(The anthem starts around the 3:05 mark.)
For the past seven months, I have proudly called the city of Dorchester, Massachusetts my home. I’ll admit, it’s not much of a tenure, but despite my somewhat infantile knowledge of the surrounding area, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten to the know the people, or perhaps the “attitude” of this city pretty well. Laughing at some drunkard’s vomit-soaked, post-Celtics game misfortunes on the Green Line, crowd surfing at the House of Blues, watching some brave sap nearly slip into a diabetic coma attempting the Tasty Burger Challenge — these are all Bostonian pastimes I’ve come to enjoy in my brief time here, pastimes that were forged through the kindness of strangers and friends alike.
And out of respect for both the city I have only begun to experience and you readers, I have declined to express an opinion on, or even make note of, the horrifying events that took place at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Because quite honestly, you guys don’t come to CagePotato to read about all the terrible things happening in the world (unless they are referee-related, of course), you come here to escape them. We all do to some degree. We come here to, well, laugh at other people’s misfortunes, debate the attractiveness of ring girls, and occasionally learn something about this thing called MMA.
But this, this is something that transcends our beloved sport. It transcends the NHL, hockey, the great city of Boston; it transcends any pent up hostility or city-to-city rivalries that could have possibly been built over the decades. In one beautiful, life-affirming moment at last night’s Bruins-Sabres game, longtime anthem singer Rene Rancourt turned over his usual duties to the attending audience, who kindly obliged him with the most awe-inspiring version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” I have personally ever witnessed.
Although the actual anthem begins around the 3:05 mark, I’d recommend you check out the entire video, which features a brilliantly composed slideshow of the week’s events.
Again, without waxing poetic on a disaster I can’t even begin to understand the motivations behind, I’d just like to say that on behalf of everyone here at CagePotato, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Monday’s victims. Because as abhorrent and misguided as this tragedy was, it proved that every cloud has a silver lining. Whether it’s New York or Boston or (in light of recent events) Texas, in the face of adversity, we find inspiration. We find hope. We set all of our prejudices, our anger, and our fear aside and become more than just a community, more than just a city, more than just Americans. We become survivors, with few interests in mind other than the well-being of our fellow survivors. We become human.
Rene Rancourt is the man.