The 5 Most Memorable Moments of the Decade for Boston Sports Fans
Boston sports started off the decade in a bit of a rut. None of the Big Four teams had won a championship since 1987, and only the Patriots reaching a championship game in that time. Ten years and six championships and later, it's safe to say being a Boston sports fan this decade has been pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay good.
But with such success also came heartbreak. Here's a slide show that looks at the most memorable moments of the '00s for Boston sports fans.
The good, and the bad.
No. 5: The Green Machine
About a year earlier, I sat stunned at my friends house as we heard the Celtics had lost the lottery, and would not be able to draft Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. While Durant is playing like a superstar, it's safe to say the C's made out pretty well.
The Big Three made an immediate impact on the Celtics, as the cruised to first place in the Eastern Conference. Little did we know how important that No.1 seed would be as the Green failed to win a road game in their first two playoff series.
After taking out the Pistons in six games, the Celtics finished their championship run with a blow out in Boston for Banner 17. Watching Garnett in his interview with Michelle Tafoya still give me chills.
No. 4: Aaron Effin' Boone
This was supposed to be the year the Red Sox got over the hump. Back in the ALCS facing the Yankees, they were supposed to win and go on to the World Series. They would lie rest to 86 years of curse talk, sticking it to Yankee fans in the House that Ruth Built.
But they didn't.
It what goes up as one of the most depressing nights of my life, Aaron Boone cemented his is spot forever in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. The series was like a heavyweight title match , including an undercard bout of Pedro Martinez vs Don ZImmer.
In the end, Grady Little left Pedro in too long in Game 7, leaving me sleepless for weeks. If only the Red Sox could get another shot at the Yanks...
No. 3: Defeated
I promise this is the last downer of the countdown.
My friends and I got ready for the Super Bowl XLII with a pretty big party. Wings, chili, beers, and a big screen TV were all set before kick off. Yet I still felt uneasy to start the game.
My nerves got worse when Asante Samuel dropped the pick to put the game away. I felt my stomach eating away at itself as Eli Manning eluded the Patriots' pass rush, and completed a long pass to David Tyree. From that point on, All I remember is my friend Tyler doing pull ups, as his brain nearly exploded when his Giants beat the greatest offense to ever play the game.
Enough of that. Let's get back to better days.
No. 2: Patriots' Day
Just at the Patriots were huge favorites against the Giants in '07, the Rams were heavily favored in Super Bowl XXXVI. If you turned on the tv, listened to the radio, or opened a newspaper the week leading up to the Super Bowl, you may have wondered if the Pats should even bother showing up to the game.
But they did, and entered like no other team in Super Bowl history before: Not as individuals, but as an entire team.
The Patriots had a firm hand on the game until very late in the fourth quarter when the Rams tied the game at 17-17. Most (including Hall of Famer John Madden) figured the Patriots would kneel the ball and play for overtime.
Belichick and Brady had other ideas.
With 1:30 left, Brady dink and dunked 53 yards on nine plays to set up Adam Vinatieri for a game winning field goal. Compared to the 45 yard boot Vinatieri kicked in a snow storm in Foxboro weeks before, this 48 yarder would be a piece of cake.
For my generation, this was the first time we saw one of our local teams win it all. We had heard of the glory years of the Celtics and Bruins, but never had a taste of victory. Now we finally had one to tell our kids about.
No.1: Red Sox Win the World Series...Seriously
I remember being at my friend's house watching the Yankees crush the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS, 19-8. The score looked eerily like the year the last time the Sox won the World Series, and I took it as a sign to settle again for "Next Year."
But my friend, who knows nearly nothing about baseball or the Red Sox looked at me and said, "It's ok, Pat. I just have a feeling. The Red Sox are going to beat the Yankees and then win the World Series this year."
Being the neurotic Red Sox fan I am, I screamed at her for a few minutes explaining that no team had ever come back from being down 0-3, let alone against the Yankees team playing unbelievable baseball.
Then "the steal" happened. Then Big Papi happened. Then the bloody sock happened. Next thing you know, the Red Sox were celebrating at Yankee stadium the greatest comeback in sports history.
In a way, the first three games of the World Series were anticlimactic compared to the ALCS. But as soon as Johnny Damon led off Game 4 with homerun, Red Sox fans started to since it was actually happening. Nine innings later, they erased a curse that stretched generations of fans.
Every other moment in my life will probably pale in comparison with that Red Sox magical run. The 20-teens will have plenty of great Boston sports moments too, starting with the Winter Classic at Fenway on New Year's Day.
But 10, 20, 30 years from now, Boston fans will still be talking about where they were when the Sox won in '04. That's why I'm putting my stamp on it as the moment of the Millenium (too soon?)