Category Archives: Boston

An Angel In The Whirlwind – A Stunning Win For MHK

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but for the first time in a lifetime of watching sports, I found myself in tears watching the New England Patriots jaw-dropping, miraculous victory in the AFC Championship Game yesterday. After Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff hooked to the left of the goal posts what should have been an easy breezy, chip-shot field goal, I found myself prostate in front of the television, as I broke down and cried. As Gillette Stadium and 60,000-plus fans were going berserk thousands of miles away, I screamed and hollered with what was left of my voice and then was shocked to find myself as emotional as I’ve ever been after watching a victorious Boston team, in a combination of exaltation, relief, disbelief and joy.

The Patriots, my beloved band of brothers were celebrating with their genius/mastermind of a coach Bill Belichick under a rain of confetti and for just a a few seconds, I found myself with tears running down my face.

After more than 3 hours of screaming at the top of my lungs at just about every play, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by this outburst. And now, more than 24 hours later, I’m not even sure I know why I was crying at the end of that improbable victory yesterday. But I believe that I wept for everyone else in this sometimes cruel world who’s been down and out; for every person or team that has played it’s heart out and has been rewarded by some inexplicable turn-of-fate…this “angel in the whirlwind”; this strange breeze that incredibly blew Baltimore’s Billy Cundiff field goal wide-to-the-left of the goal posts and sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in less than a decade!

I cried tears of happiness for the generations of Patriots fans, both young and old; for the kids who don’t really know the misery of being a Patriots fan – a team without a home that sometimes played at Boston University’s field, Boston College’s Alumni Stadium, the ancient Harvard Stadium and even Fenway Park. And I wept for the old timers, who had to freeze their asses of sitting on the metal benches inside that terrible joke-of-a-stadium in Foxboro where I used to go and sip hot-chocolate and pray that the game would be over soon. For the veteren fans who have never given up on a team that for so long lingered at the bottom of the list of teams, but somehow kept believing in better days to come.

I cried for the shame and regret that came when the New York Giants came from behind in the final minutes of the 2007 Super Bowl to ruin the Patriots bid for the “perfect season,” when there seemed to be another very different “angel in the whirlwind” that allowed New York Giant quarterback Eli Manning to escape the grasp of Patriot defenders and throw a long pass that David Tyree on his helmet! Oh, demons be gone.

But most of all, I cried for the memory of Myra Hiatt Kraft, who passed away before this season and whose initials, MHK, the Patriots have worn on their uniforms all season long and who’s spirit will hopefully guide this team of destiny to a victory in this years Super Bowl over those very same New York Giants.

I cried for Myra Kraft and all the other people who lost their lives after battling cancer and other illnesses, including my sports fanatic father and lovely sister Elizabeth, who’s passing in the cruelest of months of January my family observed once again this month. For my sister Elizabeth, for my father, and for Tom Brady, for Bill Belichich, for Gronk, and the Law Firm, and Wes Welker and the veterens of Patriots teams-past, like Drew Bledsoe (who presented Bob Kraft with the AFC Championship trophy yesterday) and Tedy Bruschi and on and one, and the rest of the 2011 New England Patriots who, hooray, are going once again to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis in just two weeks, where once again I will be on pins and needles all game, screaming at every play.

And hopefully – with a little help from an angel in the whirlwind and the great coaching and playing, the New England Patriots will win their fourth Super Bowl in just over a decade.

Once again it will be Tom Brady versus Eli Manning. Once again it will be the best team from the American Football League against the best team in the National Football League. Once again it will be Boston (well, okay, New England) versus New York. Once again it will be for all the marbles.

And for the next two weeks there will be plenty of speculation and pontification on what to expect. But regardless of the outcome, I truly believe that the Patriots will be playing, in their heart of hearts, for respect and for glory and for the memory of team owner Bob Krafts ever-so-dearly departed Myra H. Kraft, who I believe will pnce again be looking down at the game and cheering for her New England Patriots.

