Patrice Bergeron: Boston's Unsung Superstar
Bostonians care about a few things in life. Their families, jobs, and a hobby come to mind first. But nothing compares to the passion we put into our sports teams. It has become the number one religion, knocking the catholic church down a few pews.
The players and coaches are considered larger-than-life figures inspiring the next generation. Players like Tom Brady, David Ortiz, and Paul Pierce did so for their sport. They were not in the most fantastic city on earth for their entire career. The Bruins captain did. Patrice Bergeron wore the jersey on draft day and took it off on Monday.
After twenty years, Patrice Bergeron announced via Instagram that he would retire from the NHL. In his heartfelt post, he thanked almost everyone he had met his entire life—the organization, the Jacobs family, his family, and the fans. As the champ of the peeps, it is my job to give credit when credit is due. Patrice, it’s time for your flowers.
Bergeron Led A Locker Room and A City
I’m not a hockey guy, but Bergeron deserves a Boston sports Mount Rushmore spot. Over the past two decades, only a few men took the weight of New England on their shoulders. The final torch has been passed.
Bergeron displayed what it meant to be a Boston Bruin. He knew how to score. He averaged over 50 points per season when he played more than 60 games. In his second season, he finished with 73 points.
It sounds wild, but Bergeron may have been better at defense than offense! He won six Selke trophies, stamping himself as the best two-way forward in Bruins history. Some may argue he could be one of the best two-way players ever. His stellar defense comes from infinite stamina. Bergeron gave 110% every time he stepped on the ice for sixty minutes.
The play below sums up my point with a nice cherry on top.
That, my peeps, is a leader.
Those moments elevate players into a legendary tier. That is not even his best one!
“Hey, Pitts, what is your favorite Patrice Bergeron moment?”
Thank you for asking such a great question!
It isn’t an individual performance but a team effort. The Bruins and Maple Leafs square off in Game 7. Dickie Pitts and I take our seats in the Pitts Cave. We witness the Bruins go down three goals. The positivity seemed vacant in that room. I scroll Twitter to see a bunch of doubters tweeting about how it was a great season. They’ll have better luck next year. I turn to Dickie Pitts, show him the tweet, and respond by reminding him how there are still over ten minutes left. Bergeron heard the champ.
Horton hears a horn; Bruins trail by two. Lucic puts home a rebounder with 1:20 remaining. The boys did their job. One more goal forces overtime. It is Bergy’s time.
With less than a minute on the clock, The puck circles the offensive zone. Bergeron finds it on his stick and claps one over the goalie’s shoulder. The game has been tied.
The Leafs had zero percent chance of winning after that one. Bergeron made sure of it by putting in the game-winner deep into overtime. The roof has blown off. The Leafs’ implosion created an explosion of Bruins fans breaking the sound barrier across the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
When the game mattered, Bergeron stepped up. He played through an entire postseason with a punctured lung and broken ribs. That spoke volumes to the fans. It demonstrated how much Bergeron loved being in Boston, but most importantly, how much he meant to us.
He won a Stanley Cup, racking up one of human history’s most outrageous bar tabs. Well deserved, but how many Coors Lights can one team drink? It would have been nice to see him win one more, especially that Cup against the Blues. Game 7 in the Garden finished with the visitor raising the Cup. Can we get a do-over? Please?
Patrice, go home and relax. You deserve it, my dude. Spend some time with the family. Go on a memorable trip after a special trip. Mark off one day where you don’t move from the couch or bed. Trust me; it’s invigorating.
But in all seriousness, hockey is like the mob. Once you’re in, there’s no getting out. So, he’ll find himself a nice gig with an NHL organization. I guess he’ll make his way back North, working in the Canadian National Team. He mentioned in his farewell post to the peeps that the only team he has played for with more meaning was playing for his home country. So, why not give back by being part of that organization?
In his retirement press conference, a reporter asked him how he would like to be remembered in Boston. Bergeron said how he wants to be recognized by future generations. They’ll know your name, Bergy. I won’t let them forget.
On behalf of all Boston sports fans, thank you for making it a blast growing up in Boston.
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