By Danae Angiulo | Follow me on Twitter @DanaeAngiulo3
Recognized as one of the fiercest fan bases of any NHL team, the Gallery Gods of the Boston Garden dominated the ‘nosebleed’ section for decades.
As you travel around Boston Garden on a night where the Bruins are set to drop the puck, you hear many terms coming from black and gold clad fans. One interesting term you may hear is the “Gallery Gods.” After hearing someone say Gallery Gods, you may be wondering who or what that means. Well, look no further.
Longtime Bruins fan, Roger Naples founded the Galley Gods after he was befriended by Bruins players outside of the Garden, inviting him into the locker room and gifting him with sticks and uniform equipment. From that point on, Naples appreciated his friends and the organization so much so, that he dedicated his life to ensuring the Big Bad Bruins would have a fan section to match their nickname.
The Gallery Gods found their home in the second balcony of the old Boston Garden watching their team on high and sending their cheers around every section in the arena. Some even say you could feel the walls and seats vibrate when they roared. Most Gallery God seats were passed down through family generations, making this fanbase truly “family.” The motto of the gallery gods was “Trumpets, ruckus cheering and knowledge of hockey present day and history. From on high in the heavens what we consider the best seat in the house”.
Speaking to Caesar Angiulo, a former Gallery God from 1970 to 1987; he noted that Naples was still president of the famed fan section and welcomed new members with loving arms. Angiulo reflected on how the Gallery Gods had a clear view of the ice that looked better than anything seen on TV. Angiulo mentioned that his seats were passed down to him from his hockey coach, whose son sat beside him in section 135 AA, hanging over the attack zone blue line. “You were really a part of a second family once you became a Gallery God.” Angiulo also talked about how every season, the Gallery Gods would hold a banquet and it was deemed mandatory for every Bruins rookie to attend and be unofficially “blessed by the Gods.”
Roger Naples ended his Gallery God reign in 2015 with a bang as he watched his last game in the Garden with his family, relatives of former Bruins and Bruins legends. Naples was brought on the ice to honor Milan Lucic with the Eddie Shore Award, an award founded by the Gallery Gods themselves and given to a player who demonstrates great hustle and determination. Sadly, Roger Naples passed away at the age of 97 in 2017. One thing is for sure though, the mark Naples left on the Bruins fanbase will be remembered for generations to come.