No Place Like Home
LeBron James put out the lights in the TD Garden as well as the Celtics season over Memorial Day weekend, ending a memorable run by an undermanned Celtics team. Now that their season is over, should we consider the Celtics season a success even though they were up 2-0 and 3-2 against the mighty Cavs who weren't supposed to be so mighty in Game 7 without Kevin Love? The simple answer is a crystal clear, YES, but more importantly think how lucky you are to be a sports fan here in New England in this era. We've become spoiled with the success of our teams, we expect championships and we've had plenty of them since the turn of the century. But sports in this region can still trump sports in other major cities even without a Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Title or World Series Championship. A quick perusal of some major sports cities may put this in perspective for all of us.
You could be living in Detroit where over the last calendar year not one of their 4 major league teams made the playoffs. The Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons all failed to qualify for post season play. Four teams, zero playoff games. So it didn't work in Motown. Why not move on to Chicago, a great sports town where they have 5 professional franchises. Guess how many teams out of that quintet made the playoffs over the past twelve months? ONE team, the Cubs. The White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears were all eliminated from post season play. Let's head east to New York New York. So big so good they named it twice. So large it has room for eight professional organizations. Can you recall how many of those eight teams were playing at the end of their regular seasons? ONE - The Yankees. The Mets, Jets, Nets, Giants, Knicks, Islanders and Rangers all watched the post season in the sitting position.
Here in Boston All 4 teams made the playoffs over the past 12 months. The Sox won their division and lost in 4 games to the eventual World Series Champion Houston Astros. The Patriots made their seemingly annual trip to the Ultimate Game - The Super Bowl - the third and final playoff game last season. The Bruins skated into spring taking out the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games before Lightning knocked out their power in Tampa in five respectable games. Meanwhile the Celtics run began on Sunday April 15th and it lasted exactly six weeks wrapped around 19 entertaining post season contests. That's a total of 100% participation and 41 playoff games for you the fan over the past year.
Forty-one games is more than two and a half NFL regular seasons, half of an entire NBA or NHL season, roughly one fourth of a baseball campaign. Night in and night out our major league teams give us entertainment, joy, frustration and reason to hope. We never have to say "wait 'til next year" because "next year" is always here. For now, exhale and finish all those projects and chores you've been putting off. Enjoy what you've just witnessed over the past year and make the most of this summer because October will be here soon enough. For total sports enjoyment, there's no place like home.