It doesn’t take anyone long to find out that my passion is Boston sports. In fact, you probably figure that out within three minutes of talking to me.
Obviously, baseball is what truly drives me but hockey is second on that list and for as long as I can remember, all I’ve wanted to do was cover professional sports teams.
I’ve blogged for years (some of you have followed me since those days) and have taken on many opportunities to write recaps, news and opinion pieces for the teams of Boston. So when I got the opportunity to cover the Bruins as a credentialed media reporter, I could have thrown up from the excitement.
It’s taken me a lot to get to this point in my career – there were even times I considered a complete career change and checked out a school for medical assisting (this coming from someone who turns her head away during Chicago Med when they show them stuffing their hands into the ribcage of a patient).
So to get this opportunity, to feel like everything paid off and to feel like all my hard work had not gone to waste was a feeling I will never, ever forget.
To make this opportunity even better was that I’d be in Montreal where the Canadiens and the Bruins would play their first game against each other this season. Claude Julien’s first game against the Bruins since being fired, the first meeting for the historic rivaled teams this season – and you’re telling me I would be in the press box – sitting next to people like Sean McAdam and Joe Haggerty – doing what they do?
I was in heaven.
As I was walking to the Bell Centre, I was amazed at just how many Bruins jerseys I was seeing. The B’s fans at the local bar far outnumbered the Canadiens fans and I knew this was going to be a good, hard-fought game.
For the first time in the history of me being a Bruins fan, I took my seat in the press box, opened up my laptop and put my fandom aside. I sat, I observed and I tweeted out (@bruins_beat) what was happening – from big saves to goals – just as everyone else in that catwalk was doing.
Of course, I was tweeting from my personal account (@lalalalaurrrren) my frustrations with the game, my love for Jake DeBrusk and my excitement when Brad Marchand scored the game-winning shooutout goal.
It was riveting, to say the least. To not cheer when the B’s scored or not yell in frustration when Charlie McAvoy made a dumb rookie trip was something that just came natural. I was in my element. I was focused and anyone who knows me knows how hard I’ve worked to get to this point in my career.
I was the media. I was who I have wanted to be since I was a kid. I was in the locker room, listening to Bruce Cassidy, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara and Marchand talk about the game.
Inside, the fan in me was jumping for joy and in shock that I had my phone up to the face of the head coach of the Boston Bruins listening to him answer questions about the game.
As soon as I walked out of the Bell Centre, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t let out the biggest scream of excitement. I can’t even tell you how I was feeling.
I’ve known this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I’ve blogged, covered sports through high school and college, took a bunch of unpaid opportunities because it meant I would be able to do what I love.
And it has all paid off. The sleepless nights, the “what if I never make it?” thoughts and the “is this even worth it?” fights in my head, have all been worth it.
Trust me, it’s been well worth every single struggle.
Of course, much like many others, sports are a hobby for me. I spend a lot of my time at Fenway Park, I’m always going to the Garden to catch a Bruins or Celtics game and I can be found at Gillette when it’s not below freezing because I am an absolute baby when it comes to the cold.
But on top of them being a hobby, they’re really a way of life for me. I live and breathe baseball and most of my conversations revolve around sports. I’ll text my friends how ridiculous the end of a game was or rant about how angry I am that the Red Sox have yet to do anything substantial in the offseason.
Just Sunday night, my brother text me “Wowowowowow” in regards to the ending of the Vikings/Saints game. I knew exactly what he was talking about because that’s the thought that was going through my head when I watched the walk-off touchdown.
Sports, man. It really is a way of life.
All weekend people were texting me telling me how happy they were for me and how excited they were for me to have this opportunity. I had people tweeting at me, strangers and friends alike – all sending their well-wishes.
Man, I’ll tell you – it’s incredibly humbling. I can’t even put into words just how much it all means to me.
I truly wish I could put into words just how amazing this whole experience was. The Bell Centre was absolutely electric at all times. Their introductions gave me chills and the fans…man the fans were so loud. It’s incredible.
And when I say loud, I mean the entire game there were chants (even some “Let’s go Bruins” ones), cheers and the infamous boos whenever Chara touched the puck. These fans appreciate their team and the sport of hockey and it is so obvious the second you step foot into the Bell Centre.
The only time that place was quiet was when Phillip Danault took a Chara slapshot off his helmet. You could have heard a pin drop – but it erupted with cheers for him when he was stretchered off the ice.
The fans never let a Bruins goal stop them from their continuous cheers. If anything, it made them louder. These two teams obviously have a rivalry and it felt like a playoff game atmosphere for the entire 60 minutes of hockey.
For me, it was so much more than just covering the game. Sports have been a huge part of my life for essentially my whole life. They’re part of who I am and they’ve shaped me into who I have become and who I want to continue to become.
This is only just the beginning. This is a new chapter in this journey and I am more than excited to have all of you along for the ride because it’s you guys who drive me and keep me motivated.
Written by: Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren)