This weekend's Boston Pride Parade will feature one very popular local bear: Blades, the Boston Bruins' mascot, will march along with Boston Pride Hockey and You Can Play Project co-founder Patrick Burke. "Apparently I misunderstood when friends told me there aren't enough bears at Pride," Burke tweeted.
Burke also said that Bruins players had planned to join them, too -- if they weren't busy battling their way towards the Stanley Cup, a tournament so long and brutal that this week Sports Illustrated's cover story called it "the most intense short-term spectacle in all of sports." The Bruins JUST BEAT the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Eastern Conference championship and head to the Stanley Cup finals.
Earlier this year, You Can Play Project officially partnered with the NHL and the league's player association to provide education and resources to players and fans, and the first real test of their role as mediators was to enlighten frequently shirtless right winger Tyler Seguin on his casual use of #nohomo when gushing about his friends. (Seguin met with Burke and apologized a couple more times, pledging future involvement.) Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and alternate captain Andrew Ference were both early and vocal You Can Play Project supporters.
We're not saying the other teams still standing aren't worth rooting for/Googling/crushing on -- but if you needed another reason to shout "Boston Strong" while posing with an oversized stuffed bear mascot, you're all set.