As a youth growing up in New England there was no better place to be if you were a sports fan. As an adult and being a sports fan there is no better group of franchisees to follow than the New England sports landscape. I know that is a bit biased but follow along, I’m not speaking just like a home town guy, I’m speaking about truly great teams, performances, some of the best if not the best athletes in their respective sports, and the history of these teams.
Every team has been around for a long time and all the major sports have a team. The Patriots (59) years are the baby franchise. The Bruins (95) years, RedSox (118) years, and the Celtics (73) years. That is a long history line. Each franchise has had some up and down years but overall it has been pretty consistent with very good if not great teams year in and year out. We will never see a streak like the Patriots again, it is not normal in today’s sports landscape. The Celtics of the ’60s and ’70s have never been matched. The RedSox and Bruins over the last 15 years have won several championships or been to the big dance several times.
All of these franchises have had, one could argue, the greatest player ever in the sport, at the very least the greatest at a position. Even the Patriots with their relatively short history have had John Hannah, considered the best offensive guard in the history of the game. Tom Brady is already considered the GOAT. The Celtics had Larry Bird and Bill Russell. I know Michael Jordan is considered the GOAT in basketball but even Magic Johnson said he feared nobody like Larry. Most basketball people will tell you a team is built around a center. Go look at Bill Russell’s resume. Nothing comes close. The RedSox had Yaz and Ted. When you are this great you don’t need full or last names. Yaz had 3000 hits, 400 dingers and the last guy to win the triple crown, 1967. Ted, the last guy to hit 400, he did it twice and it will never be done again. Easily the greatest hitter of all time. read his book on hitting, it is nuts.
The last guy has a paragraph alone because there was nothing like him and there never will be. Just watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku2752x_Lac No defenseman has led the league in scoring, he did it twice, winner of 8 Norris trophy,’s nobody else has 8, these were consecutive, multiple MVP, both playoff and regular season, and Calder trophy as rookie of the year. His plus/minus is the highest in history 120+ nobody is even close, ever.
Growing up and following these franchises and players was special. I only touched a few players and a brief history. I saw Yaz get is 3000 hit. I saw John Havlicek’s last game as a Celtic. I saw Bird vs. Dr. J in the eastern conference finals and Larry vs. Magic in the finals. Fenway is a Mecca for baseball fans and the old barn (Boston Garden) was special, long gone now but I was there for the NBA finals and Bruins vs. Rangers in 72. there are so many retired numbers and championship banners it is mind-boggling.
Living in Florida will never change my allegiance to my teams I grew up with but it is not just great teams, it is also the memories and the rich history. there is not much like it, anywhere. It is a special connection for a fan.