Published June 17, 2011
The Boston sports fan was one of the hundreds of fans who poured into the NHL Store Powered by Reebok on Friday for a glimpse of the Stanley Cup and three of the players who helped win it -- Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas.
Actually, Wright was more like a lapsed fan than a new convert. He said he was a fan of the Bobby Orr championship teams in the 1970s, but fell away not long after. Only this season, he said, did he start to follow the Bruins again.
"I've only seen a few minutes in the last 39 years," he told NHL.com. "I lost interest in it. Then about five weeks ago I thought, let me watch one game and I just watched it and it was just so intense and amazing that I thought, I've got to watch it again, and I watched it again, and I watched it for the last five weeks and it was incredible."
Wright said he was flabbergasted that his beloved Boston suddenly has turned into Titletown, USA. Since 2004, the Red Sox have won two World Series, the Patriots have won a pair of Super Bowls, the Celtics have won an NBA championship and now the Bruins have won the Stanley Cup.
"Imagine being a little kid, 10 years old or 12 or 14, growing up now. They think this is normal," he said. "This is insane."
Seeing the Stanley Cup in person turned Wright a bit goofy Friday. As he spoke with a reporter, Wright's gaze was locked on the Cup, and he would stop talking the few times Chara carried it past him.
"It's surrealistic," said Wright. "I'm looking at it right now. I've seen it on TV, but it's weird. It's like seeing Neil Armstrong in your backyard. You're always seeing him coming down the ladder onto the Moon. You never see him walking down your driveway."
Wright said being around the Bruins and seeing the Cup made him think of his late father, who was a passionate Bruins fan.
"My father passed away a couple years ago and I wish he could have seen this," said Wright. "Since the Bobby Orr days, he never stopped watching it. He watched every season, all the time. The Cam Neely days, Ray Bourque -- all these guys. He would have just loved this."
Wright said he was loving it, also. The cynical Boston fan in him, however, couldn't allow him to enjoy it too much, even as the Bruins built a 4-0 lead in the final minutes of Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
"When they were up 4-0, I was like OK," he said. "But in the back of your head, because you're a Red Sox fan, there's a freak factory in your head that's going like, well, probably not, but you can hear the announcers, 'Can you believe it, five goals in three minutes? I can't believe it.' But you have to beat that down. Then reality tries to take over."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK