Memory is what you want it to be, especially in New England sports. Hit any street corner sports pub in Boston, look for the oldest guy wearing the spoked “B” on his hat, and ask him why Ron Grahame playing in Los Angeles is important to Boston sports. Odds are, he won’t know. Ask him about Ulf Samuelsson, Scott Walker, or Matt Cooke – and you’ll be there until closing time. Why? It’s because a large problem with Boston sports fans is, well… we’re whiners.
With all of the great memories we have to choose from, we dwell on being slighted. Sometimes we dwell being slighted by referees, sometimes by the league, sometimes by other players, oh and yes, we always feel slighted by the greedy Jeremy Jacobs. It’s what we do.
Wouldn’t it be nice to forgive Samuelsson for May 3, 1991? How about Walker for May 10, 2009? Hell, let’s even forgive Cooke for March 7, 2010. Truth is we can’t. We won’t. When you bleed black and gold, most of the time the wounds never heal.
For example, on March 4th 2000 Ray Bourque plays his last game as a Bruin, logging 23:30 of ice time in a 3-0 loss. Two days later, Bourque is traded to Colorado. The bleeding from that wound didn’t stop until the following season when Bourque lifted the cup. Although it was great to see, I still have that scar somewhere. And May 7th 2010 began the largest collapse in Bruins history. That was a week I want to forget, but I can’t. I still have that scar somewhere too.
Alas, June 15th 2011! Bruins win the Stanley Cup and history hurts a whole lot less. This is unchartered territory for most Bruins fans. Their last cup was 6 months before I was even born. Appreciating the accomplishment comes easy as a devoted fan, but as a devoted fan it doesn’t last long. It only took about a month for the questions to begin accumulating.
Is Marc Savard going to be able to comeback, and if so will he be worth the $7 mil salary? Will he even be worth the $4 mil cap hit? What’s the plan for Brad Marchand? Sitting at a $59 mil cap hit out of $63 mil max for next season, how much will Peter Chiarelli risk of his $4 mil available on one player? Granted if Savard doesn’t play, it doubles the cap room Boston currently has to play with, but he can’t count on that now.
And no matter what the outcome for next season, we will whine our way through the season. We will whine about coaching decisions, injuries, broken plays, scheduling, referees, and even teammates. We may even whine our way to the Stanley Cup Finals… again.