Regarding Game 7
Let me start off by saying that I just read Bill Simmons’ “The Consequences of Caring” on Grantland and I probably wouldn’t have bothered thinking about last night again if it wasn’t for that article. It’s a great read, but the problem with reading Bill Simmons as a Celtics fan under age 30 is he can’t go three paragraphs without comparing everything to the teams from the 70’s and 80’s. So no matter how much the 2012 Celtics “mean” to him, or Bob Ryan, or your dad, it’s a different meaning than what it means to those of us too young to have seen Larry Bird play.
Seeing as I consider myself the best sportswriter in the country under 25 (just like every other guy my age), I think it’s worth taking the time to analyze exactly what the fuck is going on right now and what it all means. It’ll help me sleep better tonight at the very least… because there is reason for hope. Right?
Obviously the negatives here are huge. LeBron James had what I would call the greatest basketball performance I’ve ever seen. He singlehandedly put his team on his back in the most pressure-filled position any player has ever found himself, ever, and simultaneously annihilated the entire city of Boston’s self-confidence before the start of the third quarter. Not just the players, who couldn’t buy a bucket. Not just the crowd, who couldn’t have been more shocked. But everyone watching that game and rooting for the Celtics. It was like how Geraldo felt when there was nothing in Al Capone’s vault, except if Geraldo had a soul.
Making it even worse was Paul Pierce having the worst game of his life. Not just career, I’m talking life. 6th Grade Paul Pierce would’ve been ashamed of Yesterday Paul Pierce. And if you can go home and cuddle with your Larry Bird memories to make yourself feel better, that’s nice, but like I said, I don’t have Larry Bird. We’ve been spoiled the past decade with Brady, Belichick, Manny, Papi, Garnett, Allen and Rondo, but for kids my age growing up, Pierce is the last man standing from the 90’s AKA “the decade when your dad would just tell you about how much better the 80’s were.” To watch him put up such an offensive stinkbomb was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.
If you’re still reading obviously you don’t need to hear this, but I fucking HATE people who act like sports don’t matter. I can’t even respect people like that. Cause as far as I can see, especially in the Boston area, sports bring us together as a community and provide us with role models and motivation more so than basically anything else. I’ve lost track of how many times my lazy ass has thought about Tom Brady getting drafted #199 then working his butt off to prove everyone wrong, and then hunkered down and put in the extra effort to snag an A in a class I had no business doing well in. Or Big Papi and the Sox coming back from 0-3 in 2004 when I felt like there was no way I could get something far less difficult done. And the 2008 Celtics? There’s no better proof that if you’re stuck in a shitty situation, if you stick with it, you might find a little bit of luck and see the whole thing turn on its head in the blink of an eye. So yeah, sports fucking matter.
Anyway, I find it remarkable that this shit is happening only four months after the Pats lost to the Giants… again. It’s the same in many ways, but in other ways, it’s not. It’s cause the Pats, Brady and Belichick, were supposed to be the single most reliable thing in an otherwise chaotic world. Every 7 days during football season, with rare and unimportant exception, the Pats win. When they lost the first Super Bowl, a lot of my childhood illusions like true love and world peace, died. The missed chance to right the universe and restore my innocence was crushing.
But the Celtics are different. People don’t expect the Celtics to win. Rooting for the Patriots is believing in the possibility of perfection. Rooting for the C’s ever since 09 has been rooting against the expectations of others. Big difference. So when the C’s pulled in Game 5 and shocked everyone but us, we naturally assumed that good had triumphed over evil and Game 6 would be a walkover. But it hadn’t, and it wasn’t.
Now, order has seemingly restored itself. LeBron is too good, the Celtics are too old, and the Heat are going to win Game 7 comfortably and go onto the Finals. And you know what? Good. That’s what I want everyone to think. Because the Celtics are going to go down to Miami, and they’re gonna win one of the ugliest, gutsiest games we’ll ever see. Just don’t tell anyone until it happens. They need to be wrong for us to prove them wrong.