Here we are. Nearly at the end of the decade which means it’s time to not just look back at the year that was but the decade as well. Over the next few weeks my posts will look back at some of the big sports stories. It could be local, it could be national, it might be stories between the lines or stories that made their way onto the front page. For the first part of this 2010’s retrospective we start in 2013. Perhaps one of the most emotional years locally. April 15th, 2013 was the day of the Marathon bombings that killed three and injured many more. The Bruins and Celtics were scheduled to play games, however due to the circumstances the Celtics game was canceled while the Bruins game was postponed.
Many remember the first game at the garden after Marathon Monday. The Bruins played the Buffalo Sabres and it wasn’t just a regular game night. Emotions were at an all-time high with fans wondering how to feel. As the lights went down the garden roared before a moment of silence and a video tribute that featured what was a hashtag but it also turned out to be what the year would be known as locally. #BostonStrong.
Rene Rancourt, who has sung the anthem for years came out to the ice to perform the anthem with members from the Boston Fire Department Honor Guard beside him. Rancourt said after the Anthem that he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to sing the national anthem. As the Bruins singer started his performance the fans took over and took center stage for one of the most moving moments in sports.
The Bruins lost the game but that night helped the healing process.
On April 19th, after the City of Boston was on lockdown for the day which ended with a manhunt to find the lone suspect that remained. The day thankfully ended with a tweet from Boston Police. “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in Custody.
The very next day the Boston Red Sox hosted the Kansas City Royals in a doubleheader. Before game one, David Ortiz came out before playing in his first game of the season. The Red Sox legend took the mic and spoke to the fans saying that the letters on their jerseys said Boston and proclaimed that this is “our f’n city”.
With the Sox down 2-1 to the Royals, Daniel Nava came up to the plate and hit a three-run home run with Sox announcer Don Orsillo proclaiming “Boston this is for you!”. That week was emotional but as the Bruins and Red Sox did all year, they came back.
A few weeks after the most trying week in Boston, the Bruins opened the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This series came a few seasons after the monumental 3-0 series collapse against the Flyers so with the Bruins up 3-1 in the series, Bruins fans were on the edge of their seats. The B’s lost games 5 and 6 leading into a winner take all game 7. Boston found themselves down in the 3rd 4-1 but Nathan Horton closed the gap to 4-2 with 2 minutes left. After that, the Bruins floodgates would open with Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scoring 0:31 apart tying the game at four. In overtime as we all know, Bergeron scored his second goal of the game to give Boston the 5-4 win.
Boston won their conference semifinal series against the New York Rangers 4-1 and swept the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the Eastern Conference Final leading up to a Stanley Cup Final series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game six didn’t exactly go to plan for Bruins fans, but looking back this was a highly competitive series with game one going into the early morning hours but in favor of Chicago 4-3 in 3 Overtimes. This was one of 3 overtime games in the series which led to as we all know the Chicago comeback from 2-1 down to win game six and the cup 3-2.
The Red Sox walked off 11 times including game two of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. While many remember the grand slam by David Ortiz that sent Torii Hunter over the wall, some may not know that the game ended with a Jarrod Saltalamacchia single. The Sox went onto not just win the series but won the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. During the Parade, the duck boats stopped at the spot where the Marathon Bombing occurred. With the Red Sox jersey draped around the World Series Trophy that dawned the area code 617 at the finish line, the crowd sang God Bless America at the spot where Boston’s toughness was tested but never wavered.
Looking back this was one of those years where sports was what we needed. The opportunity to take a few hours from what’s going on in the world to cheer or boo and discuss games. As we go forward into a new decade, let’s not forget about the year that proved a hashtag was and is a way of life #BostonStrong
-John Luck (@jluck_89)