The Red Sox play baseball, not basketball. Real intuitive stuff, I know. It’s baseball season, for most of us. Anyone who cares enough to read this, cares enough about baseball to agree. That said, anyone who cares enough to read this, is enough of a Boston sports fan to know the Celtics (who play basketball, by the way) are in some pretty deep trouble.
Or are they?
Okay yes, yes they are. They embarrassingly lost the first three games in the seven game set that is the Eastern Conference Finals. They have their backs against the wall facing a divisional rival that is renowned by many with the history to prove it. Fans longing for a ring were lost on hope until a Game 4 win lit a spark in the bellies of the Beantown loyals.
That should sound familiar to anyone who has lived long enough to remember 2004.
The Red Sox go down three games to none in a best of seven series against the Yankees in the ALCS. Stands are flooded with signs saying “We fell for it again!” and “Maybe next year!”
Enter Kevin Millar: “Don’t let us win tonight.”
And they did, in fact, win the game that night. And the next one, and the next one, and the next one… you know the rest.
The Celtics don’t bear any overwhelming comparisons to the “Idiots” of ‘04. They were the two-seed entering playoffs, whereas the Red Sox were a Wild Card team. The Celtics have won a ring as recently as 2008, which is far less time ago than the 86 years the Red Sox had to wait for theirs that year.
But the whispers on Causeway Street don’t lie. “The Idiots did it then, what’s stopping the C’s now?”
To date, no NBA team has ever won a playoff series after being down three games to none. The Red Sox are the only ones to have done it in MLB history. If any other baseball team had accomplished that feat at any point in time, no Bostonian would care of its effect on the Celtics.
Fate? Destiny? Malarkey? Obsessive fans looking for something to cling to? Pick your poison. Fact of the matter, The Celtics are one game away from elimination, and are backed by the only fanbase with the reasonable faith to support them in doing the impossible, because they’ve seen it. Game 5 is at home where the green and gold are hungry for a home win. Game 6 would be back in Miami, where Heat fans are catching wind of the Boston way of winning. Game 7 would see the ghosts come out from under the floorboards and ignite the impending miracle that the Celtics seek to perform, such ghosts that are no stranger to Dirty Water.
It’s been done, it can be done. That’s the Boston way, all thanks to a bunch of Idiots. Don’t be surprised if a little magic floats around North Station for the next few days. It’s not only needed, it’s almost expected by those that were inspired by a team that made the impossible happen 19 years ago.
Different sport, different makeup, same dream. Don’t let them win tonight.