Chicago-Boston Lovefest Takes a Break With Stanley Cup, Bragging Rights on the Line

Andrew ShawEditor’s note: In the spirit of sports brotherhood — and trash talk — RedEye and the New England Sports Network have created a columnist exchange. Chicago vs. Boston. Blackhawks vs. Bruins. Bag Boy vs. NESN hockey writer Mike Cole. The following is written by Bag Boy, special to NESN.com.

Before we begin, a word of thanks.

Thank you for Theo Epstein. Thank you for the blueprint on how to build an organization. We’ll muck it up, but thanks.

Thanks for Tom Thibodeau (don’t you need these people in Boston? Sheesh). Toughest, smartest coach in the NBA. We’ll take him.

And thanks for leading the way out of the abyss. We’re right behind you. OK, way behind you. We’ll get there. Maybe.

On to the issue at hand. Our cities meet again for all the marbles, first time since 1986. Super Bowl XX. Bears: 46, Patriots: 10. How is Tony Eason, by the way? I heard he never went outside after that game. Just a rumor.

Hey, this isn’t easy for me. Our cities are sisters in shared pain. But when Lord Stanley’s Cup is on the line, I fire away.

I have never forgiven you (the Bruins, generally) for that 1967 trade. The worst ever? We send you Phil Esposito for Pit Martin. There were others involved but why mention them? I just ate.

You guys got two Stanley Cups because of that trade. We in Chicago were of course left going, “Wouldn’t it be cool if Tony Esposito and Phil Esposito played together?” We’ll never know.

This is old-time hockey, straight-up Original Six hockey. I am personally lobbying both teams to travel via rail between Chicago and Boston.

Speaking of old, you guys have Jaromir Jagr? Really? What time does he have to be back at the home every night?

By the way, nice uniforms. I didn’t realize it referred to the Massachusetts statehouse. Oliver Wendell Holmes visited it and called it the center of the solar system. Clearly, Mr. Holmes has never been to Chicago on a weekend.

Look, my favorite hockey player out of Boston isn’t Bobby Orr or anyone else. It’s Oliver Barrett IV. Stud hockey player out of Harvard, played brilliantly by Ryan O’Neal in Love Story. Hey, love means never having to say you’re sorry. And I won’t.

Hey, if not for this Cup thing, we’re equals. You have Fenway, we have Wrigley. You had the Garden, we had the Stadium. You had the Celtics dynasty, we had Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

We had Al Capone, you had Whitey Bulger.

How about pop culture? You have Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. We have the Belushis, Bill Murray and Vince Vaughn. Yours are prettier. Ours are funnier. We win.

It does bother to me to no end that you guys ended up with the football dynasty Chicago should have had. Sure, we got Mike Ditka and the theatrics. You guys got Bill Belichick and the titles. Your quarterback is spotless, represents the franchise and league beautifully. Ours is the grumpiest, unlikable dude on the planet. Trade you?

Back to hockey. We have the fast skaters, you have the goalie and defense. We may be prettier, you might be tougher. Plus, I love saying “Tuukka!”

I really don’t know who wins this.

Wait. Yes I do. Hockey fans everywhere.

Bag Boy is a special contributor for NESN.com from RedEye Sports.

Click here for Mike Cole’s piece >>

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