After last night, I can’t keep the thought out of my head.
How long is this going to last?
Just 7 years ago, the Boston sports scene was completely different. The Red Sox had a disastrous 2001 season, which resulted in season ending injuries to Pedro and Nomar, Jimy Williams being fired and somehow replaced by a manager who did an even more horrible job, a GM who simply couldn’t handle people or build a complete team, and an ownership who just didn’t care. The Patriots were entering just year 2 of the Belichick era, had just lost Drew Bledsoe to injury, and were starting a 6th round pick Tom Brady that no one had even heard of. Rick Pitino resigned as head coach after completely destroying the Celtics with his ego. The Bruins won their first regular season title, but lost in the 1st round to the Canadians in 6 games.
7 years later?
The Patriots pulled off one of the best ever underdog performances in the 2002 Super Bowl, then went on to win championships in 2004 and 2005. They made the playoffs in 2006, nearly pulled off another Super Bowl appearance in 2007, and are now absolutely destroying their competition as they head to the 2008 Super Bowl. They have the best coaching staff, best offense, best defense, and best ownership. Oh yeah, the fans are among the best and most loyal in football as well.
The Red Sox were bought by new owners who knew exactly what needed to be done to make the team capable of catching the Yankees. They completely revamped the team’s finances, improve Fenway Park every season to squeeze every last cent out of a 95-year-old ballpark, hired the best GM in baseball, hire one of the best coaches in baseball, and make some of the best moves in the history of the game (Ortiz is exhibit A on this). Meanwhile the team was one pitching change away from the world series in 2003, won the World Series in 2004, was retooled in 2005 and 2006, and won the World Series in 2007 with a young core of players and a group of excellent veterans that look like the perfect compliment to each other.
The Celtics had some limited success in the first few seasons of the 21st century, but quickly fell apart amid countless rebuilding plans. Yet in the end, all of the pain and suffering could be worth it. The Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen trades brings us a new Big 3 and the closest chance this team will have at winning a championship in the next decade. Even if they don’t win, it should be entertaining to watch, which is something you couldn’t say about the team since the early 90s.
Finally there is the Bruins…well, no town is perfect. Moving along…
Last night was truly special though for Red Sox fans. For the first 22-years of my life, I never had hope of a championship for the Red Sox. Now within 4 years, I have witnessed 2 championships. You can’t get any better then that.
I am never more proud to be a sports fan then I am today.