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Posts Tagged ‘Boston Marathon Bombing’

Boston Bruins Fans Deliver Greatest Rendition of National Anthem Ever

In Inspiration and Motivation, Life, Sports on April 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Boston Bruins Fans

The National Anthem is played before every professional sporting event and many amateur events as well.  For the most part, it is a largely ceremonial tradition that goes relatively unnoticed unless it is badly butchered by a celebrity or delivered in a memorable way at events like the Super Bowl, or Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock performance.  Before last night, no one would have ever imagined that the greatest rendition of the National Anthem would take place at a regular season NHL game.  Boston Bruin fans made sure that the first major sporting event following the terrorist attack on the city will be remembered for many years to come.

Boston is a city that is steeped in tradition, particularly when it comes to sports.  The tradition of having Rene Rancourt perform the National Anthem at Bruins home games dates back to 1976.  With 37 years of experience, you would think that Rancourt would be immune to nerves, but for the first time ever, the powerful opera singer was nervous.

Last night, more than any other performance in Rancourt’s career, the meaning behind the National Anthem was front and center.  Every time that he had practiced singing the National Anthem since the bombing of the Boston Marathon, he burst into tears.  He didn’t think that he could get through the performance without breaking down because his city had just suffered through a terrorist attack.

With tears glistening in his eyes, Rancourt took to the ice and began to sing the National Anthem as he has done so many times before.  “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so…” is as far as he got before 17,565 Bruins fans joined in and sang in unison “proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.”  The fans would flawlessly finish the entire National Anthem with Rancourt acting as a conductor, singing along for brief moments, but overpowered by Boston fans showing their resolve in the face of tragedy.

Years from now, no one will ever remember that the Bruins lost the game in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres, but the world will never forget the greatest, most emotional rendition of the National Anthem ever…

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New York Yankees: Poetic Justice for Jackie Robinson

In Sports on April 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Robinson Cano Mariano Rivera Jackie Robinson

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  This landmark day happened during a time when many felt justified to judge people by what they were instead of who they were.   On the 66th anniversary of Robinson’s historical day, every player in Major League Baseball wore the number 42 to commemorate the occasion, just as they’ve done on every anniversary since 2004.

This year’s celebration of Robinson’s anniversary was marred by the tragic terrorist bombing in Boston by an as yet unknown source.  Regardless of who was responsible for this act of cowardice, it is a virtual certainty that the bombing was carried out by a person or group that has no tolerance for people who don’t share their irrational beliefs.  It just goes to show that no matter how far we think that we have come as a society, the fact remains that there are people out there who are just as ignorant and hateful as those who believed that black baseball players had no place in Major League Baseball in the 1940’s.

The two most prominent connections to Robinson in baseball today are on the New York Yankees.  Robinson Cano was named after (Jackie) Robinson, and wears the number 24 (42 backwards).  Fellow Yankee, Mariano Rivera, is the last player to ever wear the number 42.

The Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks were off on Monday, so they all wore the number 42 in last night’s game, a day after the anniversary that will always be known for the events that took place at the Boston Marathon.

With pitcher, Ivan Nova, struggling early, the Diamondbacks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning; it looked like it might be a long night for the Yankees at that point.

After the third inning was completed, the Yankees and their fans showed their support for the people of Boston by playing “Sweet Caroline” – a time-honored tradition that has taken place at all Red Sox home games since the late 1990’s.  The bitter rivalry between the two cities was forgotten for at least one night in favor of the bond that we all share as Americans.

The tribute to the people of Boston, combined with the inspiration of Jackie Robinson seemed to lift the Yankees in the fourth inning.  Nova gave up a leadoff double, but eventually settled down, retired the side and held the Diamondbacks scoreless.  In the bottom half of the fourth, with two men on, Cano blasted a 426 foot home run, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

Kevin Youkilis scored on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Nunez in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead on the night that every player was wearing the number 42.  It was fitting that the fourth run was scored by a former Red Sox player and fan favorite of the people of Boston.

As they have done since 1995, the Yankees called upon Rivera to preserve the victory.  Rivera’s appearance was extra special last night given the fact that he is retiring at the end of the season, and he is the last player ever to wear the number 42 in the Major Leagues.

Rivera retired the side with a strikeout, a pop-up and a ground out, sealing the 4-2 symbolic victory for the Yankees, and giving poetic justice to the anniversary celebration of Robinson that was otherwise tarnished by the terrorist attack that occurred at the Boston Marathon a day earlier.

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