America: Boston Isn’t Just About Professional Sports
We love our sports here: Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics—can’t get enough of ’em! Marathon Monday is the best day of the year, and we even crowd the banks of the Charles one weekend every fall to watch a bunch of Winklevoss knock-offs try to row backwards in boats. I’m as guilty as anyone: the list of tests I’ve failed, work I’ve blown off, and plans I’ve canceled just to sit on a couch and watch one of our teams play is embarrassingly long.
But I’m starting to worry that people outside of Boston are getting the impression that there’s not much to this city besides sports.
Make no mistake, the national anthem at the Bruins game last night gave me chills:
And the montage they played before hand caused me to tear up:
This reached something of an apex today when President Obama referenced our love for our home teams during his speech at the interfaith service at the South End’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He said:
And we come together to celebrate life, and to walk our cities, and to cheer for our teams. When the Sox and Celtics and Patriots or Bruins are champions again—to the chagrin of New York and Chicago fans—the crowds will gather and watch a parade go down Boylston Street.
It was a nice gesture, but let’s also remember that he said this:
Over successive generations, you’ve welcomed again and again new arrivals to our shores—immigrants who constantly reinvigorated this city and this commonwealth and our nation. Every fall, you welcome students from all across America and all across the globe, and every spring you graduate them back into the world—a Boston diaspora that excels in every field of human endeavor. Year after year, you welcome the greatest talents in the arts and science, research—you welcome them to your concert halls and your hospitals and your laboratories to exchange ideas and insights that draw this world together.
And let’s also remember that Lingzi Lu, the 23-year-old Chinese student who died in Monday’s attacks, traveled all the way from the other side of the world to study here, in this city. As the Globe pointed out, not long ago, the new Bostonian tweeted, “I love the Charles River at night!” That, as much as the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, or Celtics, is what Boston is all about.