Savoring Another Beantown Championship

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“I’m 95 [expletive] years old with one foot in the grave and I can barely move. I know I’m in overtime. So everything in your life becomes more meaningful.

And one of the last things I want to be able to see is for the Celtics to hang up banner No. 18.”

— Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics, 1950-1963


Bob Cousy got his wish.

Cousy is generally considered the greatest point guard of his era. He played on six NBA championship teams when I was a young child growing up in New Hampshire, listening to gravelly voiced announcer Johnny Most call the games on AM radio. I was 8 when the “Houdini of the Hardwood” won his final championship. My memory of Cousy comes from watching film clips long after he hung up his sneakers, later listening to him provide color analysis on television during the 1980s.

That 18th championship banner was earned this week against the talented but ultimately outmatched Dallas Mavericks, pushing the Celtics past the Los Angeles Lakers into first place for most championships. I put in considerable couch time watching the finals. My Beautiful Mystery Companion bought a Celtics T-shirt for Father’s Day, which I proudly wore as my team handily won game five home at TD Garden in Boston. My BMC even looked into buying us tickets to one of the finals games in Beantown. Unfortunately, we have no minor children that could be sold for the price of a pair of tickets. The couch was just fine.

No surprise to longtime readers, but I have been a Celtics fan as long as I can remember, along with the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins. It is in my DNA to back Boston teams, even the Boston Bruins. I am not a huge hockey fan, though it is a lot of fun to watch in person. In truth, I rarely watch an sporting events during regular seasons, only reserving couch time as my teams get deeper into the playoffs. During the regular season, I keep up with a nifty iPhone app that allows me to check scores, stats and standings, then get back to reading whatever book has captured my fancy.

The games did not start until 7:30 p.m., pushing my ability to stay awake past my normal bedtime. I have long joked that one only needs to watch the last five minutes of most basketball games to capture the gist. That is still largely true for a non-fanatic like me, but I quickly got immersed in these games between two truly fine teams. I hope Bob Cousy was enjoying it as well, and that he was able to stay awake. That would seem to be a tall order at 95; it is a challenge at 68.


Thirty-five years ago, on a whim, I bought a single share of stock in the Boston Celtics to acquire the beautifully illustrated certificate. At the time, Larry Bird led the team, and its principal owners decided to take the team public. One of the owners, Don Gaston, had a brother who was a professor at Stephen F. Austin State University for many years. We were fellow Rotarians. Ed Gaston and I joked a few times about my “investment,” which now hangs in my closet. The team was sold and taken private in 2002. Like many fans who made similar investments for sentimental reasons, I kept my certificate. Looks like it is worth up to $150 on eBay, not that I will ever sell it.

Now that basketball season is over, an extended sports-watching hiatus is in store here, until the baseball playoffs begin in September. My beloved Red Sox took two-of-three from the Yankees last weekend, raising hopes of an early summer run to rise from their third-place perch, a dozen games out of first as of this writing. Hope springs eternal for Red Sox fans in June, often dashed by the time the dog days arrive. Boston fans have learned to savor all championships. For the Celtics, the last time was 16 seasons ago. The Red Sox are a half-dozen years out from their last World Series ring.

As for the Patriots… It could be a long drought.

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