By Kevin J. Stone/@kstone06
QUINCY – Thursday afternoon was the 32-day mark since the Boston Cannons won the Major League Lacrosse title on July 26th.
Most of the players haven’t left cloud nine and have been celebrating wherever and whenever they can. However, winning a title in Boston just isn’t the same if you can’t share it with the fans.
So, on Thursday morning and into the afternoon, the Cannons finally got to share the title a bit with their fans, albeit while socially distanced.
Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Quincy (the Cannons’ home field) was the scene for Thursday’s festivities. When first entering the stadium a merchanside booth greeted fans with 2020 Championship gear.
Then, once walking in the gates a line of chairs were formed to help with social distancing while waiting in line to pose with The Steinfeld Trophy. Fans young and old lined up to pose with the trophy and a few Cannons Dancers. Then, players sat at tables signing autographs of the team championship photo while interacting with fans.
Players were staggered in rotations throughout the day to help with social distancing.
The day lasted from just 11-2, but for the players who ultimately brought home the title for the second time in franchise history, the thrill of being called a champion in a city full of them hasn’t worn off. Thursday was a long time coming.
“It’s awesome, it’s really great the Cannons’ front office was able to put this on for our fans,” said John Uppgren.
“The atmosphere Cannons fans provide (during the season), it’s like nothing else,” added Ted Ottens despite having to win the title in a Baltimore bubble this summer.
The trophy has had quite a ride between player parties and beach trips if you’ve followed any of their individual social media, but, has it sunk in yet?
“Yeah it has,” said Uppgren. “The first few days were kind of a blur, but, I mean now you kind of get through the celebration part of it. Plus, you’ve got the logistics of keeping track of the trophy, trying to get it out and about to show the fans. It’s a pretty cool feeling to look back with some time now after and just reminisce.”
PART OF BOSTON HISTORY
Title town got a little more crowded with another trophy coming home, but for some guys being a part of that championship lineage means more than the title itself.
“It means everything, at least for me being born and raised here,” said Scott Corcoran who went to Merrimack and grew up in Methuen. “It’s one of those things where – basically my whole lacrosse career – I played for New York for a few years and it kind of tore at me a bit. But, there’s nothing better than winning a championship for this city. I grew up going to parades my whole life, so it’s pretty crazy.”
“I grew up in Connecticut, so I’m not from the immediate area but I went to BU for four years,” Calvin Dearth added. “So, I’ve had four of five parades so far. It’s been great to be on the other side and to have all the support we’ve had and from friends, family and everyone in the area, it’s been great.”
IGNORING THE NOISE
Of course, there are always going to be those that question the validity of the title. Between two teams bowing out due to Covid-19 reasons and the season only being a week long, the questions are fair.
But, if you watched any of the games during the week, it’s impossible to question the legitimacy of this championship. Much like those in the NBA or NHL bubble, mental toughness for any title in 2020 should be what people focus on.
The Cannons know damn well this one was earned and is well deserved. Anyone that attended Thursday sure wasn’t questioning it, but rather basking in another Boston championship.
“We obviously wanted to have our season and play all our games,” said Corcoran. “But, there’s really nothing we could do. We made the best out of our circumstances down there. We had a long week, but it’s something we’ll always have the rest of our lives.”