NEWS NEWS AND MORE NEWS I am going to get all of my memories down, before I forget what I remember!. . . . quote from Stanley Forman

20Jun/111

Lord Stanley, The Bruins And The Stanley Cup

Bru­ins Cap­tain holds up the Cup for all to see dur­ing the Rolling Rally.

It took almost 45 years but I got to cover the Boston Bru­ins win­ning the Stan­ley Cup for the third time. There was almost 40 years in between the 2nd and 3rd cham­pi­onships; the first two hap­pened when I was an avid fan and sea­son ticket holder.  I saw every game Bobby Orr played at Boston Gar­den and even drove down to watch the Bru­ins and the Rangers play in New York back in the days when hockey was very impor­tant to me.

The morn­ing after the win was fun, got called into work early to go to Logan Air­port for the team’s return from Van­cou­ver and thought I might get to see them get­ting off the plane for their bus ride back to the Gar­den.  Not to be, every­thing was secre­tive and the news crews were not sure which gate the bus would come off the tar­mac through and they fooled us all as they went out an open­ing none of us real­ized would be used. Beat before I could even get into 2nd gear.

From Logan I went to Cause­way Street and think­ing the way I did 40 years ago I for­got the bus would pull into the front park­ing lot and we could see them get­ting into their cars and maybe even get to talk with them. I had thought they would drive into the Gar­den like they used to, inside via the long ramp in the back of the build­ing and flee the news hounds. I guess some­times I do live in the past. Had I known the great access we were going to have I would have gone a lit­tle faster and skipped the pit stop I made before I got there. When I did get there and real­ized what was going on I ran through the traf­fic to be where the action was.

The first player I spot­ted was Zdeno Chara, the big foot­ball player size defense­man, who was in the back seat of a limo but the guest with him was what made me take notice. He had the Stan­ley Cup sit­ting next to him and was the first of the play­ers to take it home.  He is the Cap­tain so I guess he might decide who is first or maybe it is an auto­matic. After I tapped on his car win­dow sev­eral times to see if he would open it for me I real­ized it just was not going to hap­pen so I moved on to the big­ger group which was slowly becom­ing smaller and smaller and only a few of the play­ers were still there. I did stick my mic in one of the car win­dows but I don’t even know who it was being interviewed.

From there the day got bet­ter. Mike Dowl­ing, a WCVB sports reporter, caught up with me and we went look­ing for the Bru­ins play­ers who lived in the North End with no clue where that might be. This ven­ture only lasted a few min­utes as we got word we were going to inter­view Kevin and Lynn Marc­hand the par­ents of Brad, the Bru­ins star rookie who had three points in the 7th and decid­ing game and may have been one of the final­ists for MVP.

Talk about a class act. They walked down to the Gar­den from Brad’s apart­ment and talked to us for quite awhile giv­ing some insight into their won­der­ful adven­ture chas­ing the Stan­ley Cup with their son Brad. What fun. His father had gone to 20 play­off games and his mother only 16. They told us she was banned from the games after she attended two los­ing games. When they lost a game she wasn’t at she was then allowed to con­tinue the run. Mike Dowl­ing told me another par­ent of one of the play­ers also suf­fered the same fate after she was at a cou­ple of los­ing games. Super­sti­tion is super­sti­tion and being a lot­tery player I know what that word means.

Mrs. Marc­hand went on to tell us how she really dis­liked his beard and hoped he would be shav­ing it ASAP. They joked about what a mess his apart­ment was and she was hop­ing he would get some­one to keep it clean. They also talked about their other ath­letic son and two daugh­ters even let­ting us know Brad’s younger brother was a faster skater and tougher on the ice.

But the real fun began a few hours later when we found out the Cup was being wheeled down Com­mer­cial Street in the North End to Tia’s restau­rant on the water­front where many of the team would meet for cock­tails. It was very crowded at the out­side bar with patrons snap­ping pho­tos or just gawk­ing when they real­ized the stars of the day and the Stan­ley Cup were in plain view for every­one to see and all had their cell phones click­ing away with some of the peo­ple man­ning real cam­eras. I showed one of the wait­resses how to use the zoom on her newly bought IPad and made her day.

What a thrill to see today’s “heroes” out mix­ing with the reg­u­lars and enjoy­ing every moment of it. I could have recited every player’s name in the NHL back in the 60s and 70s but to tell the truth today I have not a clue who is who. This year I watched all the play­off games and the play­ers on the Bru­ins did not shave dur­ing the play­offs and all had play­off beards. It threw me for a loop on Thurs­day as they had almost all clipped their beards when I saw them and I had fig­ure out who is who. I have not fig­ured it out yet.

These play­ers had mus­cles on mus­cles, 6 pack abs that peo­ple would die for and if I were to try to get them I prob­a­bly would die. I don’t think the ath­letes of today are bet­ter ath­letes than those of the long gone era but they cer­tainly are stronger and have more mus­cle. Then there is the tat­toos; or as the kids call them “ink”. The only ink on my era’s ath­letes would have been from a leak­ing pen after sign­ing an autograph.

My first rally was after the Celtics won one of their 18 cham­pi­onships and Boston finally hon­ored them with a parade in the 60s. They were in con­vert­ibles dri­ving through the Park Square area. I was so mes­mer­ized by the John Havlicek’s beau­ti­ful wife Beth, (what a hot­tie and that word was not even invented back then) I don’t think I shot any­thing but pho­tos of her.

