I am not a gracious Boston sports fan. I remember watching football and hockey with Mom on our 12-inch black and white TV. She’d yell and complain when fights broke out or egregious, violent penalties were made.
I yell and complain whenever a play doesn’t go my way. Doesn’t make for good company or community viewing. My abiding husband is about the only one who tolerates my presence – and that’s probably due to the vow ‘for better and for worse.’
The good news is – I now recognize my behavior as offensive and detracting. The bad news? I’ve had at it for 30 years plus.
My realist sensed the Bruins’ chances of winning the seventh game of the Stanley Cup playoffs were shot when St. Louis scored the first goal. I tuned in late on the radio ride home due to a commitment. I didn’t hear much of their stunning play in the first period. My rabid Boston sports fan professing ‘everything you do from here on out has to go my way or we’re going to lose’ kicked in, and I badgered and berated them to the end. That damned second goal with 8 seconds to go only added fuel to the tirade.
The next morning I heard interviews on 98.5: choked up, spent voices – dejection – devastation – of twenty year olds – twenty year olds, Manda. Even at 42, Charra could be my son from a teenage pregnancy. I recalled Charra playing with a broken jaw. The heartbreak of a Charlestown native who’s life’s goal was to play for the Bruins and had to sit out multiple games due to a concussion. And then I recalled myself – sitting on the couch fuming with frustration. Sitting on the couch. On the couch.
Knowing these young men make millions, my empathy goes only so far. But playing out their heart aching voices against my couch cussing, hard lined, self-consumed banter – I took a knee.