When the Patriots won their first Super Bowl I was 9 and a half. When the Red Sox won their first World Series I was 13. I remember my Dad telling me how lucky I was and how it’s not always like this, with the parades and the winning and what not. I also remember thinking he was full of shit. I mean I was 13. Don’t you know all 13 year olds know everything this is to know about anything? Now, even though he was wrong and the winning has continued with no sign of stopping, I have grown to appreciate what winning a Championship actually means and how hard it is.
I think what gave me the most perspective, was the Patriots after our last Super Bowl victory. We have had some really good teams since then (*cough* 2007) and we’ve been to the Super Bowl twice, but we haven’t come away with the Lombardi. Then the Celtics made it to the Finals and got beaten by the damn Lakers. Finally, an injury riddled Bruins team lost the Cup to the Blackhawks, though it seemed almost luck that we’d made it that far. It just gives you the perspective that you can have the best team out there and things still have to fall into place. You still have to have a bit of luck to win it all. It gives winning a Championship, more of the feeling that the fans really have an impact on the game. That heart and momentum and all the intangibles that people are skeptical of, really make a difference. That there is a thing as being clutch and its definition is in fact Big Papi.
I think growing up in this time, the biggest thing I got from the fans and teams and the players is that winning is more important than anything else. You look at all the teams from Boston in the past decade that have won Championships and there isn’t one diva. There’s not one guy on those teams that cares more about himself than he does his teammates or winning. Brady. Belichick. Garnett. Pierce. Chara. Lucic. Tito. Papi. All the teams that won did it as a team. You always got the feeling that they weren’t just dudes paid to play a sport but that they genuinely liked Boston and the people they played with. I think The Collapse in 2011 and the subsequent season with Bobby Valentine gave us a glimpse of what it’s like in other cities. Sometimes a bunch of douches just show up for the money and assume they’ll win.
We’ve got something special going on in Boston and I’m hoping it never ends. But even if it does at least I’ll be able to tell my kids about the Golden Age of Boston sports. Way better than my Dad telling me about the Dark ages.