It can be argued that the city of Boston has been the top sports town since 2000. Since then, we've seen the emergence of the New England Patriots, the Red Sox winning two championships in three seasons after an 86-year drought, and the Celtics winning the NBA championship in 2007. No other market can compete with the success Beantown has had. Not even the Big Apple.
This year, however, they saw the other side of the coin. They saw their beloved Bruins claw their way into a playoff spot in the NHL, and making quick-work of the most beloved goalie in America in Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres.
On the hardwood, Bostonians watched the Celtics take the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers to game seven of the NBA finals. That is after defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second-round and following it up with a win over the Orlando Magic.
The Bruins found a way to become only the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers. Everything that was working for them seemed to fall apart, and they became part of history for all the wrong reasons.
The Celtics, on the other hand, seemed destined to capture their record 19th NBA title. They held a 3-2 lead in the series going back to Los Angeles, and seemed poised to win the title.
Unfortunately, they managed just 69 points in one of the most lopsided loses in recent finals memory.
The Celtics held a 13-point lead in the third quarter of Game Seven, only to run into foul trouble and lose their shooting touch.
Like the Bruins, they too found a way to lose, and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers completed a back-to-back title run. Now they sit only one title behind the Celtics for the all-time lead.
After so much success since the turn of the millennium, Bostonians were able to remember how it feels to lose, and lose in heartbreaking fashion. In both cases, the better team won, and the losers showed why you play until the final horn blows.
The lights in the TD Garden Arena will dim again for the summer, but the burn of these two defeats will shine on Beantown for years to come.
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