Anybody But Boston: The Bruins On The Brink, And Why You Should Root For Vancouver

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 08: A fan of the Vancouver Canucks and a fan of the Boston Bruins pose for a photo prior to Game Four of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on June 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks face off in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night, and if there's any justice in the world, the Canucks will prevail. Plus: The genius of Cliff Harris, Larry Fitzgerald's dating advice, and the legend of Joe Namath. Talking Points is a daily series that highlights some of the best stories in sports (and elsewhere). Read the archives here.

I spent four years in Boston, and the entire time, I met two people that truly cared about the Boston Bruins. It's not to say true Bruins fans don't exist, but next to the earthquake of obnoxiousness from the SAWX and PATS fans, and then the Celtics, the B's barely move the needle.

So tonight's Game 7 may bring Boston sports to standstill, but if 80 percent of those fans started watching hockey about three weeks ago, shouldn't we be rooting for the fans that really care? 

What's more, while Bruins fans love to wallow in self-pity over their team's 40-year Cup drought, it's a lot worse when the people complaining are Sox, Pats, and Celtics fans that have won like a million championships in the past ten years. Jonah Keri outlined this logic over at GQ last week:

Sure, Boston was once a suffering sports town. ... Now? You sound like the douchebag who bitches that, after the three-bedroom in Tribeca, the place in the Hamptons, the kids' boarding school, the annual trips to Paris and Aruba, the four cars, and two alimonies, you've barely got enough left for that third bottle of Dom at Per Se.

The vast, vast, vast majority of Bruins fans are also Sox fans, C's fans, and Pats fans. The Celtics won the city's most recent title, in 2008. If the Bruins win the Cup this year, the Boston pro sports team with the longest championship drought will be the Patriots, who won the Super Bowl in...2004.

But the worst part of all this is still the bandwagoning. Boston hockey fans are like Miami basketball fans. It's one thing to start liking a team every year come playoff time--I do that with the Caps--but it's not another thing to pretend that you've been there all along and have been suffering since 1972.

Again, I lived in Boston, and endured thousands of stupid arguments about the FACKIN SAWWWWWX and the UNSTAWPPABLE PATS or GAHHHNETT'S HAHHHHHRT, and never once did I hear anyone mention Zdeno Chara's name. So tonight? Screw the Bruins.

Vancouver's fans live and die by hockey, and if the Canucks pull this off, it'll be ecstasy that lasts for the next decade. If Boston wins, the majority of the city will be complaining about the Red Sox by next Monday. You can't beat a Game 7 in any sport, and I'm definitely rooting for a good game tonight. But above all, let's just hope justice prevails and Boston gets denied. That city's sports fan don't need another reason to drive the rest of us insane.

Plus, these ladies deserve to go home happy, ya know?

With that, let's get into another edition of Talking Points...


One More Note. This time from Bruce Arthur in Toronto, who sets the scene for tonight:

While every game in Boston has been a rout — 8-1, 4-0, 5-2 — every game in Vancouver has been a one-goal tightrope, with the Canucks scoring the winning goals with 18.5 seconds left to break a scoreless tie in Game 1, 11 seconds into overtime in Game 2, and early in the third period to mark another clean scoresheet in Game 5. If those games were any indication, this Game 7 will have a lot of fans on both sides of the aisle feeling, for most of the game, like they are going to vomit.

And they should remember that feeling. I remember it, as a 20-year-old in Vancouver in 1994. It ended poorly, of course, but it was as vital as you could get, as a sports fan. There is another way to look at it, if you’re playing the game — during that 1994 final, Mr. Smith, the Canucks assistant, put it best. "Here’s the thing about elimination," he said, as quoted in a column written by Cam Cole, then of the Edmonton Journal. "There’s a different feeling. You charge up the hill, knowing you’re looking in the face of disaster, but you charge anyway — and if it’s your time, if your name’s on the bullet, so be it."

If your name's on the bullet, so be it. LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOO.


