It’s not that Mike Rood’s allegiance is torn, but he couldn’t possibly be stuck any more in the middle of the Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup finals matchup that begins tonight.
Rood is a Beverly native who grew up rooting for the hometown Bruins. Now he’s a Chicago resident who has, over the years, grown to appreciate the Blackhawks’ style of play.
He has two children — a 9-year-old daughter, Maya, who was born locally and refuses to cheer on any team not affiliated with Boston or New England, and a 7-year-old son, Paxon, who was born in Chicago and has already stated that he will be rooting against his father in the Cup finals.
To top it all off Rood had previously arranged a family trip home to Beverly for late June, which would coincide with Games 5, 6 and 7, meaning his time could almost be evenly split between the competing cities if the series goes the distance.
“Chicago, they kind of like you if you’re from Boston. It’s the same kind of sports town,” said Rood, 41, who is the General Manager of Go Roma, an Italian restaurant in Chicago. “Everybody out here liked the Bruins; there was never any animosity. But now my Facebook is blowing up and guys I play hockey with here and people I work with are saying we can’t talk now for the next couple weeks. I’m officially in enemy territory.”
Rood, who has played hockey since he was a kid and skated on one of the best-ever Beverly High teams in the winter of 1990, isn’t in a can’t-lose situation. But he is a big fan of Blackhawks star right wing Patrick Kane and would take some enjoyment out of Chicago capturing the Stanley Cup.