The Prudential building in Boston showing its hockey allegiance. (Carl the Photographer Photo)
The above photograph was snapped by a coworker of mine from the tenth floor of our Kendall Square offices just before Game 6 on Monday night. The Pru is on the Mount Rushmore of Boston landmarks, along with the Citgo Sign, Fenway Park, and the Old North Church - And there it stood, with a halo of gold beaming stark against the black night, urging the Bruins to glory on the ice. This image is a surreal one to process for those fans who've been paying attention to hockey for the past few years, and is especially strange for those who never stopped paying attention throughout the decades.
Boston sports fans allegiance have been aligned in a Holy Trinity for years between the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots. There's no denying that the Bruins and their fans have consistently been on the outside looking in. The forgotten bastard children of our rooting interest. Looking at that picture you can see that the playing field has been leveled. The past few seasons the Bruins have been chipping away at the ice of our interest, and like any successful sports franchise, winning is what eventually cracked through to the general populace.
I don't think this is a bad thing, and if anything, the hockey purists in Boston should embrace this attention, and do whatever they can to help convert more puck heads. We're an Original Six City, we have to embrace that, take pride in who we are, where we've been, and where we're going.
Hockey is the last game played by men. The players run around the ice with knives on their feet while using their fists, and not a third party, to mediate any differences. The game is violent, no way around that, but it carries with it a great deal of honor and grace that the other three sports can't touch - baseball included. It's a beautiful sport, and it's finally getting the attention it deserves in the Hub.
Winning the Cup tonight would be the ultimate for the Bruins and their fans, but regardless, they now know they can look you in the eye, for they're bastards no more.