With the recent boom of hockey in the Northeast I feel that it is my duty to break down the Bruins fan. I wrote a post a very long time ago for Something’s Bruin about how the Bruins fan is becoming the Red Sox fan pre-2004. Much like the Red Sox, the Bruins crowd is starting to change a little bit. Before the Bruins 2008-2009 season, the Shawmut Center/FleetCenter was full of people who could talk about a hockey game at length. They knew the ins and outs of the game and while the teams were being bounced in the first round of the playoffs and drafting guys like Joe Thornton, Hannu Toivonen, and Lars Jonsson (all first round picks, respectively).
While some people were writhing in agony about the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals where Glenn Wesley was missing open nets, others had no idea what the hell was going on with the black and gold. When Joe Thornton was blowing playoffs series and playing the role of ghost, most had no idea who the hell Joe Thornton was.
It wasn’t until 2008 that a lot of people started paying attention to the Bruins. It’s a pretty broad statement, sure, but it is also a fact. Once the playoffs started rolling and Boston was the top dog in the East, people really put on their black and gold shades and started to pay attention. The good thing is that it really made the Bruins prolific again on the Boston sports scene. People started wearing memorabilia. People started to talk about regular season games and training camp as opposed to just talking about the playoffs. The bad thing is that it mad ticket prices go up and made it harder for people to go to games. It also brought in a lot of “puck bunnies”.
Per urbandictionary.com: from canadian slang. a woman who goes to hockey games for the sole purpose of fucking one of the players.
So for anyone looking to get in to hockey, I am about to do you a major solid. When you look at the fanbase there is basically four major groups. Think of them as the major food groups of Boston hockey.
The Old Timers
The Old Timers are the group that’s been there since Orr was flying through the air (or before). This group of fans was rocking the (Original) Garden since many of us reading this were ever thought up. They saw Bucyk rock the C from 1973-1977. They watched Orr bring a Cup to Boston on a play that will never be replicated. They watched as the Bruins found no names like Pete Peeters and Phil Esposito and turn them in to stars.
These are the guy you’ll find drinking at the Penalty Box before, during and after games. They’re the ones who still smoke at a bar and talk about the good ole days when Terry O’Reilly kicked the shit out of the fans in the stands and Mike Millbury was assaulting people with shoes.
The Old Timers deserve a shit ton of respect because with out them none of us would be watching the Bruins play here. They were the reason that hockey is still in this town. The good thing about the Old Timers is they still yell at the TV, beer in hand, wiping that weird white shit from the corners of their mouth.
The Hardcore is probably the hardest fan to define because so many people believe they are hardcore. I don’t rate hardcore by how many jerseys or signed shit you have because anyone can waste their time with that. Being labeled The Hardcore means you know your shit but you’re not old enough to be an Old Timer. I would say most of The Hardcore “generation” would be from 1990 and on. For most of us, we were 10, 11, 12 and just getting to know what hockey was (if you didn’t play it). For others they’ve been playing it for years and love it.
The Hardcore fan can drink anywhere from their home to Sully’s to the Penalty Box. In fact, sometimes The Hardcore don’t drink at all. If you can speak the game of hockey and have a respect for its rich history (especially in Boston), you’re part of The Hardcore. Here’s a simple test to know if you’re part of The Hardcore:
- Where did the Bruins name come from?
- What were the original colors and where did they come from?
- How many retired numbers are hanging in the rafters?
- Who owns the team?
These questions are easy to The Hardcore because they know their shit.
The Noob can come to this side for a number of reasons.
- They are young.
- They were never introduced (or into) hockey until they met someone else (friend/lover).
The Noob usually hangs out at Sully’s because that’s “where everyone goes”. They may know the usual faces of the past like Orr, Bourque, (Joe)Thornton but will also ask who Byron Dafoe is. They’re not particularly concerned with the Bruins past but will ask a lot of questions and try to get a general feel for the game.
The thing that differentiates The Noob from our next category is that The Noob will eventually morph in to The Hardcore. We were all The Noob at one point.
The Pink Stink
Here we are everyone. This is the category you’ve all been waiting for. The Pink Stinkcame to learn of hockey because of a few reasons:
- The team has drafted someone young and/or attractive (see: Seguin, Lucic).
- The Red Sox, Patriots or Celtics have sucked in the current year.
- The Bruins have made the playoffs.
Usually when the Bruins draft a young guy, the girls all flock to them. Matt Kalman of the Bruins Blog tweeted:
In 2008-2009 the Bruins saw a huge influx in fandom and it was because Boston made the playoffs at the number one seed. What happened in The Pink Stink allowed Bruins management to up their ticket prices because there people at it up. The Pink Stink also felt it was appropriate to wear pink things to the Garden. The Boston Garden, new or old, is a pink free zone.
How can you figure out who belongs to The Pink Stink? Well it is easy. Usually the person is decked out in TONS of Bruins gear that has the name of a recent player on it. Lately I’ve seen a lot of Kampfer jerseys *hint hint*. You must head caution though, there are some of The Hardcore that may look like The Pink Stink, but they aren’t.
The Pink Stink is also easily offended when you call them on their Stink. Also, they’re dumb cunts who kick holes in walls and idiots who do the wave at the Garden. That was the Stinkiest fucking crowd I’ve ever seen. Whoever did that wave should jump off the fucking Tobin Bridge.