The nature of rooting for a sports team is, by itself, irrational.
Knowing that frees us to embrace the beauty that is the tapestry of an individual’s experience which leads them to invest even a shred of emotional currency towards sports rooting. As Red Wings fans, we all share a common end point to fandom which serves as a beginning to a whole realm of shared experiences which enrich us. There is not one true way to fan and the only key to entry for this house is a love for the Red Wings.
That said, if you’re in my house and are really excited about this Stanley Cup Final between Boston and St. Louis, try not to chew on the furniture or pee on the floor.
I fully appreciate that there are large swaths of us with some personal anecdote that leads them to the ability to feel happiness for one of these teams or the other. I’m even sure that there’s at least one or two out there who really does have a great reason for being happy either way. In a way, I’m envious of that, because without those personal experiences all I’m left with is a bitter taste and a sour smell over having to choose a rooting interest. If you’re like me, then you’re who I wrote this for. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of choosing each team:
Detroit’s newer, hotter division rival and the third-best team in the NHL’s regular season, Boston took seven games to get past Toronto, dispatched Columbus in six, and then swept Carolina out of the Eastern Final to get here.
The Good: Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara are honestly fun to root for. Torey Krug is a good Michigan boy if you’re into that thing. Baked beans are better than toasted ravioli. Objectively, the Bruins have this reputation as a hard-nosed team but their play doesn’t particularly fit that. The Bruins play a skill game and, if you can look past the nose producing a great deal of that skill, the puck-movement coming from this team can be pretty fun to watch. Finally, while for myself it would be unpleasant, knowing David Backes skating the cup around in front of his old team would sit bitterly with both Blues and Blackhawks fans would warm me.
The Bad: Aside from being from North America’s least-sufferable sports city (don’t @ me, Toronto), the Bruins aren’t exactly an all-beautiful group of gents who play hockey “the right way.” I don’t feel I have to explain what a dirty shitstain Brad Marchand is, but his antics tend to overshadow a lot of dirty work from others. They’ve already won a cup in this decade and their homer press-corps is awful. Aside from this, the crowing out of the second least-sufferable sports city about how they “took the champs to seven” would just be the avocado slice to finish off the shit sandwich that would be Boston winning the Cup again.
St. Louis Blues
Detroit’s older second-tier division rival spent time at the bottom of the NHL standings (which anybody talking about them being in the final, myself included, is contractually obligated to mention at some point). St. Louis knocked off Winnipeg in six, Dallas in seven, and San Jose in six to win the West.
The Good: The team that hasn’t won a cup ever, let alone in the last decade would be the more-interesting outcome, as would the storyline about how at one point this year they were dead-last in the league. In thinking of all the old-guard shithearts that always made me hate St. Louis, they’re pretty much all gone (except Steve Ott being behind their bench now). Just like with the Backes thing, knowing Blackhawks fans would be upset by the Blues winning the Cup would help me a bunch, as would my ability to make endless jokes about how at least ONE team that’s been trying to win a Cup since 1967 could finally get that accomplished. Mostly, they’re not Boston.
The Bad: Blues fans get largely (and well-deservedly) overlooked being in flyover country, but man that group is basically Boston fans wearing Dickies coveralls. Much like the other side of the state, the best part of St. Louis isn’t even in Missouri. The Blues winning would severely cut the sting of reminding them of the Yzerman OT goal and would be the SECOND little-brother team to the Red Wings to win the cup since Detroit was last a threat to win one themselves. Did I mention Steve Ott is behind their bench?
In looking for additional angles, I took some input from some of our other writers and here’s what they had to say:
Mike: The schadenfreude of watching the Wings’ second biggest rival struggle for nearly 50 years, only to watch them fall, is the best reason I can think of for rooting for Boston
Lauren: But also: fuck Boston
Peter: I guess the best reason I could have for wanting Boston to win is that it will minimize the amount of times I hear that awful Gloria song.
There you have it. Go [uncomfortably long pause followed by ominous gurgling noises and finally culminating in five full minutes of vomiting] Blues!
This poll is closed