So, how ’bout MY Bruins?

Boston sports fans have had it pretty good over the last decade, with their four major sports teams each winning titles. But for my money, the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup is by far the most important to me. It’s the one major title Boston teams were missing since the title run began and the only one I used to lose sleep over when the team was eliminated from competing for it.

I am a die hard hockey fan, and always have been. My mother tells the story that when I was three years old knew the name of all the Bruins but didn’t know the names of all my aunts and uncles. I’m a little better at that now. And when I was three was the last time Boston won the Stanley Cup. I don’t remember it at all, but I’ve seen the videos of Johnny Bucyk skating the Cup around the ice at Madison Square Garden so many times it’s etched into my memory just as if I was there.

This time is different because I will never forget. Like every season in the past 25 or so I saw nearly every minute of every game. I watched some games off my DVR the days after they took place even though I knew the score and had read numerous news stories. I just had to see for myself. But unlike past seasons this one ended differently; not with heartbreak but with captain Zdeno Chara hoisting the Cup while emitting a primal scream that could be heard from Vancouver all the way to Boston.

Unlike many Red Sox fans when their team won in 2004 who made fun of the “pink hats” that had jumped on the bandwagon after their miracle comeback against the Yankees, I welcome the new fans into the fold. To me there’s nothing better in sports than playoff ice hockey, and if the Bruins playoff run converts some of these bandwagon jumpers into real fans it’s all good. And having upwards of 1.5 million people line the parade route to celebrate my team is something special too. Of course they’re also the reason there are no Stanley Cup champion hats around, but I’ll get one (or three) eventually. And for you new fans, you need to know one important bit of information: training camps open in about 110 days.

While fans are clamoring to get a good look at the Stanley Cup my wife and I have already had a close glimpse of the greatest trophy ever, at the 2009 AHL All-Star game. Both the Stanley Cup and Calder Cup (awarded to the AHL champion) were being displayed there, and friends of mine had the honor of driving the Stanley Cup and its escort, Mike Bolt, from Logan airport to Worcester where the game was held. After the All-Star game was over we were allowed to go behind the ropes and have our picture taken with it. The picture turned into our Christmas card for 2009.

My wife doesn’t know that much hockey, so when we were behind the ropes she started to reach out at touch the Cup as both Bolt and I both told her not to. Bolt told her not to so she wouldn’t get fingerprints on it. I told her not to because of the superstition that you don’t touch the Cup unless you’ve won the Cup.

Fair Warning Mr Bolt: if I ever get a next time, I’m touching The Cup.

Mike Milbury’s “Thelma and Louise” comment draws ire of Kevin Paul Dupont

Every so often there’s a topic that flares up on Twitter that requires more than their 140 word limit to really get into. For a handful of folks Thursday was one of those days when Kevin Paul Dupont took exception to Mike Milbury referring to Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin as “Thelma and Louise”. Now for the record I’m a fan of Dupont even though I don’t always agree with what he has to say, which I guess is the real reason I decided to post my thoughts on the issue.

I took Milbury’s comments as hyperbole and understood their entertainment value. Milbury has a history of saying outlandish things and in my opinion this was just one of those times and didn’t really approach that mythical “line” that many people worry about crossing. I chuckled when I heard the comment, knowing what point he was trying to make but half shaking my head because to me it wasn’t as funny as I envisioned Milbury was thinking it would be.

Dupont decided to take his objections to Twitter, where he posted:

Milbury wrong to call Sedins ‘Thelma and Louise”. Gender shots way out of bounds. Fail. As did JR w/ ”gutless” shot at Marleau.

While I agree that Jeremy Roenick’s (JR) shot at Patrick Marleau was gutless, I really think that Milbury’s comments were not made in the same vein. This would also be a good spot to mention that I generally like Roenick’s insights, so it’s not like I favor Milbury over Roenick or vice-versa.

There were obviously many tweets back at Dupont saying he was off base, because soon after he tweeted:

Astounding amount of female hate. Seen it for yrs, especially when writing about female athletes/role models. Vile. Sad. Now expected.

I personally didn’t see the “female hate” in Milbury’s comments and tweeted that, and also replied that the two women (both hockey fans) seated near me at work were not offended by Milbury’s comments and were in fact laughing at Dupont for making such a big deal over the matter. Earlier today when I decided to write up a blog post I e-mailed them both asking for what they thought on the issue, letting them know I was likely going to use their replies in my blog post. Both answered quickly, and had some interesting stuff to say.

Being familiar with the Boston hockey scene for the last 30 years or so Karen’s thoughts were similar to mine, that Milbury had tried to be funny and missed the mark. Some of her comments were:

I wasn’t offended in the least by what he said. I didn’t find it all that funny, but I saw where he was trying to go with it and he was pretty much right about their play.

The joke might have been funnier had he said “Laverne & Shirley” instead of “Thelma and Louise” because Thelma and Louise were bad ass and the Sedins really haven’t been that good.

The funniest thing about the comment is the US and Canadian women’s teams hit harder than the Sedins.

The other woman, Amy, is a former collegiate ice hockey player and still plays twice a week on men’s teams. Her insight was perhaps the most telling of the two:

Isn’t feeling you need to defend women against such an obviously comedic comment more of a sign of an issue with yourself re:women as opposed to what was being said? I don’t see any women complaining about (Milbury’s) comments, so why is (Dupont) waving the banner in a fight that doesn’t need fighting?

In the middle of the tweeting I decided to run a question to Josie, who I have known for years and knew would have some great insights, but as she doesn’t follow Dupont much of the information would have been missed by her. She tweeted thanks Dupont for having the discussion, although she was in the camp the comment was really about “female hate”.

And, as I expected, she had probably the best tweet of them all:

Hockey people are the best people on the planet but you do need to adjust for dumb talking sometimes, esp. w/onair commentary

That probably goes for everyone on Twitter, too.