Something to aspire to

21 Jun

So, if you haven’t figured it out already, we’re Boston sports fans. Big time. I actually just got back from a trip back east–hence the lack of posts–and it would be an understatement  to say that we caught Bruins fever. Full disclosure: I am an absolute bandwagon Bruins fan. Every year, I ignore them for the duration of the regular season, then tune in for the playoffs just in time to watch them get their hearts ripped out by the Canadiens.

Anyhow, this year started out no differently. After we blew two home games to open the series against the Montreal Cocksuckers, I was disheartened, but I kept watching. When the  Bruins pulled through, it was all the more rewarding. When they went and crushed the Flyers, the same held true. Beating the Lightning in seven? Same, of course.

You see, hockey occupies a weird place in my childhood. From the ages of 6-13, my dad and I played the latest version of EA Sports NHL on Sega Genesis every night, and the loser had to do the dishes. Dad always played as the LA Kings. Why? Because he was an asshole who was all about Wayne Gretzky. He was all about taking the easy path to victory. I, on the other hand, was a diehard Bruin. Cam Neely was, and to this day remains, my favorite player. I sill maintain that Ulf Samuelsson’s pathetic cheapshot, which happened when I was all of five years old, was what turned me off of hockey. It was partly because it put my dad in the awkward position of having to explain to me that in the world, sometimes there are people who just overtly suck. But more importantly, why would I invest myself in a sport where talentless piece of garbage could rob the game of an amazing player like Neely? It made no sense, so I said “fuck this” and bailed. I stuck around insofar as following Bourque and Neely and gaming every night with my dad required, but I never got emotionally invested in the team again. Not like I did with the Patriots, Celtics, and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Sox.

All of this being said, it’s no surprise that Milan Lucic has become my favorite Bruin. Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas are the obvious choices, and for their performances in Game 7 they will go into the Curt Schilling tier of athletes to whom I would gladly give a lung, kidney, eye, arm, or anything else that I have two of. Marchand, too, is too badass for words to describe. Lucic, though, is different. That wild-eyed stare that he skates around with reminds me of Happy Gilmore. As he relentlessly and mockingly jammed his finger down Burrows’ throat in game 3, I couldn’t help but wonder how close he was to simply removing his skate and attempting to slash the shit out of the guy with it. That’s the kind of player that Lucic seemed to be; prowling the ice with absolute murder in his eyes, you just never knew what he might be capable of. I like that in a hockey player.

The gods of drinking

Anyhow, just today, I saw the above image. While I may be the most shameless of bandwagon hockey fans, I am a tried-and-true fan of epic alcoholic feats. And this, my friends, is a feat of legends. Forget the $100,000 bottle of champagne. I don’t care how big it was, it was still a retarded gimmick. Forget the $5 Bud Lights, because let’s be honest, that shit is ridiculous. Bud Light is worth $2 per bottle tops, with bar markup. Forget all of that, but still marvel at that receipt. That is, for lack of a better word, awesome (in the real sense, not the Keanu Reeves sense). I am slow clapping them right now, and that’s only partly because I’m drunk out of my mind on cheap tequila at 4AM on a Tuesday morning. No matter how optimistic I may be, I know for a fact that I will never produce a receipt as straight-up baller as that one is. I can only tip my cap to you all, you magnificent bastards. And that is, at best, still only half the story. The other half is that somehow, in my head, dad is doing the dishes for the next decade. If the Sedin sisters are the spiritual successors to how he played  NHL 92-95, then Marchand’s persistent knuckle sandwich was how I played. Once and for all, the Bruins have made it clear that an aggressive 8 year old who couldn’t give less of a fuck about the rules really can beat the holy hell out of a too-slick-for-his-own-good old man, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier.

Thank you, Bruins. Thank you Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton,  Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, et al. 20 years after the fact, you finally allowed me to prove to my dad that I was right all along. More personally, you finally cancelled out the blind, impotent rage of my youth, and turned me into a full-fledged hockey fan once again.

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