BOSTON (CBS) – I fulfilled my civic obligation on Tuesday, reporting for jury duty.
As I sat there for five very long, quiet hours wondering whether I’d be impaneled, I had plenty of time to decide what I was going to write about. As I gazed around the room, a melting pot of men and women from 18 to 80 were wondering the same thing I was: “when are they going to dismiss us?”
Then, as time passed, strangers started conversations about Tuesday’s special election and the transition Massachusetts will soon go through, and of course, Boston sports. The Bruins, the Patriots, the Red Sox, and the Celtics all dominated the talk, and as I listened, I realized so many cross sections of Boston are evolving right now.
Read: More Of Tracy’s Take
Yes, the Bruins let Lord Stanley slip away after breaking down in the final 76 seconds of Monday night’s Game 6, but the team stepped up when our town really needed them. Nothing can take away the pain of the Marathon bombings, but stringing wins together in the postseason and skating into the Stanley Cup finals certainly helped us smile and cheer again.
While the better team won on Monday, the Bruins led us to our own victory which was a slow recovery from an awful circumstance a few months ago. Chicago set an NHL record with a 24-game unbeaten streak to start the lockout-shortened season and won three straight after falling behind 2-1 in the Finals. Let’s face it, they deserved the cup. The Hawks played harder, they adapted their game, and at times, out-coached the B’s. But, year after year the Bruins have competed for championships and next year will be no different. Sure, the line up may look a little different 13 weeks or so from today thanks to the cap limits imposed by the new CBA, but for those returning, they’ll remember the sting and shock they felt Monday night, and that harsh feeling might be just what they need to inspire them to make another run.
Several prospective jurors were commenting on how the events of the Patriots offseason are pretty hard to ignore. Wes Welker, a key piece of the Pats’ success, is now in Denver. Rob Gronkowski has had multiple surgeries, and the jury is out as to when he’ll return. Personally, I wonder if he’ll return this season, not when.
And, now with Hernandez in the middle of a homicide investigation (he was arrested on Wednesday and released by the Patriots shortly after) who is Brady going to throw the ball to?
And of course, Tim Tebow is now on the team, a signing we’re all still deliberating.
The gentleman I sat next to in the assembly room was reading Terry Francona’s book to pass the time. When I asked him how he was enjoying it so far, he said, “it was better than I expected, kinda like this season.” While I haven’t read the book yet, I couldn’t agree more about the Red Sox season. I never thought in less than a year they’d actually go from worst to first in the AL East. With the spotlight shining on the Bruins for so long, the Sox have quietly been winning games and winning back fans. This might be one case when no publicity is good. If you’re like me and need the CliffsNotes version of their season so far, Peter Abraham had a great piece in Tuesday’s Boston Globe. It’s definitely worth a read– and afterwards, it’s almost like you haven’t missed a game.
As I restlessly wandered around the room, waiting for any sort of update as to how much longer I’d be sequestered there, I only heard one person bring up the Celtics—and he was glad to see Doc Rivers heading to Los Angeles. In fact, he was hoping Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce would follow suit. I’d like to see those two retire as Celtics, but the time is now for Ainge to finally blow up the core of this team and start fresh. But will he do it? Like my day in the courthouse, it’ll be a waiting game to see what happens.
While it’s not sports related, I also considered the transition our city and state will soon witness. Neither Governor Patrick nor Mayor Menino will seek another term, which opens the door for a new legacy to begin—let’s just hope it doesn’t follow the Valentine blueprint.
After being led by the same manager for so long, and one transition year later, the Red Sox seemed to have adjusted quite nicely with Farrell at the helm. The Celtics, too, will introduce a new head coach and likely some new players over the next few months, who will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them both on and off the court. The Pats will deal with transitions of their own and considering the chaos surrounding the team right now, there’s no one better to assuage it than Bill Belichick and company. Hockey season starts in about 13 weeks, and I think we’re all wondering what will happen with the Bruins roster during their short offseason.
From the State house to the field house, the landscape of Boston is changing. Some might be uncertain as to how some of these changes will affect this city’s future success, both on and off the field, but after watching this city come together over the past few months, I don’t think we have anything to worry about. We are Boston Strong.
A lot of people in the radio business call these the ‘dog days of summer.’ Luckily there will be plenty to talk about here in New England.
Tracy Clements is a weekend producer on 98.5 The Sports Hub. You can follow her on twitter at @clementine_12.