America, Countries, Sport

Thanksgiving in New England

Back in 1620 there was only Thanksgiving in New England and while all America doesn’t always appreciate New England, we do.

For those who follow such ball games a meme about the New England Patriots American Football team will be familiar.

When a recalibrated map went viral of America greened up and only a sliver around NE backing the Patriots.

Which for us with an Irish heritage and Irish-American cousins would always welcome.

Only this was a darker shade of green in support of the Eagles of Philadelphia, also a great sporting region.

Whether the original Pilgrims of Plymouth and the native Americans threw an oval ball we’ll never know.

And it was more likely the natives would have taught them their game, lacrosse.

Lacrosse the Atlantic

Give it some stick: Lacrosse

Still popular in the best colleges, of which NE boasts more than its fair share and further afield.

For those of us from other shores but with American connections the choice of a team, or teams, can be arbitrary.

You might adopt the team of your relatives and friends or latch onto those whose colours, name or top player appeals.

Or it could be that most unappetising of motives for following a team… glory hunting.

An accusation that could be levelled at me for adopting the New England Patriots, et al when I spent a summer in Massachusetts in 1987.

And the Boston teams, the baseball Red Sox, the basketball Celtics and the ice hockey Bruins.

Only my first brush with New England sport came decades before Brady.

New England sports

Take it as Red: Boston Red Sox

Back in the 80s when the Red Sox were still blighted by the Curse of the Bambino.

Which followed the sale of George ‘Babe’ Ruth to the New York Yankees.

And heralded in a period of success for New York and an 86-year drought for the Red Sox.

Brady’s bunch: The New England Patriots

Until it was lifted in 2004 and corresponded with six Super Bowls around this time.

The Celtics had been the standard-bearers until then with 17 titles, matched later by, whisper it, the LA Lakers.

But what’s all the fuss, Boston did it first.

The Bruins too add to the roll call of national titles with six Stanley Cups.

And hope springs eternal for those masses of fans who march on game days to the TD Garden, this Bruinophile among them.

Banner headline

Share and share alike: Thanksgiving

New England’s obsession with sports is as much a feature of the region as are the pilgrims.

With an exhibit of drapes, the Celebration of Championships greeting travellers to Logan Airport Terminal C.

And that includes the successes of Boston Cannons, exponents of the ancient Native American sport.

Which we are reminded may, or may not, have been the post-turkey and maize entertainment.

At that first Thanksgiving Day in New England.



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