Boston sports media veterans Dan Shaughnessy, Mike Barnicle, Leigh Montville and our own Jackie MacMullan sat down a week or so after last year’s Boston Marathon bombings to have a roundtable discussion reflecting on what the event, and Patriots Day, means to the region.
Here are a few excerpts from the nine-minute video (embedded above):
» Barnicle: “Part of what happened and the reaction to what happened, because the marathon is so unique here, it was an assault on all our senses. It was if someone came into your living room, because we own this marathon. Because little kids before they get to Heartbreak Hill they’ll run along the sidewalk with some of the runners. You’re out there giving water and orange slices to the runners.”
» Montville: “It’s the most innocent sports event in America. Where else do ordinary people cheer for ordinary people?”
» Shaughnessy: “The elite runners, when [the bombs] went off [at just past the four-hour mark of the marathon], they’re done, they’ve had their press conference, they’re showered. At this point it’s a race of everyman. It’s teachers and firefighters and the people running for charities. That’s what hit home with so many of us. It’s the common guys and gals that are down at that point of the race at that time.”
» MacMullan, who recalled a story of taking her young children to a spot along the course where she used to watch the “26-mile, 285-yard backyard barbeque” as a child. She told a story of the defending champion stopping along the course next to her cooler and sharing a drink with them before continuing on his way.
“That’ll probably never happen again. Isn’t that the biggest shame of the Boston Marathon as we know it? Something like that’s never going to be allowed anymore.”