With the 2014 NHL playoffs set to get underway this week, we present to you the highlight of Boston sports in 2013: the Bruins epic 4-1 comeback in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Easily the most amazing game I’ve ever seen to date. Relive it through the eyes of Toronto Maple Leaf fans, and see how it compares to the Boston Red Sox collapse in 2003 against the New York Yankees.
Even though the Boston Bruins have turned their attention to destroying the New York Rangers, I’m still not entirely over their game seven win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I don’t know if I ever will be.
One group of people who can’t possibly be over it are Leafs fans. See, Bruins fans have the luxury of knowing their team will make the playoffs every year. They did make it 29 straight years after all. So we take it for granted. I watched every game from home because it’s just a first round series. Plenty more where that came from. I’ll start getting together with local boobs from Worcester once they start playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Even if we lose we still have the Pats, and maybe even the Red Sox.
Not Leafs fans though. This was their first playoff series in nine years! They haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, when there a grand total of SIX teams in the NHL. So yea, these poor people had a lot invested in this series. You would too if all you had to look forward to in the offseason was the Blue Jays and the Raptors.
One of these lost souls decided that the Leafs would win game seven and wanted to capture the memories of the FIRST ROUND win so they could watch it on repeat for the next nine years when they don’t make the playoffs. Unfortunately it really, really backfired. Here’s what went down.
This whole thing reminded me my experience watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees in game six of the ALCS. I was a senior in college at UMass. At the Zoo any time the home team won a big game it usually ended in outright debauchery, violence, and mayhem. So you can imagine how badly I wanted that game. For the pink hats out there, it was the game where we were winning 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, and Grady Little kept Pedro Martinez in the game only to see the Yankees tie the score off of him, and win it in the 11th on an Aaron “freakin'” Boone home run.
These poor people. I’ve been there before. Let’s compare our experiences…
3-1 Kessel goal
2013: Dude on the middle couch gets some serious air time complete with Irish Step Dance leg kicks. Girl on the couch is all happy because the boys are happy. She really could give a s*** less and just wants the boys to be happy. Classic “just a friend” babe. I’m still trying to figure out what’s up with the dude next to her who doesn’t stand up with everyone else. Is he trying to lay the pipe? Probably not, she’s a little out of his league. So why isn’t he going nuts too? Also loved the round of high fives from the dude in the Kessel shirt, who totally whiffs on his first one. Things looking good for Leafs fans.
2003: I was doing the same thing when the Red Sox scored three runs in the second inning off of Clemens.
4-1 Kadri goal
2013: The dude with the vertical gets AT LEAST 40 inches off the ground, especially since he’s clearly a semi-overweight Canadian slob. Still trying to figure out the dude next to the babe on the couch. He’s just pounding water like a boss. Dude on the right hand couch with the #19 jersey starts texting, presumably about the after party.
2003: Kevin Millar hits a home run in the 4th inning, putting the Red Sox up 4-0. Me and a bunch of dudes start high have similar reaction to Toronto fans as Roger Clemens is pulled out of the game.
4-2 Horton goal
2013: New girl has emerged in the room, and she ain’t watching the game because she’s too busy texting up a storm. But who is she texting? What could possibly be more important in Toronto than this game right now? Or is she just relaxed? Figures with only 10 minutes left in the game it’s too little, too late for the Bruins. The dudes in the room are not so relaxed. Their reactions were like mine when Wes Welker dropped the ball in the Super Bowl. This wasn’t nearly as bad though as the Welker drop though, because the Welker drop gave the ball right back to the Giants with a free shot to win the Super Bowl. This goal? Big deal, still up two. It’s like they knew what was coming next…..
2003: Bottom of the seventh, 4-1 Red Sox. Jason Giambi hits a solo home run off of Pedro, his second of the game. Our reaction was kind of similar but, slightly more optimistic. I thought the Red Sox would choke, but I figured it would be in the World Series.
4-3 Lucic goal
2013: There’s only 1:30 left in the game, the Leafs are up two and these guys were watching the TV like the score was tied. Three of them are relentlessly biting their nails prior to the Lucic goal. If this were Boston people we’d all be standing up going nuts because we knew we were going to win. It’s like these guys KNEW exactly what was about to transpire.
Side note at this point: the girl who was texting before is now suddenly interested in the game. She knows what’s at stake here. If the Leafs hold on the party scene will be good tonight and she’ll be getting AMCAP. The other girl looks upset at first, and then smiles because after all, she’s a girl so she’ll be over this in five seconds. Dude pounding water needs some Doritos. Cocked.
2003: Unlike the Toronto boys I wasn’t worried when the Red Sox were up 5-2. I was calling people up, planning on going to the inevitable riots in the Southwest dorms.
Bottom of the 8th, 5-3 Red Sox. Two on, one out. Jorge Posada at the plate against an obviously tired Pedro. Grady Little walks out to the mound, and slowly walks back to the dugout
4-4 Bergeron goal
2013: They totally knew this was coming, and I totally know the feeling. The girl who was texting covers her mouth at first, then she starts to smile. I think I’ve figured out who she was texting: her Bruins booty call. She knows it’s going to be a good night at this point.
2003: Of course Posada hits a two run double. It just had to happen. This was the Red Sox and of course we’re cursed. I thought we had a 5% chance of winning at this point. I think even these Toronto fans were more optimistic than us.
5-4 Bergeron goal
2013: Where the hell did all these people come from? Were they all taking massive dumps during the third period? Seriously, water boy has a random blonde on his lap, there’s a standing room only section, and the text-master babe all of a sudden has a Leafs sweater on with second grade-style folded hands.
The reactions to the goal were just awesome. Loud swearing, followed by synchronized face in hands while thrusting back on couches. “How?!!” You can literally see their hearts being broken into pieces.
The little message there at the end best illustrates the difference between Toronto and Boston fans. They’re upset but optimistic. Young team, get em’ next year.
2003: I remember when Aaron Boone hit that God damn home run. Twelve dudes in a room. One starts smashing chair. One starts punching wall. Everyone else walks out of the house in silence by themselves. No parting words. Nothing. No riots. No parties. Just silence. And you certainly didn’t see any Red Sox fans talking about next year. Why would we? The 2004 Red Sox would just let us down again. Next year would just be more of the same right?
What was your 2003 Red Sox reaction like compared to these Torontonians? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments to keep the conversation going.