And if that’s not enough to carry them to victory, I don’t know what else is.

Go Patriots!!!!

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Filed under Boston, Sports, Super Bowl

Boston Bruins Win Stanley Cup!!!

Congratulations to Goalie Tim Thomas and the entire Boston Bruins team for their Stanley Cup Victory last night in Game Seven against the Vancouver Canucks.

Wow!

What a game!

What a night!

The Bruins had to win their third Game Seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs to capture the holy grail of hockey. It was the first time in 39 years, going back to 1972 and the Orr/Esposito era, since the Bruins went all the way!!!

For me, it was one of the happiest sports moments of my life and as I celebrated over the phone with my sister Patricia (or Patty Cakes, as we call her) and my lovely fiancee, Janet, all I could think of was that my father must have been smiling somewhere and taking in all the glory.

I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning listening to Sports Talk Radio and even got through on the phones to deliver my congratulations to the Boston Bruins and their fans. I wish so badly that I could be in Boston for the Bruins Duck Boat Parade.

In the end the Bruins won with heart and with skill, with toughness and with agility, with grit and talent – just like the Big, Bad Bruins of old.

And now they are all legends, part of the great sports history of the City of Boston. (Seven Championships in 10 years, not too shabby)

Again, congratulations to The 2010/2011 Boston Bruins on their Stanley Cup victory. Whooo-hooo!!!!

This one’s for you, Dad.

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Boston Bruins: Tonight’s Date With Destiny

So it all comes down to tonight’s Game Seven. The Boston Bruins have gone 40 years without winning the Stanley Cup.

Tonight they could win it all. But they’ll have to do it on the road.

The Boston Bruins have now played more than a hundred games in one season in their quest for hockey’s holy grail. And now they need one more “W” in Game 7 in Vancouver.

Tonight the 2010/2011 Boston Bruins will play on the other side of the continent in the Canadian city of Vancouver.

They’ll be playing for all the fans who have followed the Black and Gold through the years.

They’ll be playing for one of the toughest Bruins ever Eddie Shore:

They’ll be playing for legendary Bruins captain Milt Schmidt, who not only played…

But who also coached, and served as President and assistant General Manager and who served as Banner Captain before Game Six..

Tonight they’ll be playing for other Bruins legends like Johnny “Chief” Bucyk, Phil Esposito and the greatest ever, Bobby Orr…

Yes, Bobby Orr who was on the last Bruins team to win the Stanley Cup in 1972…

The Bruins will play for all the guys who came after 1972 and never won the Stanley Cup in Bruin’s uniforms. For Ray Bourque, Craig Janney, Goalie Pete Peters and the current Bruins President Cam Neeley, who was traded to the Bruins from Vancouver and may want the Stanley Cup more than anyone in the building tonight…

For all these guys, the Bruins will take the ice tonight with their eyes on the prize. Lord Stanley’s Cup. In all of sports, it’s probably the most sought after award…

Just one more win. That’s all it will take for the Boston Bruins.

There destiny is in their own hands. There’s only one thing left to say:

Go Bruins!!!!

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Boston Bruins: One Game From Glory


Last night the Boston Bruins tied their Stanley Cup final series against the classless Vancouver Canucks 3 games apiece. Now we must wait for tomorrow night. The first Stanley Cup finals game seven in the history of the Boston Bruins franchise (est. 1924).
Here’s something to pass the time and get in the mood if you happen to be a Bruins fan. (Be sure to watch the full screen version.)

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“The Town” – A Review

I was born and raised in the town of Weymouth. By car or public transit, it was a short trip into the city of Boston. So when I was growing up I spent a lot of time there. During my summers between semesters of college I’d come back home and hang out in the bars and neighborhoods of the city I still love. We’d drive all over Boston from Southie to Chinatown, and from Copley to Harvard Square. But one place we almost never went was the one square mile of cobblestone and brick called Charlestown. We kept our distance.

