Saturday, October 21, 2006

Once upon a time ago, my 8th grade teacher implored my classmates and I to draw and cut out life-sized paper dolls portraying what we wanted to do when we grew up. Amid the doctors, veterinarians, chefs, and teachers stood a 5' 1" paper cut out of a Boston Bruins forward. That was mine. At the time, I could think of nothing more than being a left wing for the black and gold in another 12 years. Of course, like so many things over the course of twelve years, things change.

So why am I reminiscing about hockey on a Revolution blog? Because it occured to me that, during Saturday night's match, which drew a season-high 19,166 fans, the Revs could actually outdraw the B's home opener Thursday night. You know, the same B's that proclaim Boston as "The Hub of Hockey". To think that ten years ago, the thought of the soccer team outdrawing THE Black and Gold would have been downright blasphemous.

Well my friends, the poppycock of such a thought is now very real. The mighty mighty Bruins were outdrawn (17,565) by the Revs this past week. In fact, as Frank Dell'Apa has reported, the final three matches of the season drew an average of 17,527, contrary to past seasons where Revs attendance usually dips as they head into the final weeks of the season.

This leads to one very plausible scenario: the Revolution becoming Boston's unofficial fourth team. The Revs have been blessed with five consecutive playoff berths, a state of the art home venue, and core of talented players. And although I had previously pointed out the lack of media coverage given to them, the Revs have seemingly gone quietly about their business by putting together a solid foundation that provides affordable, family-friendly sports entertainment. So while the costs of attending a Bruins, Sox, or Pats games for Mom, Dad & the Kids soar well into the hundreds of dollars, your typical family of four can attend a Revs match for under $70 during a number of promotional "Family Nights" that take place during the season.

Many die-hard Bruins fans may give me the ol' one-fingered salute as their rebuttal, and I can't blame them. How dare soccer outdraw hockey. Hockey! The Hub of Hockey, cried a voice! The Bruins have been an institution since the 1920s, and their popularity in '70s, during the Orr, Esposito and Cheevers era, was at an all-time high. They, along with the Celtics, were both the toasts of Beantown. The Red Sox? A perennial joke. The Patriots? That backward former AFL team was more three-ring circus than professional football.

My, oh my, have things changed.

As a former die-hard Bruin fan myself, I can tell you I have been soured by the Bruins front office, with their apparent complacency to cut costs, hope for a playoff berth, and fill the honey mustard yellow seats of the TD BankNorth Garden.

Sure, new management is in place this year that has seemingly refocused its intent on not only winning games, but winning back its fans as well. Like the ex-girlfriend that was nice at first, but stopped cooking, cleaning, scheduling your college courses, washing your clothes, etc, the Bruins have made themselves over, and now, NOW they care about you, and your needs. But it's too late. You've found a much prettier damsel. A damsel that never told you to get off your lazy butt on Sunday afternoon and fix the kitchen sink. No more salisbury steak - I'll have the prime rib.

So with that, I drive along Route 1 in Foxboro, with the Bruins in the rearview mirror of my Acura, on my way to meet up with my new girlfriend in Foxboro.

*Frank Dell'Apa is reporting that both Pat Noonan and Shalrie Joseph are good to go for Sundays playoff match vs. Chricago.

*And no sooner do I complain about the lack of coverage given to the Rves by the Providence Journal, Shalise Manza Young presents us with her take on the upcoming playoff match. You may have to log into the Projo website to read the article.

*Finally, a funny mention of how the Bruins are now battling the Revs for their share of the pie in the New England sports landscape. writer Eric Wilbur states that "the Bruins will remain regressed as a niche sport in the region, competing with the Revolution for the entertainment dollar, never mind the Red Sox and Patriots. " You can read the full article here.

I'll be posting a follow up to tomorrow's Game 1 playoff match...check back in to see what antics I may/may not pull all in the name of superstition, habit, or any other vice that I believe shall benefit our squad.

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