(By Baxie) There comes a time in every man’s life when he is forced to embrace the idea that his last tender strands of youth are languishing beyond his control. The youthful vigor that once guided his entire being is quickly approaching it’s expiration date. Subsequently every man will discover that he simply cannot continue to operate as he would as when he was young. Someday, that will happen to me. And day will be September 15th, 2031 (just 3,563 working days from today…not counting vacations or holidays).
This week is was announced that after 42 years of singing the National Anthem at all Boston Bruins home games, the iconic Rene Rancourt has decided to retire at the end of this season. He will retire from one of the sweetest gigs in Boston sports. He is doing this because at the age of 78, Rene Rancourt has discovered that even he (in his tailor fit tuxedo and his Grecian Formula hair do) is finally getting too old for this bullshit.
Rene Rancourt has been singing the national anthem at Bruins game since the 1975-76 NHL season. This was the year that the Bruins traded Phil Esposito to the New York Rangers for Brad Park, Joe Zanussi, and Jean Ratelle. Those were difficult days. Had it not been for the dulcet tones of Rene Rancourt’s soothing baritone—I do not know how the Bruins could have carried on. And yet, they did despite losing in two straight Stanley Cup finals against Montreal.
The question now is, who do you get to replace a towering and imposing legend like a Rene Rancourt? Most other teams in the league don’t really have a guy who does what he does. Most teams get half rate no-talents from the community to sing the National Anthem. And those kinds of people are the worst. Listen, if the Bruins cant come up with anybody in the next five months—I’ll do it. I can belt out a pretty sweet tune. You’ve all heard how I used to kick ass during the old Classic Rock Lyric Quiz. Based upon those performances, the Star Spangled Banner would be a piece of cake. So, lets sit back and see how this all plays out. Because if I have to start singing at the Garden, I may have to scale back my very intense work load.