An Irish Beanpot?

Let’s face it, winter in New England sucks. From Christmas to late February, gray clouds litter the Boston skyline while plummeting temperatures bear no end in sight. By the time it’s Valentines Day, the annual “looking-forward-to-next-years-basketball-recruits” article stumbles onto your local Newsfeed, making you ask, “Why didn’t I just go to Florida Gulf Coast?” With no end in sight, you pause before signing off on that transfer letter. Why? Out of nowhere, it hits you: Hey, at least there’s the Beanpot!

Right? Well, not exactly. Just ask Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Last week, Mayor Walsh expressed a strong interest in bringing the storied college hockey tournament overseas. How far overseas? Across the pond to Belfast, Northern Ireland: Boston’s sister city. The Boston Herald and BBC reported the mayor’s initiative to bring the Beanpot over the Atlantic by 2016. Both prominent news sources quoted Walsh saying, “In light of the recent Sister City twinning between Belfast and Boston, which is underpinned by a longstanding connection between the two cities through ice hockey, I think it would be wonderful to bring the Beanpot to Belfast and am lending my support to the campaign.”

Unless you plan on studying abroad in Dublin anytime soon, the idea makes no sense whatsoever. What’s Boston without the Beanpot? It joins the ranks of Marathon Monday and Head of the Charles in the city’s invaluable mystique. It means the possibility of BU-BC, if only one more time. It means bragging rights. It means pride.

Now, I’ll be frank. I hate hockey. Try living with an older brother who shoves Tuuka Rask highlights down your throat worse than food from Mac, and then get back to me. I can’t see the puck. Fighting ruins the game’s integrity. Why don’t they shave? And trust me hockey, it’s not you, it’s me. Simply one of those things I’ll never understand, like linear algebra or talking to girls.

Katie Spence / Flickr

Photo courtesy of flickr / Katie Spence.

Exclude the game itself as a factor, if only for just a second. The Beanpot helps spark nightlife during a traditionally slow time of the economic year. With all due respect to Detroit, Boston turns into Hockeytown, USA for a fleeting two-week span—Simply not long enough for a city idolizing the likes of Bobby Orr or Phil Esposito. Offering a warm blanket through the coldest of February nights, the Beanpot unifies an entire city through such a depressing season.

Tucked into the TD Bank Garden, nothing beats hugging a complete stranger in the sheer thrill of victory. Even if blue lines give you headaches and offsides have no resemblance from those of your old high school soccer games, it feels good having something to root for.

Shame on anyone who dares to take that and--

Oh, wait? What? Okay. Really! I’ll let them know. Hope you haven’t already sharpened your pitchforks; Mr. Walsh has something to tell us. His office released the following statement via NESN later this past week, “[Marty Walsh] conveyed to me, in no uncertain terms, that—particularly as a Boston College grad and a hockey fan—he would never move a classic Boston event like the Beanpot out of our city.”

Stop the presses. Backtracking quicker than Roger Goodell on any podium, Marty Walsh pulls a complete 180. Doomsday averted. What a relief. Imagine that, huh? One moment someone suggests hosting the Beanpot in Northern Ireland. What’s next? Painting the Green Monster red so it looks pretty, or something crazy like, I don’t know, trading Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers (**laughs nervously**)?

To quote Jason Mraz, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” Count your blessings now-- the Beanpot lives another day.

But, for how long? Enjoy it while you can, this question remains best left unanswered.

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