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Sports teams spend their time contemplating the best way to kick the ass of their opponents. And yet when a national tragedy strikes, the organizations that compete with each other are the ones showing their support.
But it wasn't just Chicago. The Montreal Canadiens, perhaps Boston's biggest and longest running sports rivalry, held a moment of silence for The Boston Bruins.
The Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabers, Miami Dolphins, The Pittsburgh Pirates, Joe Madden and countless other sports teams and athletes took to their twitter feeds to express condolences. It's as heartbreaking as it is life-affirming to see it. Somewhere during the year, those teams rolled into Boston, stayed in a hotel, maybe endured some insults from opposing fans. They won. Or they lost. But they spent time in the city, and they know their opponents.
In other words, there's a tie to the city. So a message of condolences, or compassion shows respect without being opportunistic. It shows class. And meaning. Because nothing in North America says "hometown pride," more than a sports team. As long as we have sports, we're healthy. As long as we can play or take our minds off life by being a spectator, it'll be all right. We'll heal if we can still cheer.
So The Habs showing their respect for the Bruins is more authentic than a brand with no tie to Boston offering up the standard "thoughts and prayers," mantra. I understand why brands might feel the need to do this. Some are moved our of genuine compassion. But I can also see where it feels cheap.
By the way, does anyone know where Oreo was yesterday? They're usually so great at their real-time messaging. But they didn't tweet yesterday. Their last tweet was the 14th and there was nothing yesterday. And I'm surprised, as you'd think they'd have a Tax Day cookie standing by. I want to believe they did indeed have it, and then chose not to run it, or say anything. If so, good for them. Restraint shows an incredible amount of class and tact.
I wish everyone else in my twitter feed would come to that realization.
Please join the Philadelphia Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens in a moment of silence for today’s victims in Boston.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 15, 2013