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With Love, From Hollywood: Celebrity Bruins Fans, Part 1

Denis Leary, the Obvious Celebrity Bruins Fan

While we often hold them high above us, envying their wealth, cool new toys, and seemingly glorious lifestyles, celebrities do share at least one thing in common with the average person: sports. They love sports just like we do; they don the same jerseys we do, hold season tickets just like we some of us do, encourage their teams just like we do, and curse the referees just like we do. For example, you can’t go to or watch a Los Angeles Lakers game without seeing actor Jack Nicholson heckling opposing players; he’s a staple when the Lakers are at the Center. If you prefer college football, you needn’t fear about going into a coma on Friday and missing all of Saturday’s action. Assuming you wake up by Monday morning, you’ll know how Notre Dame fared on Saturday based upon the greeting die-hard Fighting Irish fan Regis Philbin gives the audience of “Live with Regis and Kelly.” On the home front, the Boston Red Sox have horror-story royalty Stephen King in attendance at many games, including a handful on the road.

But, what about the Boston Bruins? Who of celebrity status supports them? Hockey in general doesn’t have a great deal of celebrity fans, especially in comparison to basketball, a sport that has supporters ranging from George Lucas (Golden State Warriors) to Anna Kournikova (Miami Heat) and everyone in between. However, there are actually a fair share of celebrities that enjoy hockey and plenty who bleed black and gold. In order to help you identify who you may find yourself next to at the TD Garden this upcoming season, we at SoB have complied a list of these celebrities and even categorized them for you to have a deeper understanding of their level of dedication. Here’s the first in the two-part series.

The Obvious Fan: Denis Leary

The name of this Worcester-born comedian/actor is synonymous with Boston hockey and is the most obvious Bruins celebrity fan, hence the overwhelmingly creative category title. Often noted for his allegiance to the Red Sox (to whom he still owes his left nut), he is a die-hard Bruins fan as well and was even a commentator at the 2001 NHL All-Star Game. While his work often prevents him from attending Bruins games, he still follows the B’s closely and keeps up his game by skating on his personal backyard rink.

In addition, the star of television’s Rescue Me has strong ties to the organization through the annual Celebrity Hat-Trick, a two-day event that raises money for fire departments in Massachusetts, New York, and New Orleans. The fundraiser culminates in a celebrity hockey game featuring many former Bruins like Cam Neely and other local stars such as Mike Eruzione.

Fan status similar to: Jack Nicholson (Los Angeles Lakers), Spike Lee (New York Knicks)

The Almost-Bruin Fan: Tom Glavine

This 305-game winner formerly of the Atlanta Braver and New York Mets has a very unique claim to add to his Cooperstown-worthy career: he’s the most successful baseball player to ever be drafted by a NHL team. Despite eschewing a career with Los Angeles Kings (who drafted him in 1984) to pursue glory with the Atlanta Braves, the Billerica (Mass.) High School graduate actually practiced with the Boston Bruins in 1992, the same year his three-year 20-win season streak began. Nothing ever came of the practice, which may have worked out best for Glavine, as he went on to win the World Series in 1995. While Bruins fans may criticize the Concord, Massachusetts native for being an Atlanta Thrashers season ticket holder, Glavine maintains that his love of B’s has not wavered a bit.

Fan status similar to: no one. Do you know of any other pitcher who cheers on an NHL team he could’ve played for while polishing his two Cy Young Awards?

The Talented Fan: Steve Carell

Hailing from the same town of fellow fan Tom Glavine, this actor/comedian has not found success on the baseball diamond, but instead in a small Scranton, Pennsylvania-based sales office. When he’s not peddling paper products, he can be found playing goalie for a Los Angeles-based men’s hockey league team, showcasing some of the same skills found here. The Golden Globe winner also maintains a house in Marshfield, Massachusetts, a much easier place to cheer for his beloved Bruins. If you ever have the opportunity to catch a game with Carell, be wary of the many sexual innuendos hockey entails (“So-and-so tries to ram it home”, “So-and-so pulls it out, but loses it”) and the “That’s what she said” quotes which are sure to follow. That is unless, of course, you’re with Sean Avery because he takes all the fun out of it and calls it like it is.

Fan status similar to: Keanu Reeves (Toronto Maple Leafs)

The Ladies’ Fan: John Krasinski

A co-star of Steve Carell on the Office, Krasinski also hails from the Boston-area having been born in Brighton and raised in Newton. While he doesn’t posses Carell’s hockey skill, Krasinski does enjoy the obsessed looks of women all around, especially those of Pam Beesly, Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s receptionist. Krasinski has been seen at numerous Bruins games, including an all too teenager girl-friendly match up against the Los Angeles Kings with Milo Ventimiglia, star of NBC’s other hit show Heroes.

Fan status similar to: ZZ Top (Houston Rockets), Nick Lachey (Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds)

The Bandwagon Fan: Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck would be a natural selection for “The Obvious Fan”, but, unfortunately, he isn’t really a fan. In an April 2009 interview with the Boston Globe, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-raised actor confessed that he’s “a total bandwagon jumper and [that] the Bruins are really good this year.” Affleck deserves respect enough for being a true Celtics and Red Sox fan, but his love of the Bruins is about par with his acting skills in Gigli. If only Matt Damon were a Bruins fan, then the two-years younger Affleck might enjoy the ice a bit more.

Fan status similar to: Most Bostonians (Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics)

The Family Ties Fan: Gordon Downie

A friend of mine from Canada was very upset to learn that I had never heard of the Ontario-based band The Tragically Hip, of which Gordon Downie is the lead signer and lyricist. Well, now that I have, I can inform you that they’re not half bad. All that is irrelevant, however, to the fact that Downie is a big Boston Bruins fan. Despite his Ontarian roots, the forever Bantam-level champion goaltender rejected the Toronto Maple Leafs in order to follow the team coached and managed by his godfather, Harry Sinden, who led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup victory in 1970 (with another Ontario-product doing plenty of scoring). While Downie, who has drawn comparisons to R.E.M.’s Michael Stripe, never blossomed between the pipes, he has often invoked hockey in his music, particularly in the songs “50 Mission Cap” and “Fireworks,” whose working title was “Bobby Orr.”

Fan status similar to: Kate Mara (New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers)

There you have it, six of the Boston Bruins’ biggest celebrity fans, neatly divided into categories. Be sure to check back for Part 2, which will have plenty of more celebrities, some who are even more famous and familiar than those listed here.

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4 comments for “With Love, From Hollywood: Celebrity Bruins Fans, Part 1”

  1. […] even categorized them for you to have a deeper understanding of their level of dedication. After sharing Part 1, here is Part […]

    Posted by With Love, From Hollywood: Celebrity Bruins Fans, Part 2 | Sports of Boston | August 25, 2009, 1:02 pm
  2. […] it until their team is doing well. Once they begin performing, everyone’s cheering for them. Just ask Ben Affleck. While diehard fans enjoy this added buzz surrounding the team – which is probably tolerated more […]

    Posted by The Pressure’s On for the Bruins | Sports of Boston | October 2, 2009, 6:00 pm
  3. will there be a hollywood celebrity game in boston in 2012?

    Posted by rick lane | December 21, 2011, 3:39 pm
  4. id like to see some celebs play some of the 70-72 bruins

    Posted by rick lane | December 21, 2011, 4:11 pm

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