First of all, congrats on another great regular season. I’m really looking forward to watching you take Lord Stanley’s Cup back where it belongs. The Pats, Sox, and Celtics have had their turns. Now, it’s Black and Gold time. Although I know this feat is more up to you than how badly I want to see you win The Cup, I’m hoping these words will do their part to help you get there.
Even though it seems silly to compare winning the Stanley Cup to a couple of my favorite movies (Three Amigos and Star Wars), the message sent by them is one for everyone. Just like the saying “Everyone has their El Guapo” in Three Amigos, everyone has their Death Star. They both are that ultimate goal that seems impossible to overcome. But, you go after it anyway and you do whatever you can to get there. And in the end, you win.
It’s just as easy to say “Everyone has their Stanley Cup”. Like I explained in my Open Letter to Your Captain last year, one of my “Cups” was a diagnosis of a cancerous brain tumor when I was 18. The doctors told me I was going to need rounds of chemotherapy followed by radiation. I said, “Oh yeah?”, and finished treatment without needing radiation – my doctors had no explanation for this. Part of the reason was, as my mother would coach me through treatment, I took it “Like a Bruin”: I was tough, I tried not to complain, I kept having fun, and I played to win. I also believed in myself and had people who believed in and supported me.
Although I have only been lucky enough to meet a few of you a few times, I’m betting you’ve made it to the NHL because you believed in yourself. I’m betting most of you have parents who love you and supported you with everything you’ve done. And I believe you are playing the game because you love it and you want to go after your own Stanley Cup – which is the actual Stanley Cup (you really need to watch Three Amigos if you haven’t yet…trust me!).
Even though I will only enjoy NHL games from the stands, my chair, or playing the EA Sports video game, I can tell you that I think the strategies I used to beat cancer can easily be applied to winning The Stanley Cup. Battling cancer is not a time to fear, doubt, or blame. It’s a time to believe, celebrate every day, and be surrounded by people who can pick you up when you need it. Like I explained in that letter to Z, I used visualization when I was getting my chemotherapy treatments – I imagined my medicine traveling through my veins, up to my brain, and attacking my brain tumor. My images were vicious, and I knew the cancer didn’t have a chance. Even on my sickest days I told myself “If I feel this horrible, my cancer must be worse”. Getting cancer is time to take charge, and this is that time for all of you.
Every single Bruins fan believes in you. Believe in yourself, believe in each other, and show you want it more than anyone else. Visualize, and it will happen.
Now, go get it!
PS-The add for the Bruins Master Card in this Program is Priceless…