Tradition lives up to it’s name

Published On September 19, 2013 | By Alice Cook

The last big sporting event at the TD Garden happened last June 24th. It was Game 6,  Bruins vs Blackhawks.  Chicago sucked the air out of the building with an unimaginable comeback.  The doors closed, the ice melted, the lights went out.

I am happy to report the ice is back, and on Tuesday it was covered with black flooring to accomodate one of the best annual Garden parties we know.  “The Traditon” normally takes place in late June.  The date was moved to September this year because the Bruins were still playing hockey when they are normally on vacation.

Fourth of July festivities were a little more than a week away, as we sweated out the Stanley Cup Finals with air conditioners blasting and beaches beckoning.

Nobody knew what Kochi Uehara could do 3 months ago, or much about Danny Amendola.  The possibility of the Red Sox being a legitimate contender to win the World Series would have been laughable.

There was plenty to celebrate Tuesday night,  and no better place to do it than the floor of the Garden.

Imagine a crowded cocktail party, with ice sculptures. (of course) It’s a low lit atmosphere at center ice with nice music and great food.   Look up, you see the banners. Look around, and you see thousands of yellow seats. Look to your left, there is Ray Bourque. Look to your right, there is Doug Flutie.  In comes Aly Raisman, followed by a gaggle of  young girls taking pictures and begging for autographs.  Dave Cowens waves hello. Derek Sanderson holds court. Robert Kraft arrives with Vince Wilfork.  And none other than Jack Nicklaus is in the house.

I had the pleasure of catching up with some of Boston’s best while shooting a new TV show called “Life is Great New England.”  It certainly felt that way Tuesday night.  Here are some my favorite snippets.

Doug Flutie on his legacy:


” As an athlete, it’s going to go back to my Boston College days.  The play well be remembered, the pass in Miami. I think more than that for Gerard and I, we were the class that kick started Boston College football. That was our legacy.  As for my personal legacy, maybe it’s just as a competitor, a winner, and a guy tho went out there and gave it everything he had- and really enjoyed the game and played it with a lot of emotion.”

Ray Bourqe on what makes playing in Boston so great:
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“Everything. As a sports fan now and as an ex-player, it’s such a passionate place. We’re talking about sports, politics, whatever is on the table.  People really expect you to go out there and work hard and give it everything you have, and as a player I love that. I think it makes you better.  They keep you accountable and there’s really a great pulse and a passion that goes with that.

Aly Raisman- advice to young gymnasts:

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“Never give up .  I think watching us on tv every 4 years, we are all smiling and happy. But you don’t see all the tears and the blood and the sacrifices and the hard work. Not every day is the best day ever.  Bad days are what makes you stronger.  As long as you love it, anything is possible.”

Derek Sanderson on Bobby Orr:


“Bobby was one of those friends you could always count on. Bobby is that solid type of person, that  I don’t care if he was a truck driver he would still be a good friend.  And that’s his make up. He is humble. I think he is the most humble super star I have ever seen.  You would think he would get just a little cocky. he never takes anything for granted.”

There aren’t many occasions when so many athletes from so many sports meet in one place. Thanks to The New England Sports Museum and all the fine folks at the Garden for another memorable and fun evening.

Life is Great New England!


Bob Lobel, Doug Flutie, and Alice Cook


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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.