Boston and the Bruins: Wicked Awful

This is what Swedish revenge looks like. (Photo credit: Mark Baer, US Presswire)

The playoff series gives Caps fans a chance to learn all about our rivals and the exotic places they come from. For the first of their Stanley Cup travelogue series, the PuckBuddys offer “How To Spot A Bruins Fan” and helpfully explain why living in Boston is worse than gargling with cat litter.  

The Geography of Bad: Let’s just put a few things on the table. Some cities are horrible because of where they are. Tampa comes to mind. Not quite poor enough to be swamp trash, not quite rich enough to be coastal, it’s the worst of Florida compressed into one atomically fetid spot. Or take Winnipeg. God help anyone who has to go to Winnipeg.

Other places aren’t so much insufferable because of where they are, but because of who lives there. Philadelphia, for example, where entire generations have refined the art of being over-privileged and grating. Dallas, which is just about all we need to say about that hole. Or pretty much the entire state of Arizona.

That said, there’s a whole special category of wretched for cities that, were the Lord truly merciful, He would just dump into the ocean and pretend it never happened. Can you guess which blighted dung pile is featured in this week’s list of awful?

Ding ding ding! Boston, America’s capital of bedbugs and mange. And sitting atop it all are Boston Bruins fans. To help with this week’s influx of overly loud and underly mannered Bruins, we offer “How To Spot A Bruin.” You’ll thank us.

But first, let us briefly explain how curdlingly ghastly Boston is.

See Scenic Boston!

How Much Awful Is Awful?

We all know their entire team is terrible; from Coach Claude “Ratso” Julien to Zdeno “The Kraken” Chara to Patrice “Bite Us” Bergeron, they don’t so much compete as throw a 60-minute tantrum on the ice. I would say it’s hard to know where to begin, except it isn’t. Any game will do. Like Saturday, when we saw human blimp Tim Thomas taking pot-shots at not one but two Capitals and Brad Marchand– that sophisticated gentleman— grabbing hold of Nicky’s visor, giving it (and him) a good shake the way a cracked-up inmate might.

And we know that what passes for officiating during a Bruins game is just slightly less of a baggy-pants farce than Dancing With The Stars. Every bully needs a compliant tool to help them maintain their bully aura, and the NHL zebras are exactly that for the B’s.

And surprising exactly no-one, Boston itself is a 400-year-old collection of loud-mouthed louts and bad sports, beginning we expect with a hilariously rigged game of “Burn The Witch.” Taking its name from the Native American word for “Can You Believe These People?” the city of Boston is basically a forgotten backwash that people are always from but never moving to. If you’ve been, you know why.

And so, over-compensation alert, Bostonians channel their crushed ambitions and bile into their professional sports teams (because, what, you’re going to cheer for Harvard? MIT?) Hence you get America’s most hated sports fans rooting for America’s most hated teams: the Pats (cheaters,) the Sox (whiners), and the Celtics (well, they really are kinda good.)

And then, somewhere underneath all that, you’ll find the Bruins and their fans.

How To Spot A Bruins Fan

  • “What Did You Say?” The Bruins fan is instantly recognizable not by what they look like, but what they sound like. At first encounter you may think you’re experiencing a bad case of tinnitus, but it’s most likely the Bruin. Operating in a register that psycho-acousticians classify as “annoying,” Bostonians don’t so much speak English as they torture it. Think of that sound the dentist’s drill makes on your molar and you have your basic Bruin.
  • “Wicked Pissah!” Once you adjust to the shrill tenor of the Bruins’ voice, you’ll next notice that you can’t understand a thing they’re saying. ‘Perhaps they’re having a stroke?’ you might ask. Don’t worry. What you’re hearing is the Bruins jumbled jargon they call “speaking.” Semioticians such as Noam “Boston Red” Chomsky speculate this may be little more than an effort to confuse non-Bostonians, lulling them into a stupor so they might then steal your doughnuts.
  • Giant Mutant Bumble-bees. Next is the native Bruins’ traditional costume. What’s white, black and gold, and covered in mustard stains? Either Don Cherry on a bad day or a Bruin. (Ha! A tw0-fer!)
  • Another good give-away of a Bruin: bad tattoos

    Shambles. Next, note the Bruins’ manner of movement, adopting a sort of shambolic shuffle between their seats and the Sam Adams beer stand. Experts have long been puzzled by this almost devolutionary quirk, yet Bostonians have been quick to adopt it as their own. I believe it was Elizabeth Barrett Browning who once said “…the native Bostonian, in all elements, possesses the grace of a swan…a really fat, drunken swan.” Or not, we don’t care.

