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In a city of champions, the Celtics deserve more respect

RedsArmyAdmin June 20, 2011 Uncategorized 6 Comments

Bruins parade The Bruins won their first Stanley Cup since 1972 last week, and in the process gave the city of Boston its seventh championship of the 2000's.  They also completed the City-of-Champions-Grand-Slam by giving Boston an unprecedented title in all four major pro sports over just seven years. 

Boston is, right now, title town.  Teenagers in the city are spoiled.  They only know the city to be a championship machine.  They didn't know how tortured the city was before the Patriots started this chain reaction back in 2001.  Well, tortured unless you're a Celtics fan.  Then you're pretty used to titles around here… even though there was a 22 year lapse between the last two. And this is why the team deserves a little more respect.  

Before 2001, the Celtics were pretty much all the city of Boston had as far as championship material.  They'd won multiple titles in every decade except for the 90's, when the team went through an extended stretch of bad decisions and bad breaks.  Who knows where the Celtics would have been had Len Bias and Reggie Lewis not tragically passed.  

Regardless, the Celtics were still there in 1974, two years after the Bruins won Cup #5.  And the Celtics were back in 76 to heal the wounds of a city stung from a Red Sox World Series loss in 1975.    And the Celtics were back a few years later with Larry Bird and the crew to win three more titles in the 80's, even as the Bruins and Red Sox continued to disappoint (let's not get into the Patriots Super Bowl destruction at the hands of the Chicago Bears).  

Celtics 86 parade The Celtics have been there time, and time, and time, and time again.  From their domination in the 60's to multiple titles in the 70's and 80's and with some of the greatest of the greats wearing the home colors throughout it all, the Boston Celtics have been the one constant in Boston championship history.  

Yet when the Bruins hoisted the cup and started to plan their parade, WEEI started asking people to rank the championships in Boston this past decade.  #1:  the 2004 Red Sox.  #2: A tie between this Bruins team and the '01 Patriots.  The Celtics?  Barely even mentioned. 

Are they victims of their own success?  Maybe.  The Celtics winning again barely registers in Boston because they're supposed to win.  The Celtics are the most dominant of the four pro franchises.  They've been winning almost since day 1.  

But as we look back at our great fortune as a city over the past decade, the Celtics should get more respect for being the common championship thread Boston's history.  I don't want to take away from the Bruins moment.  They earned it.  I was happy to be there on Saturday to enjoy the return of hockey madness to the city.  But as we look back on what the city has seen over the long haul, a team as dominant as the Celtics deserves more respect for what it has done.

Photos:  Getty Images, Globe file

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/mrtripledouble10 MrTripleDouble10

    Couldn’t agree with you more. You put it best though that they are in a way, victims of their own success. Most Boston fans that rank the Celtics as anything other than their favorite of the four, view it this way: ‘Ehhh they have like 850 championships so it’s not as big of a deal.”
    At least, that’s the general consensus from what I’ve heard throughout the years.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/chanelfigueredo NineSevenEight

    Agreed. I think the age of the current Big Three coupled with the assembly of the Heat and the looming lockout are also influential factors on public opinion. People see a team on the decline and how quickly they forget.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mikemunger Mike Munger

    The Celtics have more titles than the rest do combined. More Hall of Famers. The Greatest coach in the history of sports coached the C’s. The worst thing is when the local media won’t even stick up for us the same way they do the Sox, Pats, or now the B’s. The Pats have the biggest bandwagon fan base in New England. The Sox fans were so used to being losers it sticks with them even today. And the B’s fan base was limited to their hardcore little group. If you look at all of the titles in the last 11 years, the Celtics title over LA was EASILY the best one as it not only brought together 2 generations of C’s fans but it brought back the NBA’s greatest rivalry. Too bad people like Glenn Ordway and Michael Felger don’t have a damn clue about the C’s or basketball in general. They’re too afraid to rock the boat and say anything controversial to defend the C’s for fear the NBA, ESPN, or other major media outlets refuse to talk to them.
    The Celtics are without question the top dogs in this town, too bad most people aren’t smart enough to realize it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/lukesweeney Luke Sweeney

    I agree they don’t get the respect they deserve. I don’t disagree with the 04 sox being the best one, but I would definitely put the 08 C’s number 2. They way in which they did it was unprecedented. People tend to forget what it was like the year before. This bruins team has been slowly coming along the passed few years and you could kind of see it happening. The Celtics though we all woke up one day and we we’re contenders, brought back one of the best rivalry in sports, brought back the emphasis on defensive basketball and set off a chain reaction with the league. I’m a c’s and sox fan from syracuse ny I’ve been one my whole life because of my dad and my uncle. I remember going to Boston to meet my friend from Boston who I met in college and I was so pumped it was my first time going there. I was ready to buy all types of Celtics gear. This was 2006 I was sadly disappointed that had such hard time finding Celtics gear. I finally ended up finding a shirt at champs. My friend was like “Yeah it’s mostly just Pats and Sox stuff, nobody wears Celtics stuff.” I was like “Why?! They’re one of the greatest franchises in all of sports?!” I couldn’t believe it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/licktheglassitol Classless

    Explain this to me. How come basketball is played constantly in every neighborhood in New England, by every race, every financial class, every gender yet I get the feeling over the last few days “nobody” likes the NBA? I don’t know ANYONE who plays pickup Hockey….and I’ve lived in the South Shore, Boston, and Western Mass and have never encountered anyone who plays hockey. It makes no sense.
    I think the Celtics certainly got their due when they won in 2008. But it was nowhere near this outpouring the Bruins are getting. I have to wonder if there’s a racial component to this. Hockey players are routinely lauded as “normal” guys who give boring, stock cliche’ answers. Hockey doesn’t have psychos like KG or flashy players like Lebron. People can relate more to them. Look at the crowds at the parade and at games. All I see is a whitewash.
    Maybe people are a little too eager to go back to a hockey town…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    absolutely pathetic. this type trash is something i would expect from dan shaughnessy. and i can’t believe those who agree and add to the whining and moaning.. 1) boston is a hockey town 2) that parade dominated every parade thrown in boston