Ron F, or “Red Auerbach” as he’s known on Twitter, is a lifetime Celtics fan from Solana Beach, California. I came into contact with Ron through Red’s Army and the Twittersphere. Ron is very knowledgeable when it comes to the Celtics and the NBA. That’s a common thread among C’s fans-they know the game and they know their team and it’s rich history. Ron explained to me how his father & grandfather were responsible for getting him interested in the Boston Celtics:
I became a Celtics fan because my Dad and Grandfather were big fans. They moved to CA because my grandmother contracted a disease and they had to change climes. I never met them…but my Dad would tell me about listening to games on the radio…that my grandfather was a huge fan…and he grew up with Russell, Heinsohn and Cooz. I watched games on TV and Bird, McHale, DJ and Parish were my connection to the family heritage. I IDOLIZED–and still do–the Celtics. They clearly were basketball royalty…superior and distinct to any other franchise due to the tradition that Red established. It was hard growing up in SoCal–lots of Lakers bandwagoners there…especially during the drought after Len Bias’s death.
Ron has been fortunate enough to be at both the old Garden and TD for some of the franchises’ most memorable moments. He shared a few of his favorite Celtics memories with me:
I have a few favorite moments…the one that pops to mind was the second home game that Ray Allen and KG played for the Celtics-When the C’s came out of the tunnel, with Ray in the lead, and I saw KG in uniform and the look on Paul’s face, I got emotional and was covered in goose bumps. Another one is when the Celtics beat Detroit in G6 of the ECF in 2008. I was at sea aboard USS Ronald Reagan (we deployed during the Cleveland series–I went to G2) watching it on AFRTS…I broke down seeing Paul get his shot at the Finals. In ’06…my Dad and I flew out to Boston to see the home opener and the second home game…and right before then, Red died. We got to go to the memorial service the City did for Red. I was in my Celtics warm ups and was interviewed by the Globe and by NBA TV. I yelled out, “We love ya Cooz!” when #14 got choked up at the podium. I got to see the Celtics beat the Lakers in the Garden before they tore it down. Dino Radja and the C’s beat the Lakers…not the highlight of either franchise, but it didn’t matter. I sat in the front row of the balcony. The smells and sounds of that place will live with me forever…I’ve seen the C’s in about 17 arenas, and nothing compares to the Old Garden. Finally, I was at the game in 2001 (I think) when Antoine banked in a 3 with 1.8 seconds left to beat the Lakers at Staples Center. Those are my favorite memories.
Quite the “fan resume” there for Ron. Now I know where his extensive knowledge of the Celtics franchise and it’s players comes from. He’s always in the middle of things on Twitter when it comes to Celtics news and/or history. He won’t necessarily tell you what you want to here, but he will give his honest thoughts, feelings & opinion with no filler. I wouldn’t expect anything else from such a devoted fan and member of our country’s armed forces. Heck, the guy even coaches a youth basketball team called..what else…the Doral “Celtics”..
The Celtics are so important to me, I think, because they are a connection to my family heritage…something that I didn’t really have with my Dad away most of my childhood. They were my connection to the grandfather I never met, my Dad, and a place I considered, strangely (since I have never lived there) HOME. They also exemplify TEAMWORK, DIVERSITY, and FIGHT…something I relate real well too. So much so, in fact, that I joined the Navy out of high school. I left the Navy in 1998 to become a sportscaster…and returned after 9/11.
When I’m not in military uniform, I’m in Green. That’s it. People think I’m a freak sometimes…I’ve been asked if I worked for the Celtics…I respond, “I am a Celtic.” I will back them until I die.
Be sure to give Ron a follow on Twitter-you won’t be sorry. I want to thank him again for his participation, and as always, thank you all for reading. UBUNTU.