6.22.2008

I Got Your Jungle

The TD Banknorth Garden, formerly known as the Fleet Center, is home to the Boston Celtics. Built to replace the storied Boston Garden, the Celtics home was nicknamed "the Jungle" during their extended playoff run in 2002.

What is less well known is that the original Boston Garden was once actually closer to a real jungle with live animals on the roam during basketball games and other events. In 1946 a group of monkeys escaped their cages during a circus performance, and headed straight for the rafters. Garden President and Celtics owner, Walter Brown, initially undertook drastic measures to remove the monkeys, but had little luck.

After word got out that their were wild monkeys walking the Garden rafters, Brown noticed an uptick in attendance. Apparently, locals would pay to attend a Garden event just to watch the Monkeys rummaging around above them. After several months, however, the monkeys became increasingly problematic. On the one hand, they presented a growing sanitation problem. On the other hand, they were growing more irascible as they competed for nuggets of food left by spectators each night.

When the Garden was torn down in 1998, crews reported finding the remains of a monkey in the rafters. Oddly, the remains did not appear to be 50 years old. It turns out Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey were aware of more than a few monkeys that had gone AWOL.

Sort of gives new meaning to the notion that Boston fans behave like animals.

2 comments:

Andrew said...

Not only is it a jungle, the Boston Garden is a truly historic arena. However, without the name it just doesn't have the same feel. TD Banknorth or Commerce Bank or whoever owns the naming rights need to think about the Boston Fans. I believe the fans can change the name and have a say. Check out this campaign to change the name back to the Boston Garden: https://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/give-the-boston-garden-back-to-boston

There is no better time to do this, the Celtics just won their 17th championship and the renaming process is already underway. Thanks

Lex said...

Perfect. I hope it succeeds.

Thanks for the link.

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