Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Anti-Red Sox?

Enjoy it, Boston fans. Thursday night will probably be the last time you see the Big Three playing together. This is a point brought up on the radio this afternoon, but not only is Ray Allen hitting free agency, but with (Felger's term) "collective bargaining armageddon" happening after the 2010-2011 season, Paul Pierce might want to get a new contract under the old CBA. Let's say both have a 50% chance of coming back. That means there's a 25% chance they both return. But I see it as even less likely than that, as the team said at some point they'd have to move on.

While thinking about this, I was pretty sad. Because as the Red Sox teams in the past several years (pretty much since the advent of HYD Baseball) have become increasing dislikable, the Big Three have been supremely likable. The whole Celtics team, at least this year, has been likable for the most part. I thought about it more, and while they certainly aren't perfect (for reasons discussed below), they're a lot more likable than this year's Red Sox team--or any Red Sox team for that matter, probably since 2004. At the same time, especially since they decided to play better than .500, the Red Sox team has scored some likability points, especially as I've come around a bit on Beltre and even JD Drew. But I know that no matter what the outcome of the game on Thursday night, I'm going to miss this year's Celtics team.

My dad said sometime in the past year that it's a good thing Garnett ended up with the Celtics because if he never did, we'd never get a chance to find out how much we liked him. So absolutely true. I feel like someday I will tell my grandkids how the guy smacked himself on the back of the head and screamed profanities constantly to nobody in particular. I might also talk about Shrek and Donkey (no matter how inconsistent they can be), Rondo going Barry Sanders on some defenses, Ray Allen reminding me that you don't have to suck to go to UConn, Rasheed's "Ball Don't Lie" spiel, and the occasional dumb things said by Paul Pierce. Plus I once saw Shelden Williams doing his Christmas shopping within six miles of Wilmington. I might not always remember all of this, but I'm the type of guy who can still name ten players from the 1995 UMass Final Four (vacated) team. The coach is reasonably likable and the organization as a whole is ultra-competitive instead of profit-maximizing or "look how smart I am"-maximizing.

I know that I can't give a completely glowing endorsement for the team because of their occasional maddening play on the court (like tonight, for example), the fact that they basically JDed their way through the regular season, the fact that Pierce, Davis, Perkins, and the fact that Tony Allen never has any idea where the F he's going have most likely taken 5-10 years off of my dad's life. I think Pierce saying stuff like "we're not coming back to LA" isn't bad, but at least he's talking about the whole team being awesome. I can easily contrast that kind of stuff to the stuff Papelbon says.

Meanwhile, as I've mentioned a few times, the recent Red Sox are not that likable. You got a general manager whose smugness, arrogance, and self-congratulatory attitude can only be exceeded in the alumni notes of Colby Magazine. The right fielder is only playing hard because he's retiring soon, the center fielder is not playing because he wants to protect his .250 batting average, one pitcher got a paycheck but can't stay healthy, another one is jawing at the catcher, the catcher is jawing back, the other catcher whined about playoff playing time, three guys are explicitly linked to steroids, at least one more is a pretty obvious user, each starter is trying to have their own personal catcher, one stole a couple of laptops, the closer wants to be Curt Flood, one DH blamed the media for his bad start, two veterans have been left to die, and the third baseman embodies all the beef you could possibly have with Tony Allen except for the fact that his lack of baseball fundamentals have fractured five outfielders' ribs in 65 games.

Likablility points have been scored by the usuals (Youkilis and Pedroia), an independent league refugee, Mike Cameron because he's played through the same injury I'm having surgery for, Scutaro for playing through another injury, Joe Nelson because of his Miley Cyrus walkup music, and two unusual suspects in Beltre and Drew. There's something to be said about a previously-apathetic player temporarily caring, and there's something different to be said about a guy whose talent and lack of polish are downright comical.

Either way, despite the likability points, this Red Sox team's likability, not to mention the likability of all the rest of the recent Boston sports teams, fall way short of this year's Celtics. While it's true that they built a lot of likability credit over this playoff run by knocking off villainous opponents (hopefully Pat spews about this one), a win Thursday night would obviously be good. But it would also be the ultimate anti-end of the 2009 baseball season. I was relieved the 2009 Red Sox were broken up. But I'm going to miss this year's Celtics.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

DV

What a great post. I really, really enjoyed reading it because I was thinking very similar thoughts about both teams over the past few days, though I doubt I could have put it as well as you have.

I want to add this much, however: The truth is that this Celtics team really was a pain in the ass for most of this year. They blew a ton of late leads. They lost to awful teams at home. They had Rasheed Wallace.

