The Red-Headed Stepchild of Boston Sports

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

Thursday night and there wasn’t much to do, sportswise in this town, unless you’re me and you give your brother Sidney Crosby for Christmas. Which I did. Because I’m kind of an awesome sister. So last night saw Kevin and I in the upper decks at the FleetGardenArena watching the Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Or, more accurately, watching Crosby and Malkin take on the Bruins since the rest of the team? Not so much.

The game was thoughtlessly scheduled to take place before Christmas thus forcing me to search high and low for a card with penguins on the cover so that I could be oh-so-clever and mail it to my brother with a note all “Surprise! I’m getting you Sidney Crosby for Christmas!” Of course, the only card I could find had penguins kissing on the front and I’m not entirely sure what he should make of that in regards to said professional hockey-playing Penguins but it almost didn’t matter anyway because the snowplow took out my brother’s mailbox and all his mail was nearly lost to the elements.

ANYWAY. Point being, the Bruins almost ruined my awesome Christmas present last night by going down 3-0 after one period and 4-0 into the second. And if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s giving kickass Christmas presents. So I was not happy. Thankfully, Chara and the boys got their heads out of their asses long enough to make quite the game of it, tying things at 4-4 after three and through overtime, thus forcing a shoot out. A shoot out which the Bruins lost, mind you, but still, that’s some exciting hockey.

Now, so far as this Sidney Crosby kid goes, I’m of two minds: 1) If he’s really as awesome as people say he is, great, that’s cool. People should pay more attention to hockey because it’s an awesome, intense sport and very cool to watch and if someone like Crosby gets them watching, excellent, but 2) Sigh. Gretzky comparisons already? Really? And I’m not even a huge Gretzky fan. Plus, last night marked Crosby’s first fight. Granted, it’s only his second year in the league but, you know, you gotta drop the gloves every now and then if you want some respect. You can’t just expect to let your teammates fight your battles for you while you do your pretty pirouettes and what have you.

Perhaps I’m just unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt to phenoms. It’s not that I don’t want to see them pan out, it’s just that I appreciate it more when the MVPs end up being the sixth-round draft picks no one believed in. But still, the Crosby kid is impressive.

The Bruins, however, are getting virtually no love around these parts. It’s not hard to understand why. The Red Sox just won the World Series, the Celtics are tearing up the league (Seriously? Weird, right?) and you might’ve heard the Patriots are, you know, pretty decent. Hockey is most people’s fourth sport anyway, if they watch it at all, so now is a really inopportune time for them to be all competitive or what have you. But as someone who follows the Bruins casually (insomuch as I’ll watch a game if the Pats aren’t playing and I always watch highlights on SportsDesk), I’m kind of digging it. Their current standings are made all the more impressive considering that they’ve faced a rash of injuries this season (Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Alberts, until last night, Tim Thomas), that most people expected – and rightly so – to sink the team. So it’s kind of nice to see them doing well, even if they are playing above their heads.

Although admittedly, half the fun of Bruins games is sitting in from of the JV team from Billerica or the steam fitters from Southie. The best moment of the night may have been right before the second intermission when a gentleman behind us got up for a beer run. “Where ya goin’?” his friend asked. “It’s mini one-on-one! Ya gonna miss it!” Genius.

Speaking of, check out this 9-year-old’s skills.

Now that I’ve managed to alienate everyone who reads this thing and is all “Hockey wah?” “Puck who?” allow me to move onto more pressing matters.

For what it’s worth, I do not believe for a second that Jonathan Papelbon’s dog ate the World Series ball. I believe Jonathan Papelbon is messing with us. We’d believe him if he said that he didn’t remember where he put it as Paps often forgets where he put his pants. But “my dog ate it?” Come on, Paps. You can do better than that.

Also, Gabe Kapler is coming back to the majors. This is clearly due to that time when Amy and I saw him at the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse and sent him “Please don’t leave! You can totally still play baseball!” vibes. We’ll even forgive him for leaving before we could buy him a drink. Again. Because the Brewers play at Fenway this year which means we’ll be getting ready to shower our boy Gabe with a hero’s welcome. Awwww, warms the heart.

And for those of you looking for last minute Christmas gifts, look no further than eBay where one of my esteemed professors has put his “Miraculous Happy Face Apparition in Bread Slice Relic” up for sale. Who’s gonna give a better gift than that, I ask you? This is way better than Manny Ramirez’s game-worn undergarments, surely. Yes, it’s a real thing and no, Harvard professors never have too much time on their hands. Why do you ask?

Updates might be a bit spotty for a while as I’m off to parts north tonight to partake of holiday shenanigans and tomfoolery. But if you’re good, when I return, I’ll share with you a masterpiece created by Amy and myself entitled “The sheet metal workers of the South Shore meet the Patriots offense” featuring such gems as “Don’t make Tom Brady pull the levah on the La-Z-Boy himself! He’s probable with a shoulda!” and “I watched the mountains on the Coors can turn blue myself, Mr. Moss. I think this beah is nice and fresh for you.” Good times.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


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