Jonah Keri is a writer. He's a good writer. He's become a very big name in the past few months, thanks to his book, "The Extra 2%," which breaks down the Tampa Bay Rays' financial miracle of the past few years. Keri has accomplished a lot and deserves a good amount of respect.
But even the best can be wrong.
That's precisely what Keri is in his GQ article, titled "The Boston Bruins Vs. The World." The subhead reads "Why everyone — yes, everyone — outside of Boston is rooting against the Bruins in this year's Stanley Cup Finals. And why the city deserves nothing less."
Keri makes this assessment based on the fact that Boston sports fans are spoiled. With the Patriots winning three Super Bowls, the Red Sox twice winning the World Series this decade and the Celtics joining the party in 2008, Bostonians have been to more championship parades in a decade than many sports fans experience in a lifetime.
Where he's wrong: "The vast, vast, vast majority of Bruins fans are also Sox fans, C's fans, and Pats fans. … We feel for the 12 Bruins fans who've shunned the city's other franchises and waited nearly 40 years for their shot."
Sure, there are some folks who love all their teams equally, but there's just no match in this city than a Bruins diehard. Men and women permanently etch Black and Gold tattoos onto their bodies all across New England. They could care less about basketball and baseball, calling both sports boring and full of soft players that wouldn't last 3 seconds on the ice. They hold Bobby Orr to a higher regard than any other human being (and some deities) to ever walk the planet. They've spent, in some cases, their entire lives rooting for a team that's never won.
That team is now two wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup, an event that would fulfill the sports lives of millions of fans who never thought they'd see it happen.
Keri also gets downright rude.
"You sound like the douchebag who [complains] 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," he wrote.
Nobody's going to say that Bruins fans are always the most civil or reasonable folks, but hoity-toity rich folks from the Hamptons? You couldn't be any further off.
Keri also assumes quite a bit regarding fans from both the U.S. and Canada. He shares the laundry list of strikes against the Canucks from the first three games of the series alone — the bite, the taunt, "The Hit" — but says that despite all that, everyone hates the Bruins.
"And you know what? We're still not rooting for you," he wrote. "No one in Canada wants you to win, of course. Not when a Canadian team might bring the Cup back home for the first time in 18 years. But U.S. hockey fans aren't behind you either. There's none of that (slightly weird) national pride here. Flyers fans hate Boston. Rangers fans hate Boston. Casual hockey fans in Boise or Mobile are, at best, indifferent about Boston."
Some of that may, in part, be true. But it's not universal. I've personally had a talk with a Toronto radio host who couldn't have been any clearer in his alliance with the Bruins this week (he honestly might be pulling for Boston more than anyone in this city). He said that given the aforementioned actions by the Canucks, they've become impossible to root for. He made it clear that I need to spread the message that Boston — an Original Six team full of the hard-working, anonymous players described by Keri himself — has become Canada's team. He doesn't speak for everyone, but he's not alone.
And certainly, Mobile, Ala., has nothing to do with the Stanley Cup Final.
Most folks outside of British Columbia found Aaron Rome's hit on Nathan Horton to be a gruesome, violent, intentional hit that targeted the Bruins' best goal scorer. It was a cheap shot, and the NHL's ruling to suspend Rome for the rest of the series proved that.
Quite simply, the Canucks aren't winning many fans — not in Canada, and not anywhere else. Raffi Torres is playing like, well, Raffi Torres, avoiding punishment for his flying elbow in Game 3 solely because he failed to make contact with his intended target — Johnny Boychuk's face. Henrik Sedin, the team's captain and leader, authored a flop that would make an Italian soccer fan laugh.
Alex Burrows bit a man.
People do not like this stuff.
Nobody roots for the man who bites another man. That doesn't happen.
But still, Keri says that it's just impossible for folks to root for Boston. It's based on … well, it's based on nothing. Maybe it was meant to get a rise out of Boston, and if that was the goal, then bravo. But if it was meant to prove anything, it only assured us that Keri has some work to do if he wishes to continue his newfound career path in sociology.
Keri's hometown, by the way?
That would be Montreal.
Is the world rooting against the Bruins? Share your thoughts below.
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