But, they are also all old. Their best player (Kevin Garnett) has been playing on one leg and created a situation where their new best player (Rondo) clashed with the face of the franchise (Paul Pierce). It was a contentious season. And then come playoff time they have to play the three best teams in the league in consecutive series'. And to this point, without home court advantage in over a month, they've met every challenge. It's been such an impressive run that you have to wonder how much better they'd have been over the past two years with a healthy Garnett.

As for Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, I could see Ray leaving. He's going to want more money than the Celtics will offer and I wouldn't blame him for leaving, though it would bum me out. I'd be shocked if Pierce left. He loves being a Celtic. He wants to pass Bird (and maybe Havlicek) on the all-time scoring list. He wants his number in the rafters next to Bird and McHale. I'm sure he stays.

Also, Adrian Beltre is like Manny Ramirez-light. He is wildly talented. He seems like a lot of fun. And he does crazy things that make absolutely no sense. The difference is that he's not as talented as Manny and (fortunately) not as destructive. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Beltre-experience thus far.

Lastly, there is no team in professional sports that I hate more than the Lakers. If you told me that the Celtics would win tomorrow night, but it meant that the Yankees got to win the next five World Series and President Obama would erect statues of ARod and Jeter right outside the White House, I'd make that trade in a heartbeat. No player in sports history has been more contrived and more disingenuous than Kobe Bryant. And I hope like hell that Boston wins tomorrow night. Do I see it happening? It could. I don't think it's likely. But as you said, either way, the 2010 Celtics gave us a lot, lot more than we could have ever imagined back in February.

--the Gunn

PF said...

It's not at all surprising that this is such a likable team if you're a boston fan. And that's because if you aren't, they are one of the most dislikable teams in all of american professional sports. in fact, judging by the general disdain directed at them from people from all over the country (and world) in new york, especially when the alternative is the lakers, I would say the yankees and celtics are 1-2 right now in some order in terms of most despised teams in the country (with the patriots being 3rd). Which makes sense, because it usually goes that the more a fan base likes its team, the less everyone else does, especially if they win a lot. This is an extremely likable yankees team for yankees fans, but it isn't difficult to see why a fan of any other team loathes them. Conversely, if I was a celtics fan I know I would like this particular team. But if you're not, wow. I highly doubt you see this in boston where you love your team and dislike LA immensely, but there are people from all different cities that have adopted the lakers like they are there own team hoping the celtics don't win this thing because of their general obnoxiousness. If it was oklahoma city or some other feel good story or benign team, that wouldn't be as telling. But its the lakers, who if not for the celtics everyone would be directing this behavior at them against almost anyone else. And that is indeed telling.

TimC said...

PF, I don't think a straw poll from the NY/NJ area can give you a good idea of how the rest of the country feels about the Celtics/Lakers. My bet would be that fans from around the country are pretty sick of both teams and are just hoping for a competitive, well-played series.

Gunn, I am not going to deny that this was an extremely maddening Celtics team from November to April. I feel for anyone who loves the Celtics to the point where they suffered the agony of having to watch all of their games during the regular season. Still, the reality was that throughout the season the Celtics knew they had a top-four spot locked up after a 23-5 start and played the rest of the season trying to avoid picking up any major injuries and trying to peak during the playoffs. They were always a good matchup against the Cavs, wanted to avoid the Hawks if possible, and were hopeful that Perk could continue to play Howard straight up. I think anyone who makes too much of that regular season stretch should put an 82-game season designed to eliminate less than 50% of the league from the post-season into better perspective.

DV, I liked the post a lot as well. It is always tough to watch a team get broken up because as a sports fan one of the most enjoyable experiences is getting to watch players learn to play together and elevate their own play by developing chemistry with each other. I think most of us here on the blog have favorite teams and my bet is that the common characteristic among those teams is another season or three where the team was composed of similar players, coaches, and styles. When someone says they loved the '03 Red Sox, for example, that perception was enhanced by being able to watch that core of players come back the next year and win a championship. I guess my point is that although we tend to identify our favorite "teams" with a specific season or tournament, in most cases those teams are a version of a team that, more or less, existed over a number of seasons or tournaments.

My top five "likable" Boston area teams:

5) 1999 Red Sox
4) 2009 Celtics (Scal > 'Sheed)
3) '05-'06 BC Basketball
2) 2003 Red Sox
1) 2001 Patriots

Anonymous said...

The likeability of all these teams pales in comparison to that of the 1976 Oakland Raiders.

Bandi

PF said...

