Members of the Boston Bruins accepted the “Best Sports Team Ever” award in front of a crowd of approximately 400 Cambridge residents and students on Sunday afternoon.
Beginning in the early afternoon with live music performances, the event culminated in a ceremony in Brattle Square following a parade down Mass. Ave.
“It was a great time,” Bruins center Brad Marchand said. “It was very light-hearted, but everyone really enjoyed it and it was really funny. I was not expecting that.”
His low expectations were appropriate, given that the award was presented by the Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine.
But amid the ceremony honoring the championship team, a more triumphant victory was scored outside a bus holding a motley crew of chattering ‘Poonsters and The Crimson’s President’s Chair.
A team of Crimson editors were on hand as the bus parked near the ceremony. As the ‘Poonsters disembarked, Crimson editors surrounded the vehicle, eventually gaining access to the bus and liberating the chair.
Lampoon President Charles A. Sull ’12 declined to comment for this article on Sunday evening.
As a page turned in the history of Crimson-Lampoon rivalries, festivities were underway in Brattle Square.
Local music groups performed in the square, and vendors, such as Boloco and Bertucci’s, sold food and drinks to the growing crowd.
The Bruins, who won the Stanley Cup last June for the first time since 1972, arrived to Cambridge at around 3:15 p.m.
The players—Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton, Tyler Seguin, and Marchand—greeted fans before entering the Lampoon Castle, where they continued to sign autographs for young fans.
At 4 p.m., the players departed the castle in Super Duck tour buses and began a parade along Mass. Ave. and Brattle Street, culminating in Brattle Square.
The players, joined by members of the Lampoon, took the stage along with the Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher. Maher, who referred to the Bruins as the “Cambridge Bruins,” told the crowd that he had proclaimed Oct. 16 as Boston Bruins Day in Cambridge.
Sull followed Maher, telling the crowd that the Bruins had beat out competition from sports teams from every era to earn the award, represented by a six-foot tall, multi-tiered trophy.
But before the Bruins could claim the award for themselves, the players had to defeat a squad of Lampoon members, deemed the Lampoon Indians, in a game of dodgeball. The Bruins dominated the encounter, giving the Lampoon their second defeat of the day, although several bystanders were struck by errant throws from both sides.
“I was a little nervous going into the dodgeball match, but we pulled through,” Marchand said. “We’re just happy to have that wicked trophy.”
After receiving the trophy, each player took the microphone and performed short comedy sketches for the hundreds of delighted fans. The skits, written by Lampoon writers, harped on stereotypes of hockey players and characteristics of the team’s big names.
For example, Seguin, a 19-year old center, gave a fake retirement speech and stated his plans to enroll in Harvard College full-time as a freshman. Wearing a crimson T-shirt with “Actual Harvard Student” written on the front, Seguin made several jokes aimed at the men’s hockey team, stating he is excited to play in arena “that provides free popcorn to all nine fans.”
“I guess we’re up there [among the best teams of all time],” said a smiling Lucic, the Bruins’ leading scorer last season. “To be honored like this ... is great.”