My son Frack and Boston Bruins great Cam Neely (Bruins Vice President) at Fenway Park's Winter Classic, January 1, 2010
Picture the scene:
Historic Fenway Park; one time home to The Babe and Ted, hosting two of the NHL's original teams on it's fields, The Big Bad Boston Bruins and The Philiadelphia Flyers. They dubbed it The Winter Classic. Fenway's storied field was transformed into a rare winter wonderland, complete with NHL regulation boards, jumbo-trons, black and gold everything invading the green monster of Fenway, and thanks to Mother Nature, just the right amount of snow from the day before, covering all the right things.
It was the kind of scene that made grown men teary and young children's eyes wide with hope and wonder. For those who were lucky enough to attend, scoring, by far, the most ridiculously expensive ticket in town, it was money well spent and memories made that you could never put a price on. It was a once in a lifetime.
And neither Fenway or The Boston Bruins disappointed. It was a classic alright, from the vintage Boston logo-which was chosen by Bruins VP Cam Neely, from the 1939 team, to Coach Claude Julien's old-time fedora, worn on the bench. Everything seemed perfect. Watching the team you love play outside in the elements brought you back to a time when outdoor pond hockey with the neighborhood kids was an every day occurrence. But this time Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron were your neighbors.
The glitterati were there too, never ones to miss an event as big as the Super Bowl, bundled up in their fur to watch the game. Boston die hards like Dennis Leary and Lenny Clarke to name a few. After the ceremonious pre-game, it was time for the main event.
The game dragged on for almost two periods, scoreless, while both teams over passed and over played each other into, dare I say, boredom. Philly scored early in the second and that's was about all that happened for a while. In fact, it looked like the B's were going home winless and the game itself would pale in comparison to it's setting. But, folks, this is Boston, a sports city first, and this game ended up being one to remember when Boston's Mark Recchi scored the tying goal with 2:14 left to play.
Suddenly the Fenway faithful, who had just belted out "Sweet Caroline" in fine seventh inning tradition, were awakened. It suddenly became a game and just when everyone thought it couldn't get any better, the B's went into extra-innings. In the crowning glory of every Bruins fans dreams, Marco Sturm scored the game winner in sudden death OT and everything was right in the universe or The Nation.
"It's great. It's what we dream of," Sturm said after the game.
Indeed, so many dreams came true that special day on the hallowed fields of 4 Yawkee Way.