Timc -

You can reduce it to that if you want, but the reality is this is the most cosmopolitain area in the country, and that includes opinions on sports. And we are also dealing with a 3 year sample size. I know you aren't used to this sort of experience in boston (and I don't mean that as a knock, just a truth) but in new york you go to school, work, go to bars, and generally interact with people from more varied backgrounds than you do in boston. I have no doubt, as a result, that these sentiments are more than a straw poll, as they would be in boston where 90% of the people root for the same teams. In new york its split before you even get to people from other areas, which already provides more perspective than people in most cities. Am I suggesting that everyone in the country outside of boston is rooting for LA? Of course not, I'm sure their other rivals and people who don't like them want them to lose and can't stand them. But I am more than suggesting that on a national level the lakers don't register as high on the dislikability scale the way the celtics do. They are at yankees status, and that's elite company. I mean, just look at the way certain members of your team conduct themselves, pair that with the fact that they win, and is it really that hard to figure out? You'd have to be biased or not paying attention if you can't.

I do agree with you that in general people are tired of both teams, and I referenced that the lakers are not an ideal alternative at all. And that's a big part of my point. Since we have to choose between the two, it's blowout city babyyyyyy.

PF said...

And please don't come back with a "I just graduated college so I know about people from all over" defense. You went to colby! 10% or less of the population are serious sports fans, and of that 10% 8% are new england fans, 1% are new york, and then there is a scattered serious fan from here or there making up the remaining 1%. I know because I lived it too!

jason said...

gotta agree with pat this time, it is unbelieveable as to how many people hate the celtics, the entire city of stl has become diehard lakers fans and as i drove across country back to boston in my celtics jersey i repeatedly heard shouts of celtics suck go lakers, the celtics suck part being emphasized the most

Anonymous said...

PF,

I'll give you that NY is far more diverse than Boston. Taking the subway is like walking on the set of a Star Wars movie.

Bandi

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

My prediction is no more Allen. Pierce will opt-out but still be extended. I agree about Beltre and the Lakers. I might hate the two Eurotrash players more than I hate the rapist.

Pat,

Welcome to the comments section. I agree with you and Jason regarding the universal hatred of the Celtics, despite the fact that you pulled the "I'm more cultured because I live in New York City" card. Why don't you take an extended JDcation in Europe or Aruba to show the world how wordly you are?

Oh, wait.

Tim, no BC team will ever be likable? And what disqualifies the 2004 Red Sox?

Bandi,

Did you take the number seven train with John Rocker?

Another underrated part of the team's likability is that Scalabrine is embracing the role of "only white guy on the team who only rarely suits up." The guy is on sports radio every week for "White Guy Wednesday."

TimC said...

PF,

First, you are addressing a person here who was declared "King of the International Students" at Colby by more than one source. I do not know exactly what that means, but if someone was qualified to make the defense you suggested, it's me. That said, I can't really value their opinion because they tend to be more interested in discussing vuvuzelas, goal difference, and glancing headers than they are the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.

Also, do people that go to bars in New York really a fair representation of the average American sports fan? I'm not riding in with sampling method police here but I am going to question how balanced of an opinion you will get in New York. This is the city where some fans of the Yankees considered the Giants beating the Patriots "payback" for the Red Sox knocking the Yankees out in 2004. The teams of Boston, for some reason, tend to run together in many people's minds. I couldn't go two feet at Colby without hearing about "arrogant" Boston fans from Orioles fans, Yankees fans, Packers fans, Buckeyes fans, Manchester United fans, Bates fans, industrial fans...the same shit over and over again.

You said it yourself, 90% of serious Boston sports fans root for the same teams. I think this leads to fans of other teams to automatically root against the Boston fan, not the Boston team. An unattached Yankees fan, for example, will root against the CELTICS because they hate the Red Sox and their fans. By extension, as a Red Sox fan should be 90% likely to root for the Celtics, the Yankees fan will root against the Celtics with the goal of rooting against the Red Sox fan. Same goes with anyone who hates the Patriots (and A LOT of people hate the Patriots). Congratulations, mission accomplished.

This kind of behavior does not a Lakers fan make, bandwagon or otherwise. If you like rape, not showering, banging the ugly sister, punching fans, fake World Cup penalties, being a dick during sideline interviews, or sharing an arena with a known racist, congratulations, you are justified in rooting for the Lakers. Otherwise, admit that you cannot separate the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, and Revolution in your mind and just acknowledge that you are rooting against the city of Boston and their fans, not the Celtics.

(By the way, if you like Bynum, go for it. That guy has balls the double the size of anyone else in the series. I hope he does not permanently damage himself).

