November 22, 2007
November 22nd Should Be ThanksBoston
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
Has any city or region in this nation had it any better?
Always a perceived "great sports town", a region which is better known for storied championship losses than the ones it has won, Boston right now is at the zenith of its sports existence. Beginning in 1901 when the Boston American League baseball team went major league, through the advent of the Bruins in 1924, the Celtics in 1946, the Patriots in 1960 and the Revolution in 1996, there has never been a run of glory in this region since the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI in February of 2002. And right now, November 22nd, 2007, is the zenith of the zenith, and the zenith continues to be on the rise rather than the fall.
If, say, the Patriots do pull off the unthinkable and run the table with the best one-season performance in NFL history, where will that leave the Red Sox 2007 World Series win? And if, Lord have mercy, the Celtics should make a return to the NBA Finals? And if they could somehow sneak past San Antonio or Phoenix or Dallas or whoever represents the Western Conference? Super Bowl XXXVI will no longer be the biggest Boston underdog win in history.
This is a great time to either live in New England or be from New England. For the current residents, it is a source of positive emotion that literally sweeps you off your feet. For the non-residents, it is a big, huge badge of honor to show off to all your friends who root for the Yankees, Steelers or Lakers. It's one thing after another: Jonathan Papelbon with the final strikeout, then the Patriots crush another opponent to remain undefeated, then Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen make you think Red Auerbach isn't really dead after all.
So, on this Thanksgiving Day of 2007, we thought we'd give it a new name. We'll call it ThanksBoston. In 1620, the Pilgrims fought a brave battle in sailing from England all the way to Plymouth. Guys like Tom Brady, Josh Beckett and Paul Pierce weren't a glint in anyone's eyes back then. They had more practical reasons to give thanks, mostly for being alive and the chance to live a life of freedom in this new land.
That said, let's all give thanks, ThanksBoston style, and may all of you enjoy your families, food and football on Thursday.
Thanks to James Orthwein for not moving the Patriots to St. Louis and selling the team to Bob Kraft instead.
Thanks to Bud Selig for making this convoluted plan to fix the sale of the Red Sox to John Henry and his group, with apologies to Joe O'Donnell, who rightfully should have been the new owner.
Thanks to Rick Pitino, for having the good sense to get out of the pro game when he knew the time was right and the decision was the correct one.
Thanks to Carl Pohlad, who thought that David Ortiz was no longer fit to be a Minnesota Twin.
Thanks to Lloyd Carr, for starting Drew Henson now and then at Michigan, making Tom Brady that much more hungry to prove himself.
Thanks to Kevin McHale, who did more for the Celtics in 2007 as Minnesota GM than he ever did in his playing career, and that is saying a lot.
Thanks to Edward Bennett Williams, who helped Larry Lucchino win, for now, his battle with cancer.
Thanks to Woody Johnson, who bought the New York Jets in 2000 and helped convince Bill Belichick to not stick around in the process.
Thanks to Paul Gaston, for selling the Celtics to a group of men who really know what they are doing.
Thanks to Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Lurie, for forcing the Red Sox to take Mike Lowell so that they could acquire Josh Beckett.
Thanks to Al Davis, for running his once proud Raider organization so far into the ground that it motivated Randy Moss to finally realize his stunning potential as a Patriot.
Thanks to Larry Lucchino, for having the smarts to know that Theo Epstein could really do the job.
Thanks to Curt Schilling, not just for sacrificing his body, but mostly for insisting that if the Sox want him, they have to make Terry Francona his boss.
Thanks to Mo Lewis, provided Drew Bledsoe never dies from that monster hit.
Thanks to Peter Bavasi, Toronto Blue Jays GM who allowed a second baseman named Danny Ainge to transfer to the Boston Celtics.
Thanks to Dallas Parcells, daughter of the Tuna and wife of Scott Pioli, who helps keep him happy here in New England.
Thanks to Don Aase, a former Sox pitcher who became so highly regarded by the Angels that Somerset's Jerry Remy came back home to stay thanks to him.
Thanks to George Steinbrenner, for motivating his sworn enemy to always play above and beyond their capabilities.
Thanks to Jonathan Kraft, for putting out a soccer team which at least makes it to the title game a lot.
Thanks to Michael Flatley, who motivates at least one Boston sports luminary to step up his game so well that his results bring out some of the best dancing this side of Dublin.
Thanks to Tom Werner, for giving his fan base a terrific way to watch their team on television.
Thanks to Red Auerbach, for laying the foundation for what may be returning on the parquet floor.
Thanks to Bob Kraft, for bringing national identity and a special pride to this region that is perhaps unsurpassed in area history.
Thanks to Ian Logue, who continues to put out the best Patriot fan site on the Internet and who continues to keep Yours Truly in his stable.
Finally, thanks to my wife Linda and my three kids for putting up with me now, and my mom, dad, brother David and sister Nancy for putting up with me yesterday. "Thanks" doesn't cut it here, way too inadequate a word.
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