Thursday, June 19, 2008

SWEEEEEET 17!!!

Congratulations to the NBA Champion, Boston Celtics!!!

I decided to watch Game 6 at a bar called Professor Thom’s in NYC. This bar has emerged as the most popular Boston bar in New York. I met up my good friend PA and one of his buddies. We watched the Celtics clinch the Eastern title here so we figured it would be good luck.

617

At 6:17 I received a text from my buddy EA: “Boston area code: 617. The date: 6/17. Game 6. Championship 17. Go Celts!” And there’s more. The game started at about 6:17 on the West Coast. And I had approximately 6-17 drinks throughout the night; for some reason I can’t remember the exact number. And I’m not sure yet, but the numbers may somehow be connected to the show Lost.

Welcome to the Garden

Professor Thom’s reminded me of the old Garden. It was hot, muggy (no AC), and absolutely packed. We were piled in, had to stand the whole time, and I loved it. For most sporting events, I can’t stand watching at a bar, but basketball is a little different. It’s fast-paced so it’s harder for stupid fans to ruin it and cheer at the wrong time (Like in baseball when people confuse a pop-up for a homerun or football when fans don’t understand what a holding call is.)

Down in Front

At the start of the game this tall-ass guy kept blocking the TV closest to me. Everyone shouted “down in front” but this guy didn’t get it. Then a funny thing happened. We start winning. Then we started killing. Then we started annihilating. In the 1st quarter, everyone wanted to kill this guy. But as we rolled, I looked forward to him extending his long arms and blocking most of the TV. Because every time he did, something good happened. By the end of the game, he was one of the random strangers I hugged in jubilation.

Love Thy Neighbor

When you’re in a packed bar, and your team is winning, you learn to love your neighbor. I met and befriended people from Brockton, Wellesley, Belmont, Lunenburg…on a tangent, how many random towns are there in Massachusetts…where the hell is Lunenburg???

As the Celtics put on their clinic, I celebrated with my friends, but also with the random strangers next to me. We toasted beers, slapped five, and even hugged. I benefited from my location as I received several hugs from a beautiful Asian girl.

Girls

I never understood why girls would go to packed, sweaty, smelly, loud sports bars for the big game only to be surrounded by loud, drunk, vulgar cavemen. I will openly admit that I am not myself during the game. I scream at the TV, chant “defense”, pound my chest —I basically turn into Kevin Garnett. And I’m an irrational fan—I truly believe my actions have an impact on the game. I could care less about my surroundings especially girls. So why would girls want to be around guys like this?

My theory is that some girls actually like this behavior. Deep down, they love seeing men regress into little boys and show their true passion for something. As a result, they are turned on by the obnoxious, OCD, psycho-crazy guy and even find him endearing. Remember, girls like emotions, and complain that men never show them—so this is one of the few times when men display their raw feelings and emotions.

My good friend PA met a special someone at my Super Bowl party in 2002 (Patriots upset over the Rams—one of the best days of my life.) What she learned about him that historic day was essential: he cursed at the TV, knocked on wood before big plays, occasionally pounded his chest to pump up the team, and pig-piled in celebration. If this isn’t a turn-on for a girl, I don’t know what is. She must’ve found this endearing because four years later, they were married.

There were a good amount of attractive girls at Professor Thom’s on Tuesday night which was unexpected. Maybe they were searching for their future husbands. I was surprised, because let’s be honest, there’s just not that many hot chicks from Boston. But my theory is that the most attractive Bostonians move to NY or LA. This depletes the Boston region of its hot girl resource. But lucky for me, I was at a Boston bar in NY so I had the best of both worlds.

I’ve written a lot about girls, but during the game, I could care less about them. The following is an old post explaining this idea:

(I was at a bar in NYC watching the Red Sox vs. Indians Game 2 (the 13 inning game.) The bar was geared towards the game: tons of flatscreens, sound on, all sports fans (mostly Sox fans.) But once midnight hit, the bar metamorphasized into a fraternity/sorority bar. Girls with skimpy outfits and too much make-up poured in. Dudes sporting visors and polo shirts with the collars up bumped into everything. 80’s music blasted from the speakers. The TV’s stayed on, but there was no more sound. Four gorgeous girls strutted by us and sat at the bar. They were HOT, and they knew it. But the best part was, NOBODY CARED. We were watching the game. The girls sat, played with their hair and their cell phones (we could talk about the obsession with texting here, but that’s a whole ‘nother tangent,) and waited for someone to buy them a drink. But nobody did. We were too focused with the game. After 40 minutes, all four girls stood up in frustration, grabbed their coats, and left. It was one of the few victories a nice guy will ever have over a hot girl. When the game is on, nothing else matters. Not even hot girls.)

Nothing But Net

I have never seen a game like this before. (Take Game 7’s blowout of the Yanks in ‘04 and multiply it by a 1000.) I joked at the start that I wasn’t going to crack a smile unless we were up by 40. I couldn’t keep my promise because after Ray-Ray hit back to back threes to put the Celts up by 34, I lost it. This was an absolute blowout. You know the Celtics shot only 49%, but I swear they didn’t miss from the second quarter on. It was strange to watch and have absolutely no worries about the outcome. It was pure joy.

KG’s Move

Garnett answered every critic and played one of the best games of his career. It was highlighted by a “how-the-hell-did-he-just-do-that?” moment. Garnett hung in the air, ate a sandwich, brushed his teeth, checked his email, and then hurled the ball off the backboard as hard as he could—3 point play. Unreal!

