As many of you are aware, Marty Walsh is currently on an extended tour of Ireland. Which is pretty cool, I guess. He's been all over, kissing babies and shaking hands. Today, he visited to the Belfast Giants. You may remember the Giants from when the Bruins played a preseason game against them (and a few ringers around the league) back in fall 2010. That was when the Belfast Telegraph taught us some new facts about the Bruins, such as them having the second most Stanley Cups of any team in the NHL. As you may or may not remember, the Bruins beat up on Belfast Select in front of Shawn Thornton's family, 5-1. If you didn't remember, Peter Chiarelli certainly did.
It was all well and good and people visited and had a great time. We didn't think much more of it, and moved on to Prague, and then back to Boston, and eventually all the way to the Cup Celebration on the ice in Vancouver later that season. What a time to be alive.
Well, while Marty Walsh was visiting the Belfast Giants, he said he supported moving the Beanpot to Belfast for 2016. Let me be absolutely clear, here:
The Beanpot is one of those Boston traditions that you just shouldn't mess with. It's been going on for longer than the hunt for Whitey Bulger, since before the Celtics had 1, much less 17, championships. Heck, it predates the Celtics playing in the Boston Garden at all! And here's the thing: It's been played in 3 arenas over the course of it's history. The very first was held in Boston Arena, original home of the Bruins, Celtics, and currently holding what we refer to as "Northeastern Hockey." The second was moved to Boston Garden, and they played there until Boston Garden was knocked over in favor of what is now TD Garden. It hasn't even been played at Fenway, which makes it the only Boston athletic event left to not be held there. Well, aside from the Boston Marathon, but I think the Red Sox wouldn't want them putting heartbreak hill in at center field. The Run To Home Base long distance run still happens there, though.
But I digress. Let's get back to the topic at hand: Marty Walsh wants to send the beanpot to Ireland. He means it, too:
Mayor Walsh will host a delegation from the Odyssey Trust and Belfast Giants at Boston City Hall in early October this year, where they will meet with the NCAA and representatives from the four Boston Colleges to discuss how the initiative can be taken forward.
It's one thing to go over there and say that you support it to the BBC and hope noone notices. It's another entirely to go to a meeting representing the group that wants to take the beanpot to Belfast. I hate the idea. Here are some immediate reactions from twitter:
BU Alum (and Pension Plan Puppets overloard) Chemmy:
I’m getting on a plane to fight the mayor of Boston. Belfast can’t have the Beanpot. I’m too angry for witty commentary. @BurntBoats— Chemmy (@felixpotvin) September 26, 2014
Longtime Boston political observer and BC Alum Joe Gravellese:
I will vote against @marty_walsh and possibly run against him if he ever talks about moving the Beanpot anywhere ever again— Joe Gravellese (@joegrav) September 26, 2014
Heh, Northeastern Alum Sean thinks Northeastern will win the beanpot:
it would be very northeastern if they finally won the beanpot but no one was around to see it because the game was played in BELFAST— sean hathaway (@seanphathaway) September 26, 2014
Harvard Alumni Response:
[this space reserved for crickets]
As you can see, it's a pretty unanimous response. The 8700-person arena would certainly sell out. Heck, they might even get a bigger-than-usual crowd for the 3rd-place game. Oh yeah, did I mention that? The Odyessey arena only holds 8700 people. The last time the Beanpot final was played in front of that few people was 1962, which only had 4,500 for mysterious reasons. The first night of the Beanpot that year had over 13,000 people. Odd.
Stanley Cup of Motor Oil contributor (and if you haven't read his F1 track descriptions, you should) FourthLineWing has his own take on this over at his blog about British hockey. Surprisingly, he agrees. So it's sorted, then.
Don't move the Beanpot, Marty.