DV,

I like the '05-06 BC team because of guys like Smith and Dudley. Those who have followed their careers in the pros will see my point. The '04 Red Sox were great but in my mind the foundation was laid in '03. I liked that team more, they created a belief in the fanbase; the '04 team was just taking care of unfinished business, lost Nomar, and had Schilling (which has, post-'04, tainted it a bit).

TimC said...

One more thought, the Celtics MUST move Scal ahead of Sheldon Williams in the rotation. That guy has literally no idea what it means to play NBA basketball. I would rather have Scal on the perimeter passing to better players than Sheldon in the paint trying to score himself.

And if you think this will hurt our post D, understand that Doc would need to pair Scal with Sheed or Garnett. They can handle the paint while Scal can help off some of the non-shooters.

I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

PF

Until I get some feedback from people in Nashville, Indianapolis, Houston, and Charlotte (and not just one or two of them trying to fit in at a New York bar), I'm not too concerned about the perception of national apathy towards the Celtics. In reality, I'm not concerned anyway, especially not with what New Yorkers think. Ask people from Providence what they think of the New York Giants. I bet you don't get a very favorable response. Which you shouldn't. It's a biased area. On the subject of New England sports, I imagine that New York is fairly biased as well.

Also, do you really think people hate the Patriots more than the Cowboys? I don't really care about football, but I thought everyone hated the Cowboys.

Jason

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, "you seem like a decent fellow, I hate to take umbrage with your sentiments." But I would like to point out that St. Louis probably doesn't have the fondest of feelings toward New England's teams. After all, in a span of three years the Patriots were involved in one of the great upsets in all of sports against the Rams and the Red Sox swept the 105 win Cardinals.

We should probably just leave national sentiments and opinions to a CNN poll.

Two other thoughts: the Celtics are in trouble tomorrow night. It is highly unlikely that they win. No road team has won a Game 7 in the NBA Finals since 1978 (and it wasn't even called the Finals then) and no road team has won a Game 7 in the Finals since the 2-3-2 format was introduced. Still, the Lakers haven't done anything they weren't supposed to do. They're the favorite. They have home court. They're younger and healthier. They only way they can lose tomorrow night is if they get out-toughed. As much as I loathe Kobe Bryant, I doubt he'll let that happen.

Lastly, it's nice to see Tampa come back to earth a little bit. I don't necessarily see them falling apart, but I don't see anyone keeping the Yankees from the top of the mountain, either. The Sox best bet is to slide in and knock out the Rays as the Yankees glide to the division title.

--the Gunn

PF said...

Dv -

Where did I say anything about culture? I said I'm exposed to more sporting views here. Not just fans. This might sound crazy to people from a town where the sports writers are notorious for rooting for the teams instead of doing their job, but we have columnists, tv and radio personalities, beat writers, etc. who are not from new york, fans of new york, or here because their childhood dream was to cover a particular new york team. I've lived in both regions. Its a simple fact that you get a more varied view living in new york for that very reason. Add a far more diverse base in terms of teams rooted for, and away we go.

Timc -

Ditto what I said to dv, and read jason's comment. He's talking about st louis, a town that doesn't have an nba team and has no beef with boston. I agree that the analysis you gave in terms of one team rolling into the next sometimes with dislike for a city. Not the case here though, and reaching that conclusion being a boston fan yourself and the context you lack as a result isn't really something you're in a position to do. And that's the way its supposed to be, you're a fan. Its not about being a lakers fan, and its not about wanting the celtics to lose because of their association with other teams in boston. Its because of them. I'm not going to go player by player, but suffice to say there has been plenty of conversation the last 3 years about a majority of the players and how annoying they are amongsnt non boston fans. Not all (like ray allen and paul pierce), but most of the rest. You don't have to believe it if you don't want, but the botton line is you have no idea one way or another because you have spent most if not all of your life living in celtics territory so it doesn't matter. But you have a celtics fan living in st louis, making a drive from there to boston, telling you that most people he encountered along the way don't like the celtics. I'm telling you I know fans of at least 7 different nba teams who can't stand the celtics. I'm telling you all non-boston bars in new york are going wild for the lakers, and you can bet there are people from all over in them. My advice to you is to just embrace it. Its good to be despised and unlikable by opposing fan bases. I have experience with it as a yankees fan. Who cares if other fan bases don't like your teams? Probably just means your team is that much more likable for the fan base that roots for them. The two are typically pretty neatly inversley proportional.

PF said...

