Wednesday, June 18, 2008

this is that new song I told you about twenty years ago

Just checking in to do a little trash talking. This week has been a little crazy, even besides the subject on which I'm about to waste time writing, but there will be a respite soon enough.

You had to know that I, being a New England native, would have to write something about the business of the Celtics. If I had the time, I would go link-crazy offering up evidence of the whys and hows. But for now, I was thinking, strangely enough, about the importance of sports.

Because really, professional sports are not that important. We're basically watching a bunch of overpaid people scramble to win a game that is being won mostly for entertainment purposes. But still, sports do seem to mean so much to people. Especially in Boston, where I would daresay they mean entirely too much to people. I know why so many people outside of New England cannot stand Boston-based sports teams- the fans might be the basis of the word fanatic.

Still. Last night was yet another example. History itself got turned on its head. I'm old enough to remember the last time the Celtics won a championship. And though that championship was lovely and memorable, I recall feeling, even at that young an age, that something was over. That team would never play together that way again. The Garden, the decaying, uneven parquet-floored Garden was torn down in favor of a more typically flashy venue. And then there was the matter of the Celtics pretty much sucking for years and years.

I recall sort of shrugging when the Celts started to truly stink, and just thinking, well those times are over. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale and Robert Parish would never be resurrected. Still. Last night was something to see. They are not the same team. Those days will never return. But when you watch a series like this, you realize it's okay that those days will never return. New days come along and give you something new to marvel.

That's, I have to think, why sports matter. You watch the unexpected happen, and you see a group of fans go crazy in support of something that, whether it's stupid or not, matters a lot to them. Maybe my cynicism melts away a little when I watch a series like this, think that perhaps change is possible and good.


On a separate note, though, Kevin Garnett's reaction to winning was some of the most simultaneously hilarious and heart-fluttering of all time. The dude lost his shizz on court at the end of the game, but oddly enough, it was kind of touching to see. There was no sense of entitlement or pre-canned speeches. Later, in the locker room, when asked what happened out there, all he yelled out was "We won!" That kind of enthusiasm from someone who has been in the league for years- sorry, but there is no other word for it but cute.

Also, on chat, my friend VL and I were breaking down the win, like so:

    VL: Oh, no. They just doused the coach with Gatorade.
    Me: I didn't know they were still doing that.
    VL: They probably don't, but it's been so long since they've won anything that they aren't up on the latest.

Finally, I am much amused to think that the man that was once got into a tousle with a 7'+ Tree Rollins and wound up with a bitten finger and a tetanus shot is now a General Manager for a championship team.

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