Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day 275: 2013 Boston Sports Stories Thrilled and Chilled

What a year, what a year! For us Boston sports fans, 2013 both thrilled us and chilled us. There were things that happened that we'd like to forget... and things we want to hold onto as long as we can. There were things that happened that made us cry, laugh, cheer and cringe. 2013 ran the gamut of emotions—from the darkest of days with the Boston Marathon bombing to the highest of highs with the World Series Championship. 

The year began on a somewhat low note with the New England Patriots losing to those annoying Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game. A low point for sure since there's nothing worse than having to watch that douche bag murderer, Ray Lewis, celebrate. 

The year only got lower when tragedy struck at the Boston Marathon finish line where three were killed and countless others horribly maimed. And then things got even lower as the terrorists responsible for such a grisly act shut down the city of Boston while law enforcement searched for them and subsequently killed one and caught the other surviving monster. I don't remember ever seeing photos are eery as those of empty Boston streets.

And then some more bad news. After the Patriots sadly let Wes Welker go to the Broncos, tight end and key member of the offense, Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder. Well... shit. DUI is one thing...assault is little more serious...but murder is a whole different ball game. The Patriots promptly released him and he still sits in prison awaiting his trial, most likely in late 2014. I know there's that whole innocent until proven guilty crap, but I'm going out on a limb and saying Hernandez won't know life outside the prison walls for a long, long time...if ever.

Boston was in need of some good news... 

The Boston Bruins were inspiring in 2013. From the thrilling seven game series with the Toronto Maple Leafs that the Bruins won in overtime...to the four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins, many thought they were a team of destiny. But unfortunately, the Chicago Blackhawks had other ideas. Not even the valiant play of Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron, both skating injured, could boost the Bruins to their second Cup in three years. But man...it was a fun ride to watch!

And while the Bruins were skating their asses off, the Boston Red Sox were quietly putting together a respectable season of their own. Not much was expected from a team that had such a disgraceful previous year and then didn't really make any huge off-season moves. They signed a couple of "good clubhouse guys" to short contracts and hoped for the best. And BEST was what they got! That group of bearded men surprised us all with gutsy performances and some clutch hitting to with the World freaking Series! There was a time when I wasn't sure I would ever see my beloved Sox as Champions and now it has happened three times. Yay!

What would the World Series win be without the Duck Boat parade. The season came full circle with the team pausing at the Boston Marathon finish line for a quick moment to remember those who were affected by the bombing with the World Series trophy, the 617 Red Sox jersey and of course, an emotional rendition of God Bless America. A perfect ending to an amazing season that was so deeply impacted by the tragedy back in April.

So long, 2013... and here's hoping that 2014 is filled with more thrills than chills! Happy New Year!!

PS: I now enter the final quarter of my Balls of All Sizes quest—just 90 days left!

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