Gunn -

If you and timc are going to ignore the broad nature of the comments I'm making, I'm not going to bother arguing with you guys. If you really think I'm the type of person to waste my time making a point as obvious as "people in new york want the celtics to lose", be my guest. I'm pretty simply and objectively trying to express what the attitude outside of boston is towards the celtics, a matter that really isn't up for debate. Its like me trying to argue that people around the country don't really dislike the yankees. Its just a commonly known fact. And when you dig even slightly deeper, you have a few core elements that off the bat should easily indicate national dislike: tradition of winning, winning presently, some obnoxious personalities, some guys who don't seem like they should be good but are, and a few stars that are great if they're on your team but bothersome if they aren't because of their greatness. The yankees have all of those things. And so do the celtics. I'm not totally surprised that you guys don't know this because how would you when you're from the area. But I am surprised at the push back. I spend a lot of time talking about sports with people, and over the last few years nearly to a person the celtics are despised, no matter where from. Just like you wouldn't bother to tell me something as narrow as the red sox don't like the yankees, I'm not making this just about new york. If you don't think I have that kind of knowlege, you probably haven't spent that much time in this city. Its just a tad bigget than a few people trying to fit in from out of town at a bar. More like most nfl teams have 10 different bars for their fans to go to, because a few just won't cut it. Lot of diversity in sports here.

Ill leave you eith this thought on the celtics, and you can do with it what you want: last year an injured celtics player was doing things on the sidelines during the playoffs that were so indefensible that bill simmons, the biggest homer of any fan from any city in america that is nationally known, said he couldn't defend it. If that's the case, how do you think that is received by a non celtics fan? Do you have any idea how much national attention that got? People were talking about how obnoxious that was all over the place. Now combine that with a winning team and other annoying personalities. It really isn't very hard to see, and if it is, I'm here to tell you.

PF said...

Finally to your point on the cowboys, it's the winning element that they lack. If they were winning, they'd be right their with anybody. They have all of the other elements, but laxk that one. Right now the patriots have all of them, although the whole winning presently thing is dwindling.

jason said...

well the gunn made a fairly good point actually that stl fans do have beef with boston teams, and i stopped in cleveland over night on my way.. obviously they may have beef against the celtics too

Anonymous said...

PF,

What I don't get is why any Celtics fan would care about what people outside of Boston think. If people from other cities don't despise your team then it probably means your team is irrelevant. What pervades the Boston fan mindset is not only a desire to win, but also a nagging insecurity and desire to have their teams recognized and approved by everyone. There is never a circumstance when a Boston fan does not feel that their team has been slighted in some way. I don't totally understand it but it's just how it is.

Having said that, my guess would be that there is just as much anti-Laker sentiment out there depending on where you go as they have many of the same qualities as the Celtics. They have hatable players (Kobe, Artest) obnoxious players (Gasol, Sasha V.) and overrated players (Bynum, Farmar, Odom). They also have an arrogant coach.

My expectation would be that if you polled America it would be a pretty even split down the middle as far as which team people hated more. I have a hard time for example thinking that people from Oklahoma City have negative feelings towards the Celtics. However maybe there is nationwide anti-celtic sentiment and if that's the case then that wouldn't bother me.

bandi

TimC said...

PF,

First, nothing I posted earlier sheds any light on how much I "accept" the perception of Boston teams. I don't see how you could conclude that I don't embrace the perception from what I said. All I started with is that you jumping to conclusions from Corner Kicks, NYC is not going to sail with me. If you acknowledge that there are Boston bars in NYC, why won't you think that people who are rooting for the Celtics or against the Lakers are predominantly going to those places?

Based on how you seem to have gathered your "national opinion", I think you are either giving casual, around-the-horn-pti brainwashed fans who watch 30 minutes of NBA basketball a year too much weight or are failing to realize that you are going to run into Laker haters very infrequently if you are having drinks in a non-Boston bar.

I'm going with the former and it is based on the KG situation from last year. Where was all this anti-KG sentiment in the regular season, after his injury? He was being a clown then. Where was it in '08, when he was just as obnoxious during blowouts when he sat on the bench? Nowhere, because the fans who use that '09 behavior to justify disliking the Celtics were doing so while asking me why Sam Cassell wasn't throwing up bricks against Chicago.

Now, if you want to go along the line of Jason's comment, its OK, but you still can't reach a good conclusion. I don't expect Jason to be able to determine the motivation of an anti-Celtic fan on a drive-through and I don't expect you to do the same. It is just too difficult. If two people can see KG headbutting the basket support and reach two different conclusions, the pre-existing feelings and biases have to factor in. Talking to people in bars and on the streets is a good way to see how people might react to certain event but by no means does it constitute a gauge for national opinion. How can you talk to someone and differentiate those who truly are disgusted with the Celtics and those who just don't like the Boston sports scene? You can't. On a blog where sample size is often discussed, I think you reaching your conclