Being born in New York and growing up in New Jersey I am often asked why the Bruins are my favorite team.
My dad, who was very involved in amateur and pro hockey in the NY area since the 1960's ingrained the game into my head, and believe me it was not difficult to do.
He had me on the ice at age three and I have played pretty consistently throughout the next 36 years of my life.
I had seen games previously as a kid at the Spectrum, Nassau and MSG but it was our trip when I was 10 years in 1977 to the real Boston Garden that really made an impression on me and has since ruined my life
My first game was the series clinching game vs the Habs and I often joke that if I knew then what I know know that I should have picked the Habs to follow. It was an amazing thing to see these guys dressed in bright red uniforms carrying the cup around the ice, the dreaded Habs were now in my blood and have been ever since.
Steve Penny, STEVE PENNY??
The building itself was what had sold me, the passion of the fans, the closeness to the ice. The Boston Garden to me is what hockey is all about, dingy, filled with passion and no loud music or hd jumbotrons. The game stood on it's own legs and did not need to be "sold" to anyone. We were there because of the game and nothing else, no glowing pucks for these fans thank you very much.
Throughout the years and before the lovely internet it was difficult, yet fun to get information on an out of town team. I would read the Hockey News cover to cover and could tell you that Vladimir Ruzicka was born in Most, Czechoslovakia, who the hell needed to know this? Before Direct TV and the Center Ice package I would often speak to someone in the NHL broadcasting division to see what playoff games were going to be carried in my area, were the B's on or were we going to be blacked out? I had the fortune of listening to Mats Naslund beat Doug Keans with 51 seconds left in the playoffs and ousting us, IN FRENCH on the radio.
USA today was a mainstay while at College at the University of Maryland and was the only way to get any type of information on what my beloved B's were up to on a daily basis. The National, a short lived sports daily would give details on every game but they didn't fare too well and went out of business.
After I graduated I took it a step further, I subscribed to the Boston Globe and had it sent to my house in New Jersey. I sent them an copy of an out of date student ID to get the promotional rate and and was well in the world.
They would often come a week late and four at a time but I was in the know, I knew what was going on and that was priceless to me.
Not to sound like an old man but the fans today have an unending amount of information at their fingertips and while good I think it has taken some of the fun out of the whole equation.
I still live and die with the B's I watch 99% of their games but I have stuck with my own personal boycott of the Jacob's family and have only paid for one ticket in the past 10 years. I went to see Neely get his # retired and wasn't about to cut off my nose to spite my face on Jeremy's account.
As many of us B's fans know, and no matter where you are from, loyalty is a female dog.