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I am an idiot. I made a terrible bet by putting a little too much faith in King James and his subjects and now I have to pay up. It just kills me…as a lifelong Lakers fan, I take no pleasure in sharing the 17 things I love about Boston and the Celtics. Why 17? One for each championship the Celts have won. I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about Boston players so work with me, I had to really stretch sometimes to pay a compliment.
Reason 1 (In honor of the 1957 NBA Championship) – I’m Irish and there is not a more Irish team in the league than the Celtics so I guess I have to respect that. I won’t lie, leprechauns kind of creep me out, but I’m down with the clovers and I must admit it’s kind of cool the three leaf clover has come to symbolize Boston’s big three of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Maybe they should change it to a four leaf clover to give Rondo some love?
Reason 2 (in honor of the 1959 Championship) – The movie “Good Will Hunting.” Let’s face it, Boston didn’t have many great movies going for it before this one came along. And don’t give me “Celtic Pride,” that was brutal. Something about “Good Will Hunting” made Bostonians a little more palatable to me. Heck, maybe even downright charming. I’ll admit it; I was talking with the Southie accent for about a week after seeing this movie. And every time someone tells me they are a Celtics fan in person, I tell them, “It’s not your fault.” Then I take a step closer and say, “It’s not your fault.” And so on. It never seems to work like it did in the movie with them coming to grips with their poor choices and crying in my arms, but I still like to give it a try.
Reason 3 (in honor of the 1960 Championship) – John Havlicek. I don’t really like any Celtics players, but there’s some you at least have to respect. I respect Havlicek. “Hondo” racked up just about every record/accolade you could in his 16 seasons with the Celtics. And since he did it prior to my birth, that makes it a little more tolerable as I didn’t have to witness it.
Reason 4 (in honor of the 1961 Championship) – The 1999 MLB All-Star Game. I know it doesn’t have much to do with basketball, but like I said earlier, work with me. I got to attend this event working with UD and it was one of the best trips of my life. Mark McGwire was blasting home-runs deep into the Boston night when we lived in such pre-steroid-frenzy bliss. Ted Williams came onto the field before the game and was greeted by all the players. It was just a magical event that I’ll never forget being in Fenway, a great American ballpark.
Reason 5 (in honor of the 1962 Championship) – I love my little nephew Sean. And my little nephew loves green so obviously when we watch basketball, he roots for the Celtics, or the “Green Guys” as he likes to call them. He loves big players and seems to really get a kick out of the fact there is a player named Big Baby. I’m not a fan of him myself, but he makes my nephew happy so I guess I can at least tolerate him.
Reason 6 (in honor of the 1963 Championship) – Cheers. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name… What a great show. I got the chance to go to the actual Cheers bar when I visited Boston once and while it doesn’t look anything like the show, it’s still very cool. I hated Kevin McHale as a player, but it was pretty cool when he showed up on Cheers and went into a shooting slump when he became obsessed with the number of bolts in the floor of the Garden. Remember that one?
Reason 7 (in honor of the 1964 Championship) – Boston fans are very passionate. That helps any good rivalry. Along with passion, they’re also kind of funny. What am I talking about, you ask? Try this on for size…
Reason 8 (in honor of the 1965 Championship) – Bill Russell. It’s kind of hard not to at least respect Bill Russell. He was a five-time NBA MVP, a 12-time time All-Star and oh yeah, he won 11 championships in his 13-year career. Nobody has eleven rings. That’s really just amazing, so props to you Bill Russell.
Reason 9 (in honor of the 1966 Championship) – Mark Wahlberg. Marky Mark has brought me great shows like “Entourage,” “Boogie Nights,” and of course his musical masterpiece, “Good Vibrations.”
Reason 10 (in honor of the 1968 Championship) – An 8-Pete. Back-to-Back is cool, a 3-Pete is awesome, but an 8-Pete? Well that’s just ridiculous, but that’s what the Celtics did back in the day. Pretty amazing to say the least. On that you can’t hate, you can only appreciate.
Reason 11 (in honor of the 1969 Championship) – Red Auerbach. I won’t get into the fact of how successful he was or how Phil Jackson passed him up for most championships, I’ll just say this: what a great name. There really are not enough guys named Red anymore. It would be great if someone could bring back cool names like Red, Blue, Pepper, Buzz, Hank, Skip and Dallas. Those are the names of guy’s guys. Love your name Red!
Reason 12 (in honor of the 1974 Championship) – Those short shorts. I don’t know how guys played in those things. What were they eight inches in length? Anyone who had the courage to go out in these things in front of thousands of fans has got some serious, well, I just give them credit.
Reason 13 (in honor of the 1976 Championship) – Tom Brady. He ropes in championships and then ropes in a super model. There was a time in my life when I had a small man-crush on Brady. Unfortunately today I think it’s even more serious than that. Much like Ferris Bueller, I think Tom Brady is a pretty righteous dude. Thanks for giving late-round draft picks like me hope Tom!
Reason 14 (in honor of the 1981 Championship) – Shops like New England Sports Cards and P&T Sports Cards. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Bruce at New England Sports Cards and Paul and Terry at P&T Sports Cards during in my time here at Upper Deck. If you get the chance, pay them a visit as they have everything a hard-core Bostonian would want in terms of collectibles. As sad as it makes me to see my teams lose to Boston teams, it makes me happy to know that it helps their business. Google them and drop by, you’ll be happy you did.
Reason 15 (in honor of the 1984 Championship) – Larry Bird’s mustache. Much like Samson getting his power from his hair, so did Larry. Only it was his facial hair. I believed the power of the blonde mustache to be so powerful, I tried to grow one myself when I was 22. I’m still waiting for it to come in, but I have high hopes that once it does, my three-pointer percentage and my percentage with the ladies will both improve.
Reason 16 (in honor of the 1986 Championship) – I suppose I don’t totally hate Kevin Garnett. I was a little happy to see him win a title after being stuck on the Timberwolves for so long. One of the main reasons why I like him is because he sometimes screams when he dunks. Wouldn’t that be cool if you could get away with that in the real world? “Just sign right here Mr. Jones and the car is all yours… And great. UUUUUUHHHHHHHHH!!!” Here’s a sample of KG in action:
Reason 17 (in honor of the 2008 Championship) – Magic vs. Bird. Did you ever notice whose name is always mentioned first in that rivalry? From the NCAA Championship through several meetings in the NBA Finals, this was a true rivalry. Magic and Bird are frequently given credit for not only saving the NBA, but taking it to a new level and making it the premier American sport. Larry, I have a strong dislike for you, but I thank you for the rivalry. If it wasn’t for you and that rivalry, maybe there wouldn’t be as much interest in the 2010 NBA Finals where the Lakers will lay the foundation of what should be at least a 9- or 10-Pete!