When it came to Boston Bruins hockey, there were not many people who bled the black & gold more than my father. Growing up in Andover, MA, he played hockey through all of his youth into high school and loved the sport like no other. At our alma mater, he still holds the record for penalty minutes in a season with 210 in 62 games (~3.4/game). My father was the definition of “Old School Hockey”, and when his playing days were finally behind him, he went to the Bruins to get his dose of the game he kept so close to his heart. Whenever he was at either Garden, he felt like he could release that high school hunger of his with no shame. When he was watching his team play, it gave him the chance to have that “childlike happiness”, where it’s almost an escape from the harsh reality of adulthood, for just one game at a time.
This man loved this Bruins team so much, that when the old Boston Garden was being torn down, he made my mother drive him to Boston to get one last picture with the place he shared so many great memories in. This team was part of him.
My dad instilled the hockey tradition in me at a very young age, and it should be said that it was never forced. He knew what it was like to love this game, and he wanted nothing but that for me.
My dad purchased season tickets in the 2010-11 season. Loge 10, Row 6, Seats 9 & 10. That’s where my dad and I got to bond. That’s where he got to teach me about all of the goalies and watch our favorite team lift the Stanley Cup. I’ll never forget Game Six in the 2011 SCF when the Bruins scored their first goal, he picked me up and literally threw me in the sky in joy. I never once saw him smile like that anywhere else. This is where he got to be a kid with me. They are all memories I wouldn’t trade for the world.
My dad had a knee replacement and milked his handicap placard to the bone, so whenever we would drive into the games, we would always park on the top level so we could get out fast after the games. Every time we drove into that parking garage, my dad would always point to Jeremy Jacobs’ fancy sports car parked right next to the elevator at every game. I would always hear him complain about Jeremy Jacobs, but I was too young to comprehend the real reasoning behind it.
Every year, my dad would notice the prices of everything go up, from tickets to parking to concessions. He didn’t seem to care enough, as he still bought the tickets for years, up until 2016. Parking went from around $30 bucks to around $50. When we first bought our tickets, they sold at face value for $79 apiece. Granted they won the cup, but they rose over 60% to $129. As the years went on, I slowly noticed my dad and I would go to fewer and fewer games per year, and it was obvious that he had lost that fire he once held for his childhood team. The Jacobs family managed to pry my father of every dollar they possibly could – one of their teams’ biggest fans – before he finally had to let go. I hate to sound dramatic, but the Jacobs family managed to take away the one thing that made my dad happy and the one thing we got to do together – over pocket change.
With those Bruins games now being some of the only strong memories I share with my dad, I am now old enough to realize how greedy of a family the Jacobs family is. I never understood why we “had” to sell the tickets, and why my dad suddenly began to lose interest, but it’s crystal clear to me now: because he wasn’t having fun anymore. The Jacobs family gave him absolutely zero reasons to stay when all they were doing was increasing prices and worrying about business. He would see his cars at every game, but never actually see Jeremy. He was just an entity that took his money. Jacobs never spent time with the fans or got the chance to know the people who support this team he runs with their lives.
You see owners like Mark Cuban and Steve Ballmer, who go sit with the fans of their teams during their games and actually get to know the people who support their livelihoods. Meanwhile, Jacobs sits up in his press box, as far away from the fans as possible, counting his money and putting no effort into the betterment of the actual team, beyond finances. Safe to say it’s not the greatest business model. Money can only buy you so much in life, and it’s embarrassing to see the worst owner in sports for one of the greatest franchises alienate his most loyal fans, over, what to him, are pennies.
Seeing this news in the press lately about the way Jacobs has handled this coronavirus pandemic should not be a surprise to anyone. Sitting at 159th on the “Forbes 400” richest people list, Jacobs has more money then he could possibly know what to do with for the next three generations, sitting on a net worth of $3.4 billion. I honestly don’t believe in telling people how to spend their money, but when you have money like Jacobs does, you have an obligation to the people who got you there. With that being said, the fact that it took him ONE WEEK to gather up $1.5 million (0.0004% of his net worth) to give to his workers at TD Garden, only to let go of most of them days later, is the most embarrassing and awful stories I’ve ever heard in my entire life. The Bruins are one of the most profitable teams in the NHL, and they were the VERY LAST team to offer help to their living-wage workers in desperate need. It boggles my mind how inhumane someone can be, but after knowing how Jacobs likes to do things, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, and I’m sure if my dad were here, he wouldn’t be surprised either.
Like I said, guys like Mark Cuban get the point: money shouldn’t be their worry anymore. Now, it’s about the legacy they’re going to leave behind. I hope the Jacobs family knows that their legacy is beyond repair, and you have your billions at the expense of the loyal fans who could never leave the team they love, even though they know how much of an awful person Jeremy really is.
If I could say one thing to Jeremy Jacobs, it would be this: You truly have some of the most amazing people in the world supporting your team and working in your arena. I’ve seen it at every game I’ve been to. I hope you remember that you wouldn’t be here without those fans (who actually work for their money to spend at your games), and the fact that you continue to treat them and your workers so poorly without hesitation and without love and appreciation is a disgrace to this amazing city, and I hope all fans follow in my father’s footsteps of never giving you a dollar of their hard-earned money ever again. My mom always says “you can’t bring your money with you when you die”, and I hope you figure that out and wakes up, because, despite your accomplishments on paper, you are truly an embarrassment to our city and beyond.