My father is obsessed with ice hockey. The Boston Bruins are his favorite team and in turn have become the family’s favorite as well. To be frank, I knew nothing about the team nor the sport until the fall of 2011. That year, my brother and my father watched hockey religiously every week. They had exclusive inside jokes and spent time at the dinner table talking about stats and draft picks. I envied their relationship which had improved dramatically over a shared interest. I wanted in. So, I spent hours on Google and Wikipedia. I picked a favorite player, the captain Zdeno Chara. He is 6’9″ just standing and 6’11” on skates. He can hit a puck 106mph, and he can hold your head at arms length and watch you try to reach him with a punch. I read up on all the players. I knew their names, their numbers, and what they looked like in a suit. (If I was going to get into sports, what the men looked like in their Armani and Dolce & Gabbana suits was certainly going to help pique that interest.)
The weeks following, I spent more time watching the games. I began to understand the rules of the game. I really did get into it. I enjoyed spending time with my father and seeing him get so excited about something. As someone who had never seen the appeal in sports, I never shared his passions. As someone who falls asleep in every musical ever, he couldn’t share in mine either. For the first time, we were all three– father, brother, and myself– invested in a team together. We watched every game together. We wore our jerseys on game days. That year, the Boston Bruins made it to the playoffs. And won! My mother and sister had flown to India to visit family that winter. So, it was just the three of us watching the Stanley Cup final game. We jumped with every goal. We screamed at every call. And I’m pretty sure I saw my dad tear up when Chara raised that cup over his head. Then to celebrate, we drove down to the only place that was open, McDonald’s, and drank milkshakes.
The Bruins mean a lot to my father and in turn mean a lot to me. “Unless someone dies or the Bruins lose, there’s no reason to cry,” he always says.