Last night was either the best or worst night of my life.
I still haven’t decided.
See…I was at the TD Garden last night. My best friend, a Blackhawks fan, and I decided that this was a once in a lifetime chance and said what the hell, threw our bank accounts to the wind and splurged on $350 last minute tickets yesterday morning.
I was a ball of excitement all day. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. (And the only fun I’d have all summer since I can’t allow myself to spend anymore money.)
And then it was there and it was the craziest, most exciting, most back and forth, high-scoring, amazing saves game I have ever seen. For every time my heart was broken by the silence of a thousand Bruins fans spurred by a puck sneaking past Tuukka Rask, there was another time when a thousand diehard fans flew to their feet simultaneously, high-fiving everyone in sight, waving their flags and just screaming for whoever got one past Crawford. But then the dreaded overtime. I went into panic mode.
Allow me to explain….the last time I witnessed overtime in the TD Garden it was the 2012 Beanpot final game between Boston University and Boston College. BU lost with 6.4 seconds left in overtime. It was heartbreaking. Absolutely devastating. One of the only times I’ve ever cried at a sporting event.
Let me tell you a little something about TD Garden, for those of you who don’t know. When you go in you get to take these fancy little escalators all the way up to the top, even if you’re sitting in the very top balcony section. It’s great. But when you leave, everyone is ushered down these never ending cement stairwells. Down and down and down until you swear to God that there is no way you possibly went up that many flights on your way in. You can’t even imagine how tall that damn building is.
And you know what? I’m sure that descent is the freaking best thing in the world after a Bruins win. But after your team loses, whether it be with 6.4 seconds left in overtime in the Beanpot final or 10:09 left in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, that stairwell is haunting.
It never ends. It’s dead silent. Everyone’s heads just hang as they continue on and on and on. (And then you get the few Eagles fans thrown in there and it really becomes unbearable, but luckily I didn’t have to face that last night.)
That stairwell will forever haunt my nightmares. As soon as we went into overtime last night I started panicking. Major PTSD from the last overtime I had witnessed in that building. But you know what else? I was freaking excited! And that’s the worst part.
I know I saw an awesome game. I know I certainly got my money’s worth with the number of goals scored and the amount of time played. And I know that that’s about as good as it gets for an exciting game of hockey, but it is absolutely impossible for me to see it that way. I honestly think I would rather have seen a 6-0 Blackhawks win than go through that. (Okay, maybe 6-1 so I could experience at least one building-shaking, deafening Bruins goal celebration.)
But that’s the thing. Going into overtime, I was obviously nervous as all hell, but I got excited. Really excited. These are the Bruins. That’s what they do. They fight back again and again during difficult times and always pull through. It’s the Bruins. They are overtime pros and almost never disappoint. And I was there. Most likely the only time I’ll ever get to see a Stanley Cup Final game. How could they not win? What would it be like in this building when that overtime winner slipped past Crawford and the boys in Black and Gold went crazy? How loud would it be as thousands of fans started screaming and jumping up and down and waving their towels and singing that song? THAT would be a once in a lifetime experience.
But as you know, that didn’t happen. Brent Seabrook sent one past Rask 9 minutes and 51 seconds into a nerve-wracking, heart attack-inducing overtime. And that was that. The Garden went silent. Fans leapt from their seats and were halfway out the door in an instant. The Bruins were off the ice before I could blink. And Game 4 was over. My once in a lifetime chance was over.
So I guess I’ll never get to experience the TD Garden go crazy after an overtime win in the Stanley Cup FInals, but I’m still pulling for the chance to experience those boys parade down the streets of Boston in the duck boats past that Boston Marathon finish line. There’s still plenty of hope left for that.
Here’re my pictures from the game:
Marathon victims waving the Boston Strong flag and the giant Bruins flag getting sent around the stadium.
Rene Rancourt singing the National Anthem.
I guess I can keep being his friend for now. As long as the boys in Black and Gold are holding that Cup over their heads by the end of all this.
It really was a great experience. I know that. And it cheered me up a little bit to get home and scroll through Twitter and see all the ‘WHAT IS THIS GAME’ and ‘holy hockey!’ and ‘what is happening?’ Tweets. And I mean, I did get to see Tyler Seguin of all people lay someone out.
But it still seems like every awesome memory I had from last night, at least for right now, is still somewhere back at the top of that long, slow, never ending descent down the cement stairs in the back of the TD Garden.