Social media has allowed me to interact with, and in some cases meet, Celtics fans from all over the world. Nicola B. runs a great Celtic’s fan page on Facebook called “Celtic Nation Italia“. Nicola has been following the Celtics for 20+ years:
I started to follow the C’s back in the spring of 1980,I was 12 at that time,my big brother was following the Sixers of Doctor J,so I wanted a team to compete with him as I loved watching basketball. I looked around and I picked the Boston Celtics.The team colors and Larry Bird; the only white and blond guy playing a midst African-Americans intrigued and fascinated me enough to choose them (thank God!). Unfortunately that year the C’s were beaten in ECF by my brother’s team the Sixers, but I had to wait only one year to have my sweet revenge with the famous comeback down 3-1. I still remember the story of the unique Celtics’ fans at the end of game 5 chanting “See you Sunday” because even when we were down 2-3 everyone in the Garden was confident there was going to be a Game 7 that next Sunday in Boston!!!
Nicola’s favorite Celtic of all-time is the great Larry Bird. He misses the days of Bird patrolling the Garden floor, and he often watches old Bird videos when he wants to reminisce..
I can’t get away from Larry Joe Bird, the man that first started my passion for the game. Watching him inspires me and has built up my love for this franchise. Now, when the Celtics aren’t playing I still love to look back and watch videos on YouTube of those 1980’s games and dream that the days when Larry Bird played were still on.
As far as favorite Celtic moments go, Nicola’s was being at MSG to watch the C’s beat New York in the 2011 playoffs. In a 113-96 rout, Boston went up 3-0 in their playoff series with the Knickerbockers.
Of course I remember with pleasure each victory of titles and where I was when we won them,but the moment that stays in my heart forever happened three years ago when for the first time I went to the States to visit an Anglo-Italian family living in Morris Town, it was a lucky coincidence the Celtics were playing the first round of the Playoff against the Knicks at the Madison Square Garden,right in the day I was there!!!!
My great friend Nick (Knicks fan but thank you for the rest of my life) bought the ticket for Game 3, so my dream ever since I was a little boy finally came true! We went to that game and I wore my jersey no.5 (KG my favorite player in that team). It was amazing to be there next to my idols playing an official game.
Of course most of people were yelling at me,but I didn’t care and any time Pierce and Allen hit a 3s,14 times in that game,I was standing up with my arms raised to celebrate it,we won that game easily 113-96.My day was perfect, so I could go back home drunk with happiness (and also a few too many beers to celebrate it!).
Nicola is very passionate when it comes to the Celtics. From Red Auerbach drafting Chuck Cooper back in the 1950’s, to the Garden fans serenading the team during G6 in 2012, he has a deep love & respect for Celtic basketball.
I simply loved the whole franchise and its history, one of the only two franchises to keep the same name and it’s city since the beginning of the NBA. It was the first to pick an African-American player as well as the first to have the entire line-up of African-Americans in years, it wasn’t easy. It is a franchise with the most unique fans in the world,able to chant for 4 minutes in a very sad game after a tough loss (2012 vs Heat) “Let’s go Celtics” it was a big lesson to everybody….
That is one of the reason I started,with my great friend Filippo Ferraioli another die hard Celtic fan, a group on Facebook called Celtic Nation Italia in which we try to spread out to the younger ones the Celtics word through our experience and knowledge,what it means to be a Celtic and being a Celtic what it’s all about.To be a Celtic is not only about winning but it’s more about pride and even more about passion!
Be sure to check out “CelticNation Italia” over on Facebook, and a big thank you to Nicola for participating in Fan Friday. Be sure to follow him on Twitter also. Below are a few other shots of Nicola, and pics of Celtics fans Luca and Giancleto. I had the pleasure of meeting both of them as they & their families made the trek from Italy to TD Garden this season. Thanks for reading everyone! -KWAPT