As the Celtics continue to make their run to 17, I can’t help but think about the evolution of my fanaticism. Some of my most vivid Celtics memories are sitting in my grandparents living room in Maine as my grandmother listened or watched the game. I can recollect very few of the conversations we had but I remember talking about Jordan, Magic and of course, Larry Bird. At the age of 9 or 10, it was so cool to have something in common with her. I also remember shooting hoops out by the barn and playing HORSE with my brother and cousins. I remember the first time my Dad showed me how to shoot a hook shot. My love of basketball and the Celtics was born from those few precious moments on the family farm.
From the farm, it evolved. I watched the Celtics struggle for so many years. Struggle to be the team that everyone vividly remembered. The end of an era as Larry Bird’s career was shortened by back injuries, the death of Reggie Lewis, and numerous rosters including players like Dominique Wilkins, Dino Radja, and Antoine Walker. It was hard to be a Celtics fan. But with the bad, the good. I remember my parents buying me a Celtics Starter Jacket (those satin green jackets) for making the honor role. I loved that jacket so much. I was heartbroken the day it was stolen from my locker at school. I remember going to the last basketball game played at the Boston Garden as the Celtics were swept by the Orlando Magic in 4 games. Going to a game with the whole family and more recently going to some of this years playoffs with Steve.
Alot of these memories came crashing back on me with the events of this week. My family and the moments spent together have made me the man I am today and I can’t imagine a day without them. I look forward to the day when my kids (if we are blessed) get to sit and talk with their grandparents and Uncle about the Celtics and we talk about this team and how they did the unexpected, the biggest turnaround in sports history. The story will be written in the next several weeks. I make no predictions other than it will be fun to watch.