Thursday, December 22, 2011

A B-ball and Hockey Gathering

For the first portion of their schedule, the National Hockey League has been the only show in cities where they share an existence with NBA franchises. Due to a labour dispute, the round-ball season was put on hold as players and owners wouldn't budge from their negotiating positions. The lull in activity provided the opportunity for NHL clubs to bask in the spotlight and secure media coverage which often fell to their National Basketball Association counterparts. In today's competitive marketplace, the two often engage in battle for consumer dollars and media attention.

On October 15, 1953 the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics shared the limelight during a luncheon put on by the Boston Chamber of Commerce at the Sheraton-Plaza Hotel. It was the first in their history the hockey club was honoured in such a manner. Team members were introduced by Fred Cusick who served as the play-by-play announcer for the Bruins.

Addressing the crowd on behalf of the National Hockey League was president Clarence Campbell. "Not so long back there was the possibility Boston would cease to hold its ranking as a leading sports city. People began taking sports too much for granted. Sports are great for business. And those magic figures of 13,909 who appeared for the opening game, proved the best possible evidence that interest is reviving," Campbell told the assembled masses.

Captain Milt Schmidt, who sat beside Celtic Bob Cousy, received nothing but praise when Cusick turned his attention to the Bruins superstar. "There just aren't enough adjectives to describe him," the voice of Bruins hockey imparted to those in attendance.

With the end of labour disruption in the NBA, the Bruins and Celtics will once again share centre stage in the city of Boston. The condensed and busy schedule for the Celtics will result in little time for luncheons with their brethren from the NHL.

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