Over the years I've been told I had blinders on, called a Jacobs apologist, etc. And it's true that I think being a fan means standing by the team through thick and thin. That can mean finding something to cheer for in the triumphs of a single player when winning as a team is elusive, or in a single victory when the playoffs are beyond reach. And it means that I derive no pleasure in angry rants against the players, coaches, management, or ownership. It's likely the reason I feel this way is that I was not born to the Bruins. They were never my team because Boston was the city I lived in. I did not inherit them from my father. Long ago I consciously chose the Bruins as my team; they did not choose me. I don't feel they owe me a Stanley Cup run every year.
But even I have my limits! All I've ever asked for was effort. Win or lose, just do your best and I'll be satisfied. That is my personal pact with my team.
Forget the score last night. Forget the opponent. What I can't get out of my mind is players standing around; defensemen looking like fence posts as opponents swirl past them; goaltenders literally surrounded by opposing players.
Is this how it's going to end? After everything they've been through all year? After bouncing back big again and again when they suffered a setback. After fighting through injuries that mixed up lines and brought up young players from Providence who would rise to the challenge? Are they going to just give up, becoming last years team again, proving the nay sayers right all along?
I was so angry after last night's "effort" that I told my wife that I thought the players should be forced to stand outside the Garden and personally write refund checks to everyone who attended.