-By Seth Daniel
With the swing of every Bruin’s stick, Donny Martelli and his family are hoping to hear the infamous clock tick.
For Martelli, of Dale Street, the Bruins, and their lack of playoff success until this year, have created an epic story within their family – one involving a unique 21-year old Boston Bruins clock that has never functioned, but just might start working soon if the Bruins can come back and win the Stanley Cup.
“New England sports fans are creatures of habit and we’re definitely superstitious too,” said Donny. “It’s just like the battery in my Dad’s clock and all the fanfare we’ve built around that. I’m sure there are thousands of stories out there just like this one. It’s what we do as fans.”
With the Bruins in the midst of an historic playoff run this year, the situation brings a little more excitement for the Martellis than for the average Bruins fan.
Martelli explained that he and his brother, Michael, had always bought their father, Don Martelli, some sort of Bruins-related gift for Christmas. In 1990, they bought him the infamous clock, which features a Bobby Orr rookie card standing above a Bruins logo clock.
“We came across that Bobby Orr rookie card clock and knew we had to get it for him,” said Donny. “We gave it to him on Christmas morning and he thought it was fantastic; he loved it. We wanted to know where he was going to hang it in the house. He said he wasn’t going to hang it up, and in fact, he wasn’t even going to put a battery in the clock until the Bruin’s won the Stanley Cup again. That was 21 years ago.”
From that superstitious decision, a tradition was born for the Martellis.
“Every year when the Bruins go to the playoffs, we never addressed it right away, but once they moved further on we began to discuss the clock and its battery,” said Donny. “We talked about how we’re going to watch the game and where we should watch the game. This year is different though. We’re three games away and that’s the closest we’ve been in 20 years to getting that battery in there. So, it makes watching the games even more exciting this time.”
Donny even said that a new generation of family members has gotten into the tradition.
His daughters, one seven and the other four, are rooting hard for the Bruins so that their grandpa’s clock can start working, Martelli said.
“I introduced the clock story to them and they were enthralled with it and now they want the Bruins to win so [grandpa’s] clock can finally get its battery,” said Martelli.
However, with the Bruins down in the series this week, things have become a little tenser, and like any group of superstitious hockey fans, the Martellis have switched up their game strategy.
Some experts might banter about whether Tim Thomas should come out of goal so often, or whether Shawn Thornton should be in the lineup over youngster Tyler Seguin, but the Martellis are all about where they’ll watch the game and whose bringing the batteries.
“We decided to watch the first games at our own homes this time, but every since then we’ve been watching at my Dad’s house,” said Martelli. “Now that they lost, we’re trying to re-think our strategy. We’re definitely going to switch up our strategy now.”
And with a little viewing strategy and some confident sticks, that Bruins clock will surely start to tick.