for what seemed like forever in the 1950’s and ’60’s. Basketball is and always will be the City game but the Celts owned the basketball world for a long time. By the time Danny Ainge and M.L. Carr arrived during the 80’s success in Beantown. their flying elbows and overzealous moving picks were the ire of most NBA cities let alone the Big Apple. The Celts won a championship in 2008. Just add that to the list if you Knicks fans are paying attention.

Then there’s the Red Sox. Sports curses are remembered by all with the curse of the Bambino probably first and foremost on the list. To the dismay of all the Boston haters, this curse was put to bed in the most excruciating way imaginable when the Sawx overcame an 0-3 ALCS hole for the first time in MLB history and beat the Yankees with the seventh game played in the Bronx. Pinstripe fans would watch three more World Series banners fly at Fenway.

Lastly, there’s my beloved Boston Bruins. The team is the oldest American-based NHL member. Detroit might be Hockey Town but Boston is known as The Hub of Hockey. Bobby Orr single-handedly beat the Rangers in the 1972 Stanley Cup which I very vaguely remember. Mike Milbury beat a spectator with a shoe seven years later in Madison Garden. I was at the Game 6 thumping of the Canucks and Roberto Luongo in 2011 whereupon three nights later captain Zdeno Chara raised the most beautiful trophy in sports. Hate the Bruins yet? Then in 2013 Boston dashed the hopes of Henrik Lundqvist on the way to a 2013 defeat in the Finals. And then there’s a super talented pest named Brad Marchand. Add it all up and there’s few sports people rooting for this group of Bruins. It’s us against the world. Go get it fellas!

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A man amongst men. Cheesy Bruin kicked cancer to the curb - twice. The Cheese Man's a big, tough teddy-bear who survived the Bronx despite being an unabashed Boston Bruins fan and Sargent-At-Arms for Angry Ward's Urban Spur Posse. Nuff said. Doctors have taken most of this throat and had to make him a new tongue from thigh-meat (his own) and still he won't shut up about the Bruins, Cowboys, Pirates and Cleveland Cavaliers. And yes, his kids do love him.

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