If there’s one thing that we as Boston sports fans do incredibly well — other than attending duck boat parades, or being the envy (jealousy epicenter?) of the American sports world — is that we have a fantastic habit of welcoming our returning heroes with showers of affection.
We did it for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Who screamed at “You Can’t Handle The Truth!” and “Anything’s Possible!”? And any time Larry Bird is in the house with the Pacers, you go ballistic.
Who was in the Back Bay Fens the first time Pedro Martinez walked from the visitors dugout to the bullpen wearing the black top of the New York Mets? The ovation, even in pre-game Fenway, was deafening. Or how about when Roger Clemens walked to the Blue Jay dugout after his 16-strikeout performance in 1997, his stares toward Dan “Twilight of his Career” Duquette full of fire and brimstone? How many of you stood for the Rocket, or applauded at home? Everyone was at Fenway the day Bill Buckner emerged from left field. Or how about whenever Fred Lynn appears on the videoboard, John Fogarty blasting on the PA? Or Yaz or Papi? Or the reception Ted Williams received in 1999?
The Bruins probably did it best this season with the banner captains, regardless of the former team member they brought in — or whichever other Boston team they brought in. And hey, anytime Robert Gordon Orr is in the building, or Ray Bourque — remember when he brought Lord Stanley to Scollay Square? — or whenever Milt Schmidt arrived, you stand and applaud.
And for the Patriots… they just had Hall of Fame induction weekend. Tedy Bruschi was there, inducting Rodney Harrison. Same with Willie McGinest. The same will be true of Tom Brady, like it is with Drew Bledsoe and Julian Edelman and Wes Welker and a laundry list of gentlemen who have helped secure six Lombardis.
But the Revolution? I distinctly recall two instances last year where the crowd came to its feet to welcome past players, those being Taylor Twellman when he stopped by for his ThinkTaylor organization, and in the home opener, Charlie Davies, the newly named club ambassador, was in The Fort to a rousing ovation.
Outside of that, though, the Revs’ ties to past players are few; I highly doubt Jermaine Jones is walking through that door.
This Saturday, though, the Revs have a great chance to start mending fences with the past when Lee Nguyen comes to town with his new club, LAFC.