The Garden’s Best: The Bruins Gallery Gods

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Photo credit: Days of Y’Orr Blog

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.

 

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Photo credit: The Bleacher Report

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.

2 thoughts on “The Garden’s Best: The Bruins Gallery Gods

  1. In his condoleanses to Roger Naples, former allstar and Bruins great defenseman Brad Park simply wrote “the Biggest Bruin”. Brad Park couldn’t have given Roger Naples a finer compliment than calling Roger Naples the Biggest Bruin. It’s definitely true. I knew uncle Rog from the early spring of 1972. What a wonderful spring that was.
    I am from Sweden and Roger Naples sort of made all my dreams come true. Anytime I came to Boston, Roger made sure I had tickets to the Bruins game. I can still here Roger in his Boston accent “don’t worry about a thing, Pep”. Never failed. Roger got me tickets, autographs, sweaters, got me inside the Bruins dressing room to meet the players. From Bobby Orr to Raymond Bourque.

    Roger Naples knew everybody and everything concerning the Big Bad Bruins. He knew all “”behind the door” stories. I mean all of them.
    I could write a book about Roger Naples for all the things he did for me as the biggest Bruins fan across the Atlantic.
    I’m so happy you wrote about Roger Naples and the Gallery Gods. They really were the best of fans. Bruins fans have always been special, just like the team they cheer for are special. The Boston Bruins have always been special all those years.

    Like

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