So…this is my first time here on WTP Sports and I want to thank all the folks here for allowing an old school – non millennial – 50 year old guy to give you a perspective from “us” guys who have been around the block a few times. A big shout out to Joe Scotch, Big Red, Nico, Dan and all the guys here already. Most of these guys are my adopted sons that either grew up or room with my actual son “Big Red” at school. Now that I got that out of the way, it’s on to the craziest, biggest knucklehead and long time Boston sports nut to give all of you “young’ens” a little history on what it was like to be a Boston sports fan when most of our 4 major sports team sucked and a championship was a mere dream for so long…Buckle up – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
As a kid yes I remember the good old days or coming up short in regards to our fabled Boston sports teams. I was too young to remember the Stanley Cups the Boston Bruins won in the early 70’s but I do remember the Big Bad Bruins days where we came up short but were so close to Lord Stanley’s cup in 1974,1977,1978,1988 and again in 1990. It killed me as a kid and a young guy to have 5 cracks at the Cup. Having grown up playing hockey my entire life it was like a good looking chick breaking up with you after you made the turn at 3rd base and was heading home. The promised land was in sight and BAMMM it disappeared and the only thing that could help was a cold shower or a Playboy magazine. Too much information ? Suck it up and deal with it people. No filters for me so get used to it.
Of course I can speak of the Boston Red Sox too. I waited until I was 34 years old to see the boys from Yawkey Way to break “The Curse of the Bambino” but again I remember losing in 1975 to the Big red machine know as the Cincinnati Reds, A playoff game to the dreaded NY Yankess in 1978 that we lost after having a pretty comfortable lead that year only to piss it away causing a 1 game playoff where as us Bostonian fans remember “Bucky Bleeping Dent”, 1986 when there was no way we could lose to that other team from NY known as the Mets but WHAM the Mets did to us what the Patriots did to Atlanta in our last Superbowl win. A routine ground ball between the legs of Bill Buckner wasn’t the beginning of that debacle but Bob Stanley one of the premier closers at that time in MLB couldn’t throw a god damn strike and it was actually a wild pitch that caused the wheels on the bus to start and fall off.
Now we get to the Boston Celtics my friends. Although the men in green did experience some success in the mid 70’s with 2 NBA championships, I still wasn’t old enough to really experience those championships but I do remember the couple of years leading up to what I can describe to anyone who didn’t have the pleasure of watching him – Larry Bird and company. Basketball was very low on the radar until the great match ups between Bird and Magic – LA vs Boston. Those days were epic to say the least and those 2 great teams in my opinion got the ball rolling on making the NBA what it is today. We couldn’t wait to watch the Boston Celtics of those days. Larry Bird was by far the “whitest” – unable to jump more than an inch of the floor kind of a guy – not the fastest guy on a basketball court, etc. but holy shit would he out hustle everyone else, could drain a shot from anywhere on the court under the most unusual of circumstances and by far made everyone else wearing the same jersey as him that much better. Bird also had a pretty good surrounding cast around him but honestly, Larry Bird made them even better. He demanded it from them and had no problem getting in a team mates face never mind an opponents face which happened many times trust me. Larry Bird was that good and if you younger guys ever have a chance to watch an old Celtics – Lakers title game, you will not be disappointed trust me. The NBA back in the 80’s and 90’s was at times like watching the WWE Wrestling. None of these phantom fouls like we see today. Today’s NBA players are pussies and couldn’t stand up to the physical play of the players back then. Hell, Danny Ainge as a player almost had his damn finger bit off by Tree Rollins. Mike Tyson finished what Tree Rollins attempted in the NBA.
Last but not least of our 4 major sports team here in Boston are the New England Patriots. This is where I have a major problem with all you young’ens out here. You’re spoiled, a championship parade means nothing to you like it does for us long time suffering Boston sports fans but my thoughts are of course only of jealousy and envy you lucky bastards. As a Pats fan and former season ticket holder ( I walked in the old Foxboro Stadium and hand picked my seats they sucked so bad) I had to endure 1-15 seasons, an NFL stadium that was so shitty that high school football programs in Texas and Florida had better stadiums and more importantly almost losing our beloved football franchise moving to Jacksonville and then St. Louis. Yeah that’s right, the Rams were originally from LA then moved to St. Louis and oops back to LA again. Our misery of losing in 1985 to Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl was just the beginning of a 10 year skid where we absolutely sucked ass and went through 2 or 3 different owners with a threat to move the Patriots out of New England until….The best sports owner in major sports franchises ponied up millions to buy the Patriots but before that, he bought the worst stadium in the NFL in denied 2 previous owners from getting out of their lease to move the Patriots so in fact Bob Kraft saved the patriots twice before he was even the owner. Once in 1988 and again in 1994. So with an ironclad lease agreement since Bob Kraft owned the old Foxboro Stadium (bought it for 22 million while the original owners of the Pats were in bankruptcy for putting up the old stadium as collateral for backing the Jackson 5 1984 Victory Tour), James Orthwein agreed to sell the New England Patriots for 172 million to the one man who saved us twice before he was able to buy the team. All hail Bob Kraft and his family. They are New England gods and yes, we should all worship the ground he walks on. Everything he touches turns to gold. After his purchase of the Patriots we have been fortunate enough to see 8 more Super Bowl appearances in which we’ve won 5. Yes I said 8 !! Remember 1996 and Drew Bledsoe vs. a young Brett Favre ? Of course you don’t – you’re “young’ens”. Anyhow, we got Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick (yes I had to google his name so I don’t misspell it) and 1 Tom Brady. I don’t even need to explain what these 3 men have done to improve our everyday life unless you’ve been on Mars here in New England for the past 25 years or so.
So in the end, all of you “young’ens” have enjoyed 10 Championship parades with the Duck Boats since 2001 where the rest of us waited and were heart broken more than a few times. But, it’s all good. The only difference for us old farts is that the taste is that much sweeter because we suffered more than you did. The best part being a little older and waiting for this ride of a lifetime being a Boston Sports nut is I got to attend nearly every single parade with my son Big Red, my dad before he passed away in 2013 and enjoy the first World Series win with my grandfather who was born in 1918 when the Red Sox last won a World Series. I’m not too proud to say that in 2004 I cried when the Red Sox won and shed a few tears because all of these championship parades were not the “norm”for me as a kid but seeing my own kids faces and all of their friends faces of joy has been absolutely awesome. Thank god you didn’t have to wait like some us did.
I’ll leave you “young’ens” with one last sentence. Have you enjoyed all these championship parades with the Duck Boats ? Yes ? Well – DUCK YOU !!! (kidding)
PS. If you can’t be good, be careful and if you can’t be careful use a rubber !!! And yeah – that’s me in the cheerleader outfit celebrating all of our Boston sports championships with all you spoiled bastards babyyy. City of Champions.