TSN.ca looks back at each of the top stories of 2013. Today, Producer Shane McNeil looks back at ‘Boston Strong’ – a city’s recovery from tragedy.
Originally published on TSN.ca – December 20, 2013.
Patriots’ Day is traditionally a big deal in Boston – a holiday Monday with the Marathon in the morning and a Red Sox matinee. It’s truly a day when the city takes centre stage.
But the 2013 Marathon put the eyes of the world on Boston for horrifying and nearly unthinkable reasons.
At 2:49pm et on Apr. 15 – two hours after the winners had crossed the finish line but a time when more than 5,000 runners were still on the course – two blasts shook the city. Two bombs, placed 190 metres apart just before the finish line, went off killing three people and injuring nearly 300 others.
It put Boston at a standstill, as the incident and the aftermath became a global focal point. A city-wide manhunt ensued to find the culprits, shutting down the city and postponing a game at TD Garden between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators.
The city came together to aid its own recovery in the aftermath of both the bombings and the manhunt, rallying around the mantra of ‘Boston Strong.’ The city no longer wanted to live in fear of terrorist threats and preferred to rally around images like a flexing David Ortiz standing on second base at Fenway Park.
And Boston’s teams responded in kind.
The Bruins mounted a comeback for the ages after nearly allowing the Toronto Maple Leafs to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Facing exhaustion in their 13th game in 24 days and down three goals with just 11 minutes remaining in Game 7, the Bruins rallied.
They would prevail over the Leafs, then the Rangers, then Sidney Crosby and the Penguins before taking the Chicago Blackhawks to six games in a losing Cup Final effort.
While their quest would fall short, the Red Sox would pick up where the Bruins left off. The Sox would go on a seven-game win streak starting on Apr. 15, forming the foundation for a strong regular season that saw them win their first American League East title in six seasons.
They would complete the narrative in October, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in six games to claim their third World Series championship in 10 seasons.