Postgame Spread
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Time To Break Radio Silence    



I have been protesting the Bruins, in my own inimitable and irrational way, all season long by posting barely a word on them. This despite having watched almost each and every one of their aesthetically displeasing attempts to set the NHL record for overtime losses (the OT loss being the NHL's embarrassing version of an A for effort). I've also resisted, time and again, the frequent, burning urge to defecate dedicate myself towards the noble goal of filling the internet's Bruins-blogging vacuum. I'm moved to celebrate this team, and I stifle every such movement as soon as I can.

Why is that? I'm a hockey puck. I love the Bruins. LOVE them. I should be clogging your bandwidth with unreadably brilliant hockey posts. Nothing would give me greater joy than to see the Bruins win the Stanley Cup. I'd trade all three Patriots Super Bowls for a Cup. I'd see the Celtics embarrassed in a four-game sweep by Atlanta next week, wearing the disaster like a cape, if it meant the Bruins could win it all. I mean that.

In a perfect world, I would have been at tonight's instant-classic Game 6 in person. I would have paid any price. I would have snatched the ticket out of a Habs fan's grubby Canadian fingers (in a peaceful and sterile fashion, of course) to be there. And it would have rocked my balls off, because I love hockey like nothing else.

But it's not a perfect world.

Much as I love the Bruins, I also hate them passionately. Because with every ounce of success the Bruins achieve, and every iota of joy I derive from that success, I'm forced to remember that Jeremy Jacobs is out there, somewhere, benefiting from that success. And that makes me want to puke.

Cackling, arrogant, ragingly Dickensian piece of shit Jacobs, together with his worthless, Rosemary's Baby-type demon spawn of a child, Charlie Jacobs, combine to form a Voltronian of pure evil that goes unchallenged as the very worst ownership group in professional sports. Nobody comes close.

There are many owners, like James Dolan, who beget losing out of their own ignorance and arrogance. There are many others, like Donald Sterling, who maintain a manageable and profitable level of non-talent and sub-mediocrity that persists to the point where the team's fans KNOW that success will not come. Still others, like the vile Jeffrey Loria, dismantle potential juggernauts in order to maintain an even his bottom line.

Jacobs, however, enjoys dismantling 100-point teams in order to go from Filthy Rich to Filthy Stinking Rich. His destruction is never a matter of the bottom line... always the TOP line possible. I cannot think of a single owner in sports who has cried poor, in the face of top-5-leaguewide profits, to the same self-immolating extent that Jacobs has. And no owner I know of, apart from the gutless, cowardly pukes who threaten relocation, has purposely and needlessly destroyed his own fan base more effectively than Jacobs... and then had the gall to wonder, in the media, why he gets no fan support. (Read the Charlie link above. Really.)

Jeremy Jacobs is a man who allowed ALL of his unrestricted free agents to leave town for nothing prior to the 2004 lockout. He did so in order to make sure he wouldn't be on the hook for anyone's paychecks upon re-entry. Of course, the league negotiated a 25% pay cut across the board for all talent under contract, so Jacobs tore the team apart for absolutely no reason. The team still hasn't recovered from this landmark act of fiscal lunacy.

This is a man who allowed perennial Selke contender Dave Poulin, the biggest penalty-kill scoring threat in hockey at the time, to skip town and sign a multi-year deal with Washington... because they offered another $100K or so extra over the course of the deal. He took the offer back to Boston (ahem, ONE OF THE MOST PROFITABLE TEAMS IN HOCKEY) who refused to pay it. This is how the Bruins have conducted business since Buffalo native Jacobs bought the team.

This is a man who took Ray Bourque to arbitration. RAYMOND FUCKING BOURQUE!!! Jacobs instructed the vile, subhuman Harry Sinden to enumerate the ways in which the Bruins' best player, the #2 defenseman in NHL history, and the classiest human being to don the spoked B in my lifetime, was in fact lousy and overpaid. This despite running, again, ONE OF THE MOST PROFITABLE OPERATIONS IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. Couldn't spare a couple bucks for the best defenseman who ever lived not named Bobby Orr. Un. Fucking. Real.

Jacobs has loosened his notoriously-tight purse-strings (and believe me, that's a man with a fucking purse) in recent years, now that a salary cap is in place. He now spends up to the limit. He apparently thinks that's enough to make up for everything. In reality, his is a life sentence without parole. I'll never, ever forgive him for hanging all those Bourque/Neely/Oates juggernauts out to dry, denying them the kind of talent boost that a Cup contender requires. He may have wanted a Cup, but only if he could get it on the cheap.

In my unbiased (ha!) opinion, he is the worst thing about the National Hockey League. Worse than Versus. Worse than the Flyers. Worse than Sean Avery. Worse than points for overtime losses. Jacobs' magnificently thorough cock-suckery has turned the 500-mile radius surrounding Delaware North's corporate headquarters into a vacuum worthy of the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The guy just sucks.

And because Boston fans all grew up with built-in bullshit detectors (say what you I will, but we Massholes know when someone's shitting us), most of us know the score with Jacobs, and have scurried into hiding. See how the Garden is half full of Habs fans in the playoffs? It hasn't got a goddamn thing to do with fan apathy, or the success of the Sox and Pats and Celts. Nothing. Ticket demand being what it is around here, there's more than enough room in this town for four contenders. This city cares. We care so much, in fact, that we refuse to support the team until Jeremy Jacobs sells it.

Our absence, at great personal agony, is the only action remaining for those of us who give a damn about winning a Cup. We simply will not support the Jacobs family during its reign of terror. And rightly not.

That's why I refuse to so much as set foot in the Garden as long as Jeremy Jacobs and the Jacobs family own the Boston Bruins. Swear to God, I wouldn't accept a free ticket. And I sure as shit wouldn't blog about them for free and give them the publicity their players and front office deserve. I'd sooner eat my own penis than give a single, solitary cent to the Boston Bruins.

So... why am I talking about the Bruins?

Because tonight's Game 6 was the best, biggest, and most entertaining hockey game this city has seen since Raymond Bourque sported the spokes. And the fact that it has moved me to break my silence, in spite of all the negatives I've just discussed, should be evidence enough of what a fantastic game it was.

The third period began 2-1 Canadiens, and within 17 minutes it was 5-4 Bruins. Playoff hockey just does not come in that variety (though my buddy Ovie may beg to differ). And as a result, for the first time in the 84-year history of the Bruins and the Canadiens, the B's have stormed back from a 3-1 series deficit to force a Game 7. And for the first time in 2007-08, a season in which they'd lost all eight regular season games to Montreal, the Bruins look like the better team. That alone is worth celebrating.

Now, I'm not sold. This is a bad, bad team. They have no reliable scorers, and their goalie is a 21st-century version of Arturs Irbe. Their brand of hockey is so boring that a Boston victory, a 1-8 upset, is actually a bad thing for the NHL playoffs. And most importantly, every playoff game they host just means more money for the Jacobs family. An upset of this proportion will not undo the past 30 years of active destruction.

But it'd be pretty sweet. And if there's one thing I learned from refusing to watch games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS, it's that I shouldn't let the threat of pain deprive me of the good stuff. This right here, a Game 7 against your mortal enemy, is the good stuff.

Canadiens fold under the pressure. Bruins in 7.

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