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Boston Sports 2007 - A Magical Year
There hasn't been anything quite like it. Boston sports teams just couldn't lose in 2007 and into 2008. There was a stat quoted by Dan Shaughnessy from the Boston Globe that said from the point where Boston was in trouble against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS in mid-October through January, Boston's big three professional sports teams (Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics) lost only two games (both by the Celtics). When you throw Boston College football into the mix and the New England Revolution professional soccer team, it seemed like New England had the Midas Touch - a true Nation of Champions.
Here's a little retrospective:
Boston Celtics Wake Up the Leprechauns & Win the 2008 NBA Championship
I couldn't believe the moves Ainge made in the off season either. The Boston Celtics gave up nobody and landed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen all at once. The Big Three is now Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce and they are making some noise in the NBA. I've heard of players who can have an immediate impact, but starting the season with a league-best record of 27-3 as the midpoint of the season approaches? Nobody saw this coming. It is fun to watch basketball again. I'm even watching regular season games that I wouldn't have cared about over the last 15 years or so (or whenever Bird retired). BEAT LA! (Or maybe Phoenix).
Boston Red Sox: 2007 World Series Champions (and a few 2004 memories for good measure)
First they won the big one in 2004 when everyone counted them out, and then they come right back and do it again in 2007; the Red Sox won this year's Fall Classic by crushing the Colorado Rockies. Under Francona's watch, the Red Sox have not lost a single World Series game. They are built for the future and the future looks good up in Fenway.
New England Patriots: 2007 AFC Champions; Perfect Regular Season
Thanks to Tom Brady and an amazingly focused squad of throwback football players, the New England Patriots did what no other team in NFL history has done - they went a perfect 16-0. The Dolphins season was shorter and football was easier to play back then due to an overall lack of team speed, which is why I don't mention the '72 Dolphins here. Brady chucked an NFL record 50 TD passes - enough of them went to Randy Moss so he too set a single season NFL record. They went as far as the Superbowl but couldn't quite finish off the surprising New York Giants, who gave the Manning family a second straight year of Super success.
Boston College Soars to Number 2 Ranking
OK it didn't last, but for a little while, I was starting to believe that all Boston teams were invincible - even the college teams. B.C.'s eighth straight win was a thrilling come-from-behind win at Virginia Tech, in which Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the last 2:11 to beat the Hokies, 14-10, on the same night the Red Sox won Game 2 of the World Series. The best college football moment of the year - Matt Ryan doubled over vomiting on national television after playing his guts out (literally) to earn the #2 ranking. He's one-a-dem boys who'll play on Sundays, I reckon. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 10-3 record and defeated Michigan State, 24-21, in the Champs Sports Bowl.
New England Revolution in Championship Game
Hey it's soccer, but it still counts! The New England Revolution made it to the championship game of professional soccer, but lost. It would have just made a tiny section of America hate New England that much more than the rest of the country.
I say go ahead and let the haters hate. I don't even notice. Just go to any Red Sox road game this year and see who has home field advantage. I bet Red Sox Nation will even overwhelm Yankee Stadium crowds this year with strength in numbers. You'll see. It will be so. And the Pats? They'll be back. The more they think about what they accomplished this season, the more focused they'll be on returning to the Big Game. And the Celtics? I finally have a reason to give a &%#@ about basketball other than the kind they play in brackets in March, and I love it! And as for Boston College? Coach Jag will see how tough it is to recruit top players to chilly little Chestnut Hill, but he'll get the hang of it. I would expect a little bit of a drop-off from how good they were this year, however.