After all the hype, all the predictions, all the interviews, Opening Night is finally here. I feel a little silly admitting this, but I was so wound-up last night, I didn't fall asleep until 2am. I unfortunately have been sucked-in by all the hoopla.
For me, it's not just all about Celtics-Heat, Pierce-LeFraud, DWade-SugarRay. It's more of an excitement in general that a huge part of my life that was missing for the last 4 1/2 months or so is back.
Kind of like when your significant other is away for an extended period of time and you are finally going to pick them up from the airport. Or when a dear family-member that you have not seen in years pulls up in front of the house on Thanksgiving morning. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach-nervous excitement.
The TD Garden is a special place for me. I have witnessed some amazing moments in Celtics history there. I have met some wonderful people that transformed from "the guy/girl sitting next to me", to people I now call friends. I have had the opportunity to meet athletes, media members and even celebrities. I say this not to boast, but to express just how important to me the Celtics and the Garden are.
So as you read this, I will probably be in the Garden watching pregame warm-ups and mingling with some members of the media. I can already feel the knot in my stomach caused by anticipation. Many questions flood my brain: Will the Celtics win? What will the Opening Night t-shirts look like? Who will receive the loudest ovation during starting line-ups?
But there is one thing I know for sure. Tonight is going to be a great night. For tonight, Celtics basketball is back at the TD Garden. 16,000+ fans will pack into that arena to scream, yell, clap and worship their Basketball Gods. Their will be dunks, blocks, boos, cheers and everything in between. It is October 26th, 2010, and the quest for Banner 18 resumes now.
(editors note: Chris Forsberg has the photo of the Opening Night shirts)