On City Hall Plaza in the 80s there was another Celtics rally and Larry Bird told the tens of thou­sands, “Moses eats shit,” refer­ring to Moses Mal­one after the Celtics beat the Hous­ton Rock­ets. Did that set off a pound or two of let­ters and phone calls!

Bru­ins Locker Room, 1969, Bobby Orr and team­mates the Year before they won the Stan­ley Cup. See other Bru­ins story in blogs.

After one of the Bru­ins cham­pi­onships in the 70s, Phil Espos­ito had surgery at MGH and the Bru­ins were hav­ing their breakup din­ner at a nearby restau­rant.  There was no way Phil wasn’t going to be there so some of his team mem­bers pushed his hos­pi­tal bed with him in it to the restau­rant. The story goes they broke the frame to a door or two get­ting out of the hos­pi­tal and he was still hooked up to IVs. With that team the whole story could be true.

For their first Cup win at Boston Gar­den my seats sec­tion 73, seats 3 and 4 gave me a great view of Bobby Orr’s over­time goal and in 1972 I was at Logan Air­port when the Bru­ins returned with the Stan­ley Cup after beat­ing the New York Rangers at Madi­son Square Gar­den. We were allowed up to the exit ramp and I was tak­ing pho­tos of every­body when Bobby Orr appeared walk­ing with a young woman, (he handed the young woman I was with a bot­tle of cham­pagne from the cel­e­bra­tion) I mis­tak­enly iden­ti­fied as his girl­friend  Peggy, his future wife, WRONG! The next day I was scram­bling to fig­ure out who she was. I went to Welles­ley and knocked on the State Trea­surer Bob Crane’s door with photo in hand to find out who she was and of course Bob knew it was a sec­re­tary from the Bru­ins’ office. He was bud­dies with Orr and knew all about the team.

Who can for­get the Bru­ins first Stan­ley Cup Cham­pi­onship rally on Boston’s City Hall Plaza when Johnny “Pie” Macken­zie poured a pitcher of beer over Mayor Kevin White’s head and then the Mayor returned the deed after they won their 2nd cup in 1972.

In 1975 after Car­leton Fisk hit his famous home run against the Cincin­nati Reds I ran out on the field with all the other pho­tog­ra­phers as I was cov­er­ing the game. In 1986 there I was again run­ning out to home plate after the Red Sox beat the Angels in 1986 to go to the World Series.

Who can for­get the 2004 Red Sox pre-rolling rally event at Fen­way Park when I chose to not work and take my girls to the parade. We walked up to the gate at Fen­way on a whim and there was a Boston Cop I have known for­ever at the door. A few moments later, we were inside enjoy­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties, run­ning on the field as the Duck Boats loaded. Our Christ­mas pic­ture that year was my girls with Johnny Damon.

My scari­est moment in sports came in Jan­u­ary 1986 when the Patri­ots beat Miami for the right to face the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl. I was dis­patched to Green Air­port in Rhode Island for a 2am arrival of the team. Works out there must have been 10,000 peo­ple who also wanted to greet them.  We were some­how in the mid­dle of the tar­mac after the plane landed wait­ing for the play­ers to come down the walk­way. All of a sud­den these 10,000 peo­ple broke through what­ever police lines were there and came charg­ing out to the plane. I was with Jim Reddy a tech­ni­cian at the sta­tion who was sent with me to help. They came rush­ing, I thought it was over, Jim grabbed me and put this big bear hug on me and we just stood in the mid­dle like a street pole and thank­fully the crowd went around us. I bet $50.00 on the game and I think the Patri­ots lost by almost 50 points.

In 1986 after the Red Sox lost to the Mets in one of the games after the con­tro­versy that stemmed between a pitch by Bob Stan­ley being a wild pitch or it being a passed ball by catcher Rich Ged­man, I was at Fen­way when the heart bro­ken team arrived home I heard one of the fol­low­ers yelling out to Stan­ley, “You’re the best” and not many agreed at that point in time.

Patrice Berg­eron ges­tures to the crowd while rid­ing in the Rolling Rally.

Today, June 18, was the big rally for the Bru­ins Cham­pi­onship. In all the ral­lies I have cov­ered this was the biggest crowd pleaser. They had to be more than a mil­lion folks lin­ing the streets of Boston for the rolling rally. It was great to be able to share it with those folks even if I was behind the camera.

So in my 45 years of news pho­tog­ra­phy I have worked 3 Super Bowl cel­e­bra­tions, two World Series ral­lies, numer­ous Celtics cel­e­bra­tions and 3 Bru­ins Stan­ley Cup “par­ties.” Not bad for a man whose only ath­letic pur­suit is read­ing the sports sec­tion of var­i­ous publications.

My daugh­ters at 21 and 22 have seen all of the home­town teams win a cham­pi­onship, a feat that took me 55 years.

Out­side the gar­den the other day when the Bru­ins returned I bumped in Tom Farmer, for­mer Her­ald reporter and long time friend. His ques­tion to me was “I bet you have cov­ered all three of their cup wins?” My answer was “yes” and now I am won­der­ing if he is try­ing to tell me I am old?

The only thing I do know if it takes another 40 years to win the cup again I will not be there for the celebration.

 

Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. It’s been a good run for the guy down the street in Revere’s Shirley Ave. sec­tion. We are always proud of your accom­plish­ments and you.


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.