It was late October when a friend told me to "pick one"—because I couldn’t have them all.
He was of course referring to the unprecedented success Boston teams were having at the time.
The Red Sox were in the World Series, the Patriots were dismantling their opponents, the Celtics were preparing for a return to the NBA elite, and the BC Eagles were undefeated and ranked second in the nation.
Naturally, I didn't want to have to choose. You could feel it in the air—this was surely the year for Boston, a year for the fans to remembah, a wicked year like none othah.
And then a piece of baseball history went the way of years and years of my missing homework.
Apparently, Jonathan Papelbon’s bulldog Boss has taken the blame for the whereabouts of a missing World Series ball. Well, Boss hasn’t exactly came out and announced his guilt, but Papelbon, apparently acting as the pup's agent/publicist/lawyer, has spoken on his pet’s behalf.
"My dog ate it. He plays with baseballs like they are his toys. His name is Boss. He jumped up one day on the counter and snatched it. He likes rawhide. He tore that thing to pieces."
So read the declaration of guilt.
"I'll keep what's left of it," Papelbon concluded.
That lighthearted proclamation sums up the year in Boston sports—and has provided me with an appropriate, albeit tardy, answer to my friend’s ultimatum.
To Boss, baseballs are nothing more than toys. To Boston fans, this year has been nothing short of sheer amusement. At the end of the day, Boss didn't care about the “historic” value of said ball...and at the end of the day this Boston fan doesn’t care about the final outcome for any of the area's teams.
It has been a year like no other, and I'm appreciative to have just been along for the ride. I’ll take what’s left of it—I’ll bask in the memories.
Pick a sport—Boston has been competitive this year. Hell, even the New England Revolution made it to the Finals again.
If sports are about competition and entertainment, then I would say Bostonians have more than received their fill in 2007. The past year has suffused an entire fanbase with a sense of pride and importance.
I was thankful at Thanksgiving, and I’ll certainly toast the town on New Years. To both Papelbon and Boss, I say it’s more than okay—this year we all like rawhide.
I for one am looking forward to Boss having a few minutes alone with some more pieces of history; perhaps leather this time—perhaps in the form of a football and a basketball?
Just a thought...