As the Massachusetts city slowly returns to normal life after Friday night's events, Boston's three most important sports teams played Saturday and helped breath a semblance of normal life back into the exhausted citizens.
The Bruins kicked off their home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after lunchtime Friday. The crowd was sparse, but passionate, and the pre-game ceremonies honored the victims and first responders who went through so much over the last five days. The team wore ribbons on their helmets and jerseys, and these hats on ice during warmups:
There was levity in the TD Garden on Saturday, too. The Sporting News' Jesse Spector reports the organist played the Hall and Oates song, "Private Eyes," before the game started. Nice touch, whoever sits behind the keys.
But it was over at Fenway Park where Boston really rallied. The Red Sox flow through the city's blood more than any other team, and they have been absent all week, either on the road in other cities. Or games have been postponed because of the week's events. So when the Sox took the field Saturday afternoon, it was an understandably emotional moment for everyone. First responders were present, and so was Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick. A Red Sox legend, David "Big Papi" Ortiz, addressed the crowd before the game in what has become an already legendary moment in Boston sports.
"Alright, Boston. This jersey that we're wearing today -- it doesn't say Red Sox. It says Boston," Ortiz told the cheering crowds. "We want to thank Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, and the whole police department for the great job they did this past week. This is our fucking city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong." The crowd went bonkers.
Now that relief was washing over, fans tweeted beautiful pictures from Fenway as the game got going. It really was a great day for Boston baseball:
There was even a note of support from Arizona Sen. John McCain:
The Celtics play the New York Knicks in playoff basketball at 3 p.m. The east coast rivalry, temporarily on hold this week, won't take long to heat up once again. And things will be as they should be. Boston will be as it should be.