This is a takeareport post from 2007… It’s also the story I am most asked to re-tell. I told it on KFC Radio 2 weeks ago, but here it is in print.
I put “*” in the middle of curse words back then, because I thought it would send up less red flags to IT guys that could potentially block my site. There was no mobile platform at the time, so I relied on work and home PC’s for the bulk of my hits.
The original title was The Boston Massacre.
I was in Boston on Tuesday night for a client dinner. Went to a place called “Tresca” in the North End, which is Boston’s version of New York’s Little Italy.
I actually like the North End better than our Little Italy because it still has a nice “gindaloon” feel to it. As New York’s Chinatown is closing in from all directions, Little Italy is getting more and more “Little”, while getting less and less “Italy”.
Anyhow, I am BOMBED in this restaurant. Vodka and red wine all night. Eventually, right before closing, one of the restaurant owners, (and NHL Hall of Famer) Ray Bourque, comes and sits down at our table. Winds up that Ray has a mutual friend with one of my buddies at the table, so he came by to sit down for a while and say hello. I didn’t realize it at first, but Ray was half-in-the-bag also, but we’ll get back to that later.
I don’t know much about hockey, but I now know Ray Bourque is a fucking hockey LEGEND in Boston. He spent 20 years playing for the Bruins, before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche for the last 2 years of his career, where he happened to win a Stanley Cup. His fans in Boston were so happy for Ray when he won the cup, that they threw him a parade, in Boston, with over 20,000 people showing up even though he won it playing for a different team.
Somebody leaves New York and wins a ring, I think he could only expect a flaming bag of dog-sh*t on his porch the next day… That’s about it.
So Bourque is now 47 years old, but he is still built like a brick-sh*thouse. Maybe 6 feet tall, but hands like f*cking meat-hooks, and he is sitting next to me when I decide to shit on his golf game out loud. I think I said something to the fact that he is probably long off the tee, but has no touch around the greens.
The guy wigs out… Stands up, and throws me in a headlock in the middle of the restaurant. I struggled to get out, but it was useless. Ray wasn’t a goon during his career, but when a NHL hockey player has the luxury of being off thin blades precariously resting on slick ice, then he essentially loses his center of gravity.
What I am trying to say is that off of skates, hockey players grow roots into the ground they are standing on. And for those of you reading who believe you would’ve fared better, you are wrong.
Resistance was useless, so I waited until he released me. After a couple of long seconds, he finally lets go, and we kind of laugh it off as he sat back down. The guys at my table got a kick out of seeing me get bitched by a HOF hockey player.
No harm, no foul… I guess… But I learned my lesson: Keep your f*cking mouth shut around a drunken Ray Bourque.
Later on, as he is saying something to us like, “I loved winning a cup, but it would’ve been so much more special to win it in Boston… And you know what the city did for me? You know what the city did for me even though I abandoned them?”
Nobody said a word.
“I’ll tell you what they did.”, Ray continued. “Those people loved Ray Bourque (third person) so much, they threw me a f*cking parade when I returned home with a cup I won in another state.”
When he got through describing such a heartfelt moment, the people at my table grew even more quiet… Almost reverent.
And then I inexplicably interjected, “Yeah, sweetheart… But I bet you would trade it all in for some semblance of a short game.”
BANG! … I’m back in a headlock.
But this time he’s grinding my head like a f*cking coffee bean. My ears are tearing and I feel like my jaw is gonna dislocate. I guess it was a combination of 3 things:
2) Ray Bourque not knowing his own strength.
3) Ray Bourque not knowing how fragile I am.
When he finally lets go, I decide to fight back this time. I jump up and throw him in a front facelock for about 2 seconds before he flicks me off of him.
I fly back and hit the back wall of his restaurant, which, by the way, had maybe 20 or 30 other people at various tables.
I grab a steak knife from a neighboring table and palm it. I then stood there in a fighting position, waiting for Ray’s next move. I was terrified and I think I was crying… Not crying like I would if I was a battered wife or a kid who lost his mom in a department store. I was crying like so many often do when they are beat up around the face and neck.
Ray looks at me, and kind of snaps to his senses, so he starts to laugh. A sinister laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. And then I laughed back uncomfortably, sat down, and we opened another bottle of wine.
This is f*cking bizarre so far, right? But there’s more.
So we’re drinking again like nothing ever happened (but I am now truly gun-shy because I don’t want this crazy son-of-a-b*tch to throw me in a figure-four leg-lock, or something), and the conversation goes back to the actual Stanley Cup, and how each player gets to keep it for a couple of days.
So Ray stands up again, and starts to open his pants.
I think to myself as this guy stands up and starts to open his pants, “Oh, f*ck!… This sonofabitch is gonna make me bl0w him!”
But he didn’t (thankfully). Instead, he pulled down his pants to reveal a tattoo of Lord Stanley’s Cup that he had recently tattooed on his right thigh.
Take a report.
So that was the original post… My only hockey related blog and it ended there.
(See how I incorporated “hockey” and “end” into an inappropriate GIF?)
I had stumbled home to my hotel late that night, grabbed the early flight home the next morning, made it back to CITI before the open, traded all day, then went home that next night and furiously typed it up just as you read it.
When I published the following day we had HUNDREDS of people reach out through e-mail, IM, Bloomberg, and in the comment section to tell me how much of a drunken slob Ray was. It wound up being the most read piece of content I had written to date.
The next morning, I get a call on the desk from Ray’s agent saying his agency runs a sweep on their clients and saw I wrote this damning piece. He asked me if I would be willing to take it down, and the way he was asking, I knew it wasn’t the first time this agent had to deal with damage control for this drunken cocksucker.
I said, “I will gladly take it down, but Ray has to ask me nicely.”, and I hung up.
Sure enough, after I hung up, I got a call from Ray himself apologizing for his actions and asking me to take the article down since it was just a little drunken horseplay that got out of hand.
I said, “Drunken horseplay?… More like assault! But I understand my article might hurt your ability to make a living, Raymond, so I will have it removed in a couple of hours.”
He thanked me profusely, and then offered to buy “my lovely wife and I” dinner next time I was in Boston.
To which I responded…
“The last time I ate at your dump, will be the last time I eat at your dump… Go fuck yourself, Ray, and take a fucking report.”
And I hung up.
So if you ever find an archive of takeareport articles, the Ray Bourque story is now just a black and white picture of 2 classic female wrestlers with the caption, “Went to Tresca last night, had a lovely veal chop. Take a report.”
The only thing I will add today in 2018 is that Ray was my exact age when he assaulted me, but the only thing I currently have the strength to drunkenly assault nowadays is the guest bathroom in the James Hotel 3 times a week.
Take a report.