  • Seatmates. If all of these clues don’t alert you to being in the presence of a Bruin, there will be no mistaking them should you be unlucky enough to be seated next to them. You may notice the faint whiff of brackish water, or a vague nausea washing over you, as if you had just found forgotten baby diapers. But once the game begins there will be no mistaking them. They will be the ones with the blood-lust in their eyes. They will be the ones loudly sharing their complete lack of hockey knowledge. You will want to turn to them and ask,’Pardon good Sir, but why are you an idiot?’ You must avoid this temptation; go to your mental happy place, keep calm and carry on.
  • The End. Finally, you will know a Bruin this week by how fast they scurry out of the Verizon Center when their team loses like crazed lemmings flinging themselves off a cliff. Think how quickly Timmy the Whale left after being harpooned by our Swedish fishermen.

    Actually Zdeno Chara

We could continue (and we may!) for sometime chronicling the waking nightmare that is Boston and the Bruins. But we also learned something else recently. For all their bluster, the will cracks just like anyone else. And we believe it has.

Oh, and I’ve just been informed it’s “Fatso” Julien. Wicked good!


  • I love Boston (the city) having spent a large part of my adolescence there.  I also love Boston (the team) … but not as much as I love the Caps.  And this?  This is HILARIOUS!!

  • Hard Hat

    Bergeron was the one shaking Nicky’s head with the visor… Marchand was doing other Marchand like things, like taking Brouwer’s helmet off midplay…

  • Jay Beagle

    Awesome article

  • bailamos?

    I went to Boston over spring break. I saw one Bruins fan, loitering about (he might have been drunk), but I did see two Carolina fans, a Rangers fan, a Red Wings fan, a Blackhawks fan, and in that general New England area, a Sens fan.

    I don’t what that says about Boston.

    Also, it was really cold.

    /end mini-ramble

  • Na

    “Think how quickly Timmy the Whale left after being harpooned by our Swedish fishermen.”    Best grouping of words ive ever read

  • Poo Daniels

     Boston might be a shithole (well actually it’s not that bad), but disloyal/un-obsessed with their teams they are not.

    I live up here and it is pretty rough going to the games at local sports bars with my Backstrom jersey on. 

    Also, fuck Marchand

  • bailamos?

     I agree with the last part completely. I was only in Boston for a day or two, and I spent a lot of time at Cambridge, so I wasn’t exactly in the heart of the town. It is a nice city though – but I like DC better 🙂

  • Tampa Girl

    As a native of Tampa, I couldn’t agree more with your description of that fair town. 🙂

  •  I grew up in the Orlando area and spent quite a bit of time in Tampa because I had–and still do have–a lot of family there.  I have never been able to get a feel for the city, I never really liked it that much, and my hatred grew after last year’s playoffs debacle.  If there’s not a special occasion coming up, I may try to plan my next visit to coincide with a Capitals game at Tampa Bay Times Forum.  Hopefully their new mascot won’t silly string me.

  • jennrubenstein

    there are a lot of great things about boston, most of which i missed out on during the years i lived there due to grad school owning every minute of every day. but there are some great museums (ica on free thursdays is excellent!) and fantastic italian food in the north end (just ignore the men in the long black coats). forget harvard (“your mascot is a color!”) and fuck bc (fuck em up, fuck em up, bc sucks!) it’s all about bu hockey. (sigh, poor poti…) but fuck it is cold up there!!! and i was there for 2 supposedly “mild” winters, aurgh!!! anyways, after being thrilled for their cup win over the dreaded canucks a year ago, this year i’ve clearly seen the Bs for the goons that they are. so, visit boston (in the summer, mind you! and don’t miss the “make way for ducklings” sculpture in the common) and have no worries about getting hurt or sick, as the hospitals are excellent. but fuck the bruins, LET’S GO CAPS!!!

    jenn, BU SAR ’08 (MS)

  • Flynnie321

    I lived and worked there for four years in a big mostly Irish law firm.  Lots of fun.  I wore a down Parka from Oct. 30 – May 1st – they called me “Eddie the Eskimo Boy.”  e.g. Hey, Eddie, good to see you wahm today!  Boston is not a baseball, basketball or football town. (Boston Garden was decked out in black and yellow, not green.) It is a hockey town.  Boston criminal lawyer and author George Higgins described how the hit men would make the victim’s last night on earth a fulfilling one by taking him to a “Broonz” game. I suspect most of us Caps fans would agree that it’s not a bad way to go.

  • pattyo

    These pregames are hilarious, but it always seems we lose after the really good ones….. I hope im wrong :X

  • Puckbuddys

    In that case, I declare this post as awful as the Bruins.

  • frank

    “Who are you going to root for, Harvard/MIT?”  Try BC (NCAA champ) and BU.

    We don’t have horrible sports either, we have something like 7 championships in the bast 10 years…

    I like those nicknames for our players too… you should have spent more time thinking those up.

    And that photo is where they hold the circus… sweet.

  • Bill Melater

    The Peoples Repuiblic of Cambridge is very different from the rest of the Boston area.

  • ReneeMLC

    Good story Frank.

  • Puckbuddys

    Rah! I say, rah you burly Harvahd men!
    Oh, the Bruin is also too precious about their nicknames. Try “Whaaaa”