Lesson Learned

The Celtics leaned a valuable lesson in Game 2. No lead is safe. As a result, the Celts pummeled the Lakers into submission throughout the entire second half. There would be no comeback in Game 6.

My Apologies to…

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers, and whoever else I knocked during the playoffs and regular season. Here’s my apology: I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good-looking. I'm not very attractive.

Team Effort

Even Tony Allen (that dunk was sick) and Big Baby got in the mix in Game 6. Over the course of the playoffs and regular season every player on this roster contributed at some point. It’s pretty rare to see that in professional sports. I stopped watching the NBA the last several years because it became an individualistic sport (and because the Celtics sucked.) It was great to see teamwork on the floor, cheering from the bench, and constant encouragement between the coaches and players. There was a glaring contrast between the Celtic TEAM and Laker team. Most analysts agreed defense was the key to this series, (which is true) but having a team that actually likes/respects each other goes a long way too.

Celebration

I was more emotional than I thought I would be. It hit me during the blowout (and my 6th beer) that this was my first real Celtics championship. I definitely remember the 80’s—I used to play imaginary Celtics-Lakers game on my Nerf hoop and even kept box scores. But I never grasped how cool it was to see one of my teams win a championship. As an adult, I invest way too much time, energy, and prayer supporting my teams. So seeing them win, especially for the first time, is about as sweet as it can get. Red Sox in 2004. Patriots in 2002. And now the Celtics in 2008. It will sound absurd to a non-sports fan, but these are three of the best moments in my life.

How did I Celebrate...

First off, my buddy PA poured half of his beer over my head and then I returned the favor. It was a bit ridiculous, but it was so hot in the bar, and the game was so incredible, it felt damn good. The only flaw to the celebration was the wasted beer that dripped to the floor.

As I exited the bar, I hugged several random strangers (and the hot Asian girl like 10 times.) If I was at all coherent, I would’ve tried to hit on her, but I was screaming so much that my brain hurt. Once I was on the street, I high-fived whoever passed by: a hippie couple, a pizza delivery man, an old lady. I didn’t care. I was so happy (and drunk.) People seemed to enjoy my behavior; some smiled and nobody maced me which was good.

The last thing I recall was eating a hot dog at Nathan’s. I bought hot dogs for 2 cute girls in Celtic jerseys, and if memory serves, they invited me to another bar. Instead of going (what was I thinking?), I sat in a booth with one of my best friends, and we talked about how much winning the championship meant to us.

My final memory was preaching to the 2 teenage employees at the Nathan’s. They nodded in agreement (or fear) to all my comments about the dominance of the Celtics, Boston sports, and the city of Boston. And how one day Boston will rule the world.

Maybe I got carried away, but right now, that’s how it feels.

Gatorade

The Celtics Gatorade celebration was pure and genuine excitement. It was spontaneous and fun…and guess what…if you’re up by 40 points in the game clincher at home, you should be able to do whatever you want. Why Red Gatorade? It was either an obvious tribute to Red Auerbach or just a simple coincidence.

Doc Tribute

Three hours of jubilant screaming caused me to lose my voice. In honor of Doc Rivers, I am completely hoarse. I wouldn’t be surprised if thousands of other Boston fans are paying the same tribute to the Doc.

It All Evens Out

After several complaints about the discrepancy in fouls and foul shot in the 1st three games, look what happened in Games 4, 5, and 6. It looks pretty even to me.

Total Foul Shots (Games 4, 5, 6) Celtics: 96 Lakers: 98

Total Fouls (Games 4, 5, 6) Celtics: 77 Lakers: 76

Wipeout

The NBA has decided to punish the Lakers for their hideous performance by forcing them to appear on the new summer show, Wipeout. The following images come to mind: Derek Fisher plopping into a lake of mud; Kobe strangling Gasol in a river of filth; Vujacic bouncing off one of those giant rubber balls, landing face first in a pile of gook, and then complaining to the refs that the game isn’t fair. And finally, Phil Jackson pretending not to care as his team embarrasses themselves…oh, wait…that already happened.

DropKick Murphys

This group has cemented their place in Boston Sports. Tessie has joined Dirty Water and Sweet Caroline as Red Sox songs. And “I’m Shipping up to Boston” (the song in the Departed) could be one of the greatest pump-up songs of all time. I can barely comprehend the words, but I don’t’ care. The bar speakers blared this song during the commercials, and we all went nuts. It was awesome!

Wait Your Turn, Tiger

Tiger stole the Celtics thunder on Wednesday. His injury headlined on SportsCenter, Around the Horn, PTI, and pretty much everything else. All I wanted was one day of excessive coverage and analysis praising the Celtics magnificence. Instead, the Celtics got second billing. Tiger’s success despite his injury was amazing, but all the Celts fans wished he could’ve waited an extra day to tell us about it.

SportsCenter Intro

Have you seen the new intro right before SportsCenter starts? You know…the music goes beep…beep…boop. And then they show Eli, Youklis, some Nascar guy, and 2 other little clips. Well now there’s Youklis and Garnett in the mix. Imagine if the Pats hadn’t choked…every SportsCenter until November would’ve featured all Boston sports stars; Brady, Youklis, and Garnett over and over again. People would’ve wondered if they were watching ESPN or a local Boston Sports show. Well, I guess it could still happen next year. The Sox are in 1st place, and the Celts and Pats are favorites to win their respective leagues next season.

Go Boston!

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