Seriously, just no.
Boston Mayor and Boston College alum Marty Walsh is in his ancestral home of Ireland this week, doing whatever it is mayors do when they visit foreign countries, and has some super fun ideas to foster ties between Boston and its sister city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.
One idea, as reported by the BBC and tweeted by the Belfast Giants, Belfast's pro hockey team, is to move the Beanpot to Northern Ireland in 2016 to be played at the Giants' arena.
"In light of the recent Sister City twinning between Belfast and Boston, which is underpinned by a longstanding connection between the two cities through ice hockey, I think it would be wonderful to bring the Beanpot to Belfast and am lending my support to the campaign."
Odyssey Trust Chief Executive Robert Fitzpatrick says a 'Belfast Beanpot' would bring a major boost to the city.
In the subsequent twitter freakout--which has united fans of BC, BU and Northeastern behind a common cause (Harvard still doesn't care)--it's been revealed that the TD Garden knew nothing of this idea, nor, apparently, did any of the schools involved.
Now, there's a thin line here between "interesting idea" and "worst idea ever." Bringing the Beanpot schools over to Belfast to play in exhibition games, or some sort of non-conference tournament? That would be ****ing awesome. I would probably even pay to go if I could. (Although frankly I'd be a little surprised if there wasn't some residual uneasiness about Boston College in Belfast, in light of recent events.)
But moving the actual Beanpot is just a terrible idea. It's as terrible an idea as it was back when people said "oh, they should play the Beanpot at Fenway!" except even more terrible because at least Fenway is still in the city. There's no reason to move the goddamn Beanpot anywhere, or add any other New England teams to it, or make a basketball version, or any one of the other 15,000 stupid ideas people seem to come up with for it every year.
I feel like I am a broken record on this topic, but seriously: The present circumstances of the tournament--four Boston teams, playing in Boston's NHL rink, featuring programs with championship heritage and also Northeastern--is exactly what makes the Beanpot a special, distinct, beloved, unique event, and what separates it from, say, the Great Lakes Invitational, or the IceBreaker, or the plethora of other neat hockey events. Change any of those elements and it's not the Beanpot. Play it out of Boston entirely and you're totally missing the point. If it's not in Boston, it's not the Beanpot. You can't have the Kentucky Derby at Suffolk Downs, or the Indy 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
This is an extension of the same principle that says that trying to compare something to the Beanpot makes it instantly look dumb, like when Charley Molnar (lol) said that we needed to make a football version of the Beanpot with BC, UMass, UConn and some FCS team. First of all, that's not what the Beanpot is. Secondly, no.
Anyway, if I keep going down this path, I will either pop a blood vessel or continue to veer wildly off topic, so I'll wrap up with this: "HELL NO" to this plan, Mr. Mayor. Supposedly when Belfast officials come to Boston next month, they will meet with the schools to discuss the idea further; let's hope fans of all four (okay, all three) continue to make their voices heard about what a bad idea this would be.
My guess is that there's little to no chance of this ever happening, but you can never be too vigilant--dollars can speak pretty loudly.