Now we won the Stanley Cup
After the Bruins won last night’s Game 7, the New England Sports Fan Friend and I watched various members of the team take the Stanley Cup, kiss it, hoist it above their heads, skate, scream and occasionally utter uncensored obscenities.
“I could watch this all night,” the New England Sports Fan Friend said.
The New England Sports Fan Friend and I were excited for the Bruins, but also for ourselves. The victory capped a run of sports excellence that began about a decade ago, when the New England Patriots won their first Super Bowl. After the Celtics won the NBA championship in 2008, I mentioned that the one championship that still eluded us was the Stanley Cup. Well, that is no longer the case.
“We have now completed the Grand Slam of sports,” the New England Sports Fan proclaimed. He then suggested that if the Patriots had managed to go undefeated and win the Super Bowl in 2008, he would be set to retire as a sports fan. “What else would I have left to accomplish?” he wondered.
This caused one of my friends to point out that being a sports fan is not actually a job, and that the New England Sports Fan Friend hasn’t actually won anything. “If he wants to accomplish something, maybe he should try running a marathon,” she said. “That would be an accomplishment.”
As for the game, the Bruins did exactly what everybody said they had to do, which was score early, and keep scoring. Every time the camera focused on Canucks’ goalie Robert Luongo, he looked more and more terrified, until finally he had developed a frightening case of what I like to call the googly eyes, a condition similar to that experienced by deer struck dumb by headlights.
At the other end of the ice, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas looked like he was capable of anything, and as the third period ticked down, I knew that he would record another shut out. Thomas is obviously a great goalie (and a great story — the guy didn’t start an NHL game until he was 28, and spent part of his career playing in Finland), but he is also the classic example of an athlete rising to an occasion.
In the end, I actually felt a little bit sorry for the Canucks fans. Not the idiots rioting outside, but the fans inside the arena, who cheered for their team even in defeat, and for Thomas when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, and for all of the Canadians on the Bruins team. They seemed like a fine bunch of folks, and I hope that someday soon they’ll win their first Stanley Cup.
Of course, I want the Bruins to keep winning, and the run of championships to continue. After the game ended, the New England Sports Fan Friend proclaimed that it is now time to turn our attention to the Red Sox, and when we flipped to the baseball highlights we learned that Awesome Josh Beckett had just pitched a one-hitter. The last time Beckett looked that good, the Sox won the World Series.
Of course, there’s a lot of baseball left to play, and anything can happen. But the New England Sports Fan Friend and I are feeling optimistic.
Maybe one day the New England Sports Fan Friend will decide to retire from fandom. But until that day comes, there will likely be plenty of big games to look forward. As I told him, these are our golden years for sports, and we’ve got to enjoy them while they last.
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