This Is The Most Ghetto Crime Of All Time. Hello, Shreveport! (via EDSBS)


Speaking Of Idiotic Crimes... Oregon's Cliff Harris, come on down! He was stopped going 118 mph in a 65 mph zone, which is kind of sad, because if you're gonna go 118, you might as well kick it up to 130 just to officially double the speed limit. The best part? He was driving a car that'd been rented by an Oregon employee. So, this isn't shady at all. Nope. Not one bit:

"So, I rented the car for my own purposes on Friday. Cliff Harris and his licensed friend, who showed me his license, asked to borrow it and paid me the full amount in cash that I paid for the rental," said the woman, who agreed to speak to KEZI on the condition of anonymity.

The woman, who describes herself as a friend of Harris over the past few months, said she was unaware he would be driving and also said she has proof that the amount she paid for the rental car matches two separte deposits she made into her bank account Friday.

All of which is to say... God Bless Cliff Harris.

Not only is this an epically reckless mistake (+1), but he's still the guy who once introduced himself to his teammates saying, "I'm Cliff Harris, and I'm here to lock shit down." (+1,000). And he once explained his favorite color saying, "I love green cause money be green." (+1,000,000,000,000).


Larry Fitzgerald Has Some Weightloss Advice For Single Moms. And I love Twitter.


As SBN's Jason Kirk pointed out, his profile photo makes this tweet even better.


A Long Discussion Of The Internet, The New York Times, And Other Stuff. Aaron Sorkin's always been one of my favorite people in Hollywood, so when I saw his sitdown with the New York Times' David Carr, I pretty much knew it'd be great before I read a single word.

They touch on all sorts of issues, but this part, about the implications of "new" journalism and places like the Huffington Post, was my favorite exchange:

SORKIN: Two of the scariest words to me right now are citizen journalist. Arianna Huffington is crazy about citizen journalists, but I don’t want one any more than I want a citizen doctor. Why is citizen
journalism good? What is the virtue there?

CARR: Well, the web is like a self-cleaning oven in that it will correct itself over time. The theory is that if you have lots of inputs of information, then the truth will gradually emerge from these thousands of points of light, and people will assemble from them an idea of the way things are. But my worry is that people will not do that, and instead gather what they need in order to reinforce their existing notions of the way things are, and there won’t be a civic common anymore where fact rules. I mean, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but the facts are not up for grabs.

That's the internet dilemma in a nutshell, I think.


Goddamn Right These Sharks Love Heavy Metal. Also, Australian accents are the best.


Groupon Is A Terrible Business Decision. #TEAMLIVINGSOCIAL.


Because Yuppies Rapping Will Never Not Be Hilarious. Especially if they're golfers.


They Don't Celebrate Like They Used To. The Mavericks went nuts in a South Beach club on Sunday night, but as fun as the party looked on the outside, that pales in comparison to the awesomeness of Bill Walton drinking whiskey by himself in Larry Bird's kitchen.

And then that pales in comparison to Joe Namath, because it's a rule that no level of athlete debauchery can possibly measure up to Joe Namath in 1960s New York City. Via SportsFeat, a profile of Joe Namath in 1967. The entire thing's worth reading, but this was my favorite part:

"Do you drink during the football season?" he was asked.

"Just about all the time."

"What do you, taper off before the game?"

A grin spread from his mouth. His light green eyes had fun in them. "The night before the Oakland game, I got the whole family in town and there’s people all over my apartment and the phone keeps ringing. I wanted to get away from everything. Too crowded and too much noise. So I went to the Bachelors Three and grabbed a girl and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and went to the Summit Hotel and stayed in bed all night with the girl and the bottle."


"Same thing before the Super Bowl," Namath said. "I went out and got a bottle and grabbed this girl and brought her back to the hotel in Fort Lauderdale and we had a good time the whole night."

Meanwhile, in 2011, it's a big deal when somebody like Alex Ovechkin gets filmed smoking hookah, drinking beer, and eating steak. "One must wonder how perhaps the best athlete in the NHL stays in shape doing this.?" No, one must not ask questions, and enjoy the awesomeness for all its worth.


Finally, A Word From Johnny Canuck. If you're not already convinced that you should root against the Bruins in Game 7 tonight, then you should at least root for the Canucks out of fear that this guy will come and murder you in your sleep if you don't.

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