Monday, May 5, 2014

Bob Lobel: The Greatest Rivalry in Sports


By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

There is no better rivalry in sports as we know them. 

This does not include croquet playing countries and riot causing English football.  They might as well be a world away and we don’t care about them now anyways. We are in the middle of our legend creating moments. What that means is simple the possibility of every moment of any game is fodder for all time legendary status that automatically becomes part of the cultural language.

For instance: “Too many men on the ice!” 

The minute any part of the fan culture hears that, they absolutely know it’s a throwback moment from a Boston/Montreal playoff game that had disastrous consequences for the black and gold.

The P.K. Subban ugliness might become a legend of sorts, but that is such a product of the down side of social media. Its only redeeming quality is that most recognize the offensiveness of the accusations, and the forgiveness from the Montreal locker room from Subban himself. He has become kind of a Bill Laimbeer of hockey, except Subban has remarkable talent and intelligence. 

The similarities are simply a function of laundry. If either one were playing for a Boston team they would be heroes. So the laundry they are wearing or wore makes them villains of the highest order. 

Ah rivalries! 

They make us forget so many things that weigh us down, at least for the duration of the contested series. We do realize that no matter what happens in this latest Montreal/Boston meeting, there will likely be another one next year. One thing I could never figure out was that fact is totally ignored.

Ok, the Red Sox are world champions and everything that comes with it, but it really is an illusion because this time next year, there will likely be another world champion. Gee, that didn’t last long, did it? There is a caveat to last year because of the Boston Marathon-Red Sox connection. 

But under usual circumstances, it’s “what have you done for me lately?” Even this year’s Red Sox are not immune.  Nick Cafardo hit the nail on the head in a Globe column by pointing out that, although the season is in very early stages,  the “it” that seemed to drive last year’s team has gone missing. 

Yes, this team is definitely missing something. To squander so many chances as they did on Sunday at home against Oakland was just incomprehensible. Certainly, if being a world champion means anything, there has to be some carry over.  It still has lots of time to show up but it has become noticeable. 

Just thank the Bruins and Montreal for the rivalry show they are putting on for the rest of us. We will get back to the Sox soon enough, and if the hockey gods stop providing us with enough distraction, there is always the upcoming NFL holy day known as the draft. 

There is so much advance information that is pap and just idle speculation that it has become nauseating.  Just tell me who the Patriots took and how they did compared to others. Also know this, replacing Tom Brady is now their number one priority. They can talk all they want about next year and Super Bowls, but unless they find the next guy to play Tom Brady’s position, no matter what haircut he has, then you can forget the every year domination we have enjoyed since 2001. 

This is their mission statement: Find his replacement. Maybe not right this moment, but it has to be front and center in every decision they make. 

Ok, let’s get some ice down and take the Bruins in 6. 

1 comment :

Franny Gallagher said...

I agree cept the Broonz in 7...