Charlestown, often ignored and left off maps of Boston and with a chip on it’s shoulder because of it, was the location of the Battle of Bunker Hill and also where “Old Ironsides,” the U.S. Navy’s battleship, Constitution, is docked. And even though it looks pretty in pictures, Charlestown was nothing but trouble. The guys our age were tough and liked to fight and the chances of going into a Charlestown bar and not coming out without a bloody or broken nose weren’t great. Plus, the people who call Charlestown their home town don’t exactly have a fondness for outsiders. Either you were a “townie” or you were not. And if you were not you’d be better off not crossing that bridge. It’s a small provincial, clannish neighborhood and the residents like it that way.

Besides being an historic part of Greater Boston, that little piece of land also has the seemly distinction of producing more bank and armored car robbers than any other place in the U.S. It’s something that folks there are actually proud of though you’d never hear anybody mention it. That’s because of Charlestown’s famous “code of silence” where nobody “evah knows ‘nuthin'”. Nevah. Evah.

Ben Affleck’s new film project, “The Town” takes you to the places where my friend Tommy and I never went; straight into the bars, street corners and triple-Decker’s where the townies live and breath. Affleck directed, produced, co-wrote and stars in this tense, taught thriller. And he absolutely nails every second of this film, as he follows one such gang of thugs, which he happens to also be a member of. Affleck, who of course hails from this neck of the woods, gets every last detail right. The hard to imitate Boston accents, the look of the city at sunrise and in the evening, and especially the bad attitudes. But most importantly, Affleck’s “The Town” captures the terrible trap of crime and dead-end lives that most these young people find themselves caught up in.

I’ve seen plenty of films about Boston, including the admirable, “The Departed,” which netted an Oscar for master filmmaker Martin Scorsese. But I’ve never seen the places and the people so perfectly depicted and mimicked. Every frame of this film, from the opening bank heist to the film’s climax, where the foursome try to knock over the cash room at the “cathedral of Boston”, Fenway Park, is pitch perfect and packed with white knuckle tension. And it’s Affleck’s eye for the details that transcends this film from just another okay cops-and-robbers saga to a brilliant movie about the tragedy of lost lives.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that Affleck has such a great cast to paint his canvass with. Jeremy Renner, who we last saw in the Academy-award winning, “The Hurt Locker,” once again shows his incredible range both in the robbery scenes and when he’s faced with a partner in Affleck who wants out.

Another real standout performance comes from Affleck’s character’s incarcerated father, played with even-tempered steel eyed guilt and regret by the astonishing actor Chris Cooper. Even newcomer Claire Keesey shows a dangerous vulnerability as the bank manager taken hostage and later stalked by the thugs who think she might be their undoing. When Keesey’s character, a preppy newcomer to Charlestown’s condos Rebecca Hall is followed and subsequently unknowingly falls in love with Affleck’s, Doug MacRay, the plot thickens and the trap closes tighter.

On the other side of the law, Affleck gets a stellar performance from Jon Hamm, fresh from the set of “Mad Men,” who plays an FBI agent determined to bring this crew down. In one remarkable scene, Hamm’s FBI agent on a mission goes mano y mano with Affleck in an interrogation room, but fails to intimidate his bird of prey.

Affleck uses an unusual amount of extreme close-ups which bring you even deeper into the drama and seem to implicate you as an accomplice. And whether the location is a park bench in Harvard Square or the inside of a Charlestown skating rink, Affleck seems right at home.

All things considered, “The Town” is nothing short of a masterpiece. The film’s quite, haunting score moves it along like a train chugging along through the night. In the end the there are no easy answers. Instead the viewer is left to find his or her own sad conclusions.

And unlike the getaways that help Charlestown’s artful dodgers live to rob another day, they’ll be no getaway after viewing this movie. It’s a complex film that will stay in your consciousness for a very long time.

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Filed under Boston, Films, movies, My Stories