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Live-Blogging the Parade

Saturday, June 18, 2011, 13:37 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

[Monday 06/20/2011: As usual, click on the pictures to view larger.]

[Sunday 06/19/2011: Added pictures and some clarifying remarks, and edited some typos.]

The Bruins Stanley Cup Rolling Rally is nigh! I’ll post updates as they occur, as long as my BlackBerry battery holds out. Which reminds me, I really should buy a spare…

9:12 – Arrive at Worcester’s Union Station. Black, Gold, and white everywhere. Most of these people have never ridden the MBTA commuter rail and never will again.

9:23 – The conductor must be a Marine drill sergeant. She isn’t taking any crap from anybody. Not that anyone is giving it top her, but she’s pre-emptively asserting her authority. Good thing, because about 75% of the passengers look to be under 21 and pumped. (The other 25% are over 21 and pumped.)

9:27 – The Den Mother’s Mother texted me at 8:10 to tell me that the parade route is already mobbed. By the time I get there, I’ll be lucky to see anything over the crowd. Oh well, there are worse things, like the parade could be happening in Vancouver instead.

Commuter rail

The 9:25 train from Worcester

9:33 – Finally pulling out of the station, 8 minutes later than scheduled. My friend Ruth and her grandson were going to get on this train at the next stop, but she actually got onto an unscheduled extra train. It must have been like this for the Red Sox’ 2004 parade too, but I left for that one at 5:30 and missed the later bedlam.

10:00 – Just got a Facebook message from Jake, who is in Boston for cancer treatment. His apartment is a stone’s throw from the Garden and he has a bird’s eye view. Meanwhile, I’m so excited, I could pee.

MBTA commuter rail discount ticket

MBTA commuter rail discount ticket for parade day

10:10 – The T printed nice commemorative tickets for today. Ordinarily, I’d complain about something like this as a waste of tax dollars, but in the case I’ll make an exception.

10:23 – Trying to add a pic, but it isn’t working. I’ll add them later.

10:44 – DMM just texted the following, which she heard on WBZ:

Notice: Cell phones may not work near parade route today due to excessive calls & transmission of photos.

So if you don’t see any updates, that’s why.

10:51 – Train now running 19 min late. Still 4 stops away.

11:15 – Just past Yawkey Station, I see planes flying overhead towing Herb Chambers banners. Tacky advertising!

11:18 – The GoodYear blimp is here.

Back Bay Station

Fans from the Worcester train leave Back Bay Station

11:19 – We’re finally pulling into Back Bay.

[The following posts were written as the events happened but couldn’t be uploaded in real time due to overloaded networks.]

The Den Mother, a face in the crowd

The Den Mother, a face in the crowd

11:37 – Down near Copley with the teeming masses. I’m pretty sure it’s only in the 70s, but it feels like 90+. The sweat is dripping down my back. And that concludes the “Eeeewwww!” Comment of the day.

In spite of all that, I had the presence of mind to have someone take my picture, just to prove I was really there.

[Added: Some crowd shots looking in all directions from where I was standing.]

Parade crowd at Copley SquareParade crowd at Copley SquareParade crowd at Copley SquareParade crowd at Copley Square

11:48 – Managed to worm my way through to the crowd until I got to a spot maybe 20 feet from the street. I’m listening to The Sports Hub, talking about how someone scratched the letters off the street sign at Vancouver Street. Hee hee!

Looking across the street

Looking across Boylston Street. The guy in gray in the middle is near my side of the street.

11:49 – Just heard that at Government Center, Zdeno Chara climbed down his Duck Boat with the Cup to mingle with the crowd.

11:55 – Damn, it’s hot. Some guy (young, maybe mid-20s) is trying to squeeze his way through to the back of the crowd. His face is so red that it looks like he’s going to explode.

Hey, I just realized that I have two of those blue plastic ice packs in my insulated bag to keep the burgers cold. (I’m going to a pot luck barbecue here in Boston this afternoon and offered to bring some hamburger patties, before I realized I’d be standing in the sun for hours.) Anyway, I don’t think I’ll ruin the meat if I take one of those ice packs and press it against my forehead, neck, chest…

12:04 – I’m now sharing the ice pack with two women I’ve been chatting with. I’m just about their best friend right now.

12:07 – The Sports Hub is replaying some audio from the rally. Chara handed the cup to Cam Neely. Mark Recchi mentioned the team practicing together, losing together, drinking together, winning together. Brad Marchand was doing the “black and yellow” chant rap, rather pathetically, which was hilarious. Claude thanked the other Boston coaches/manager by name for their support and talked about feeling like he is now really part of the club.

Painted face buy

Not a great job of face-painting, but the intention was good

12:19 – Apparently the guys have finally shaved. Someone is saying that Marchand looks like a teenager. Some of that facial hair was fugly.

12:23 – Parade should be here any minute. Meanwhile, I’m noticing that almost everyone has some kind of Bruins apparel or at least Bruins colors. Never knew there were this many Bruins shirts in all of New England. One guy standing near me has paint on his cheeks. But what’s up with the Rockies hat?

12:26 – People are watching from the windows of a building across Boylston Street (looks like apartments above the stores) and on the roof of another. I’m sure it’s more comfortable up there, but I’d rather be down here close to the action.

Chara, Thomas, and the Stanley Cup

Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas, and Lord Stanley

12:35 – The parade is here! A Boston police cruiser is leading the way. Chara and Tim Thomas are on the first Duck Boat. Chara is holding the Cup high for all to see. Thomas is grinning like a little girl! Chara has shaved but Thomas hasn’t, which I gather from earlier radio comments makes him a rarity. I don’t see the Conn Smythe trophy, maybe because it isn’t a team trophy. The Prince of Wales trophy is on the next boat.

The Prince of Wales Trophy for the Eastern Conference champions

The Prince of Wales Trophy for the Eastern Conference champions

Each boat has a few players riding on top, with members of their families either with them or sitting underneath. Placards with the names of the players on each boat are on the sides. It looks like there are also players on the other side of the boats to be seen by people on the other side of the street.

Daniel Paille and John Bucyk's boat

Daniel Paille and John Bucyk's boat

The Chief, John Bucyk, is on board! The Sports Hub predicted this earlier this morning because he works with the team.

Need to take pics now as each boat passes. I’ll post them here tomorrow.

Confetti machine

Confetti machine

12:39 – One of the boats has a giant confetti machine! Black and gold confetti, big pieces, maybe an inch and a half, like what they had at the Red Sox 2004 parade. But it was chilly and rainy that day. I grabbed a handful and stuffed it in my pocket.

Chris Kelly's misspelled placard

Excuse me, but it's K-E-L-L-Y

12:40 – Chris Kelly’s name is misspelled with an extra “e” on his placard. He spells it the right way, like I do :), and there are few things more annoying to me than when someone doesn’t bother to double-check the spelling. Whoever didn’t proofread the placards properly should be smacked upside the head.

And the boats keep coming…

[Note: The Duck Boats are amphibious vehicles with wheels used for driving along city streets. The brightly colored vehicles are used for guided tours around Boston. But when the city decided to have a “Rolling Rally” for the Red Sox in 2004, allowing more people to see the festivities, they also went into the Charles River for the end of the parade. Every Rolling Rally since then has been only on the roadways.]

Milan LucicMichael RyderAdam McQuaidAnton KhudobinBrad Marchand, Steve KampferAssistant Coach Geoff Ward and Patrice BergeronMatt BartkowskiJohnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg

12:46 – Patrice Bergeron gets a HUGE ovation!

Some of the players have been taking pictures or video, but mostly the family members seem to be doing that.

Boston Fire Department brings up the rear

Boston Fire Department brings up the rear

12:52 – And just like that, it’s over, a Boston fire truck bringing up the rear. Everyone is in good humor and patiently making their way in various directions: to the subway, the train station, down the streets and sidewalks.

I’m not sure how it was elsewhere on the route, but all seemed peaceful here. I didn’t see any fights or overtly drunken behavior, and not a single overturned car ;). The only problems I’ve seen were the guys climbing the tree I was standing under, including one jumping up and down on the branch. I gave him a piece of my mind. I believe the words “Cut the shit” escaped my lips. Hey, if he had fallen, he’d have fallen on ME.

Funky hat from Fan Fest

Funky Fan Fest hat

Noticing more of the apparel now. I’ve never seen a hat like this one, a sort of black and gold camo tam, which the wearer told me he got at Fan Fest. That explains why I haven’t seen them on sale in stores. I also saw a homemade poster that I couldn’t grab a pic of: “Luongo is in the paint. Thomas is in the parade.” Indeed.

Well folks, that’s all she wrote. I’m off to visit my old college friends, then off to the rooftop barbecue before catching a 4:30 train back to Worcester.

This was so much fun, I think we should do it again next year.

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