By Thalia Bardell, howiGit Contributing Writer, Boston, MA
Maybe it’s too soon to go here, the victory too fresh, but I’m beginning to wonder if howiGit and myself are the only people left who care about the Red Sox. Boston has always, above all else, considered itself a baseball town. Baseball has a history and culture that is ingrained right down to the field. Fenway Park is one of the most historic and beautiful ballparks in the United States. As baseball as a sport slip-slides downward in popularity all over the country I thought that here in Boston the fervor for the game would never die.
On Sunday an estimated one million people turned out in black and gold to watch the duck boats roll through downtown; that’s more people than have turned out for any other rolling rally here in Boston, including the 2004 Red Sox and that championship drought was more than twice as long. These people had to come from somewhere; have we been mistaken all along in thinking that hockey wasn’t alive and well in the Hub? Clearly, the interest is there. In 2004 when the Sox won the World Series a group of self-proclaimed “idiots” captured the hearts of fans; probably because the city of Boston saw a lot of itself in these guys – not always the most talented, cleanest, or well polished. But they captured their hearts for a mere moment and that particular team was mostly disbanded by the following season. These Bruins; however, have staying power – this particular team is ripe with young talent. Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin in particular are young studs, and the Bruins will return to the ice next year with a nearly identical roster. This gives fans something to hold on to; they can attach themselves to these particular players beyond this victory and into the coming years.
The Bruins have established themselves as the people’s team; with fan favorites Shawn Thornton and Tim Thomas giving the team a blue-collar attitude that Boston eats right up. On Thursday Zdeno Chara was wheeling the Cup around the North End in a stroller; Nathan Horton took it out for dinner to Tia’s on the waterfront; and during the parade members of the team came down from the duck boats and allowed fans to touch it. This type of behavior has given the squad an accessibility that is hard not to love. The Bruins are here to stay and are taking Boston by storm.
At the Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon runs were celebrated with the Bruins’ fog horn and music pulled straight from the inside of the Garden. It’s almost as though the Sox were hoping that they could grab a little of what makes the Bruins special – a little of that atmosphere. Perhaps they feel what I feel, that soon they may no longer be number one.