Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Win It For Martin

Ever since the Boston Marathon bombings, my Twitter and Facebook avatar hasn't been the usual Boston Bruins logo, or San Francisco Giants logo or even an in-action picture of me playing golf.  It's been a photo of Martin Richard--the 8-year old boy killed in one of the blasts.

I came across the picture while scanning stories on the bombings days after the events.  In it Martin is at TD Garden--standing down near the glass.  He has on a Bruins cap and a Bruins sweatshirt--along with a big, toothy grin that you'd expect on an 8-year old spending a day with Dad at the hockey game. 

To me, that photo really humanized the Boston tragedy.  A lot of times you see photos or videos of victims and you don't really feel any connection to them.  But seeing Martin in his Bruins gear at the game really touched me.  Here was a little guy that shared the same love for the greatest team in hockey with me.  Hell, he could have been my son (and I've had a few people ask me if that is a picture of my son--I wish I could say it is).  And so I decided to make that my avatar, so that every time I'm on Facebook or Twitter it reminds me (and my followers and friends) of what was really lost on Patriots Day.  Martin was going to stay until the Bruins were eliminated from the Playoffs.

And a couple of weeks ago, it looked I would be posting a new picture--as the B's were sleepwalking through a game 7 loss to Toronto in the first round.  But then came a miracle third period rally--followed by an overtime goal--and the Bruins survived.  Since then, the team has been dominant--winning eight out of their next nine games.  And now the B's open up the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.

When the Bruins won the Cup in 2011--I felt like the win was for all of us long-suffering fans who had remained loyal through a 39-year championship drought that included a few close calls.  Martin Richard was 6 when Boston hoisted the Cup that night--probably too young to appreciate what it all meant.  But by 8 you start remembering the players names--and sitting through a whole game is less of a challenge--so a championship this year would have been even more special for him.

I hope the Bruins can bring home the Stanley Cup this month in honor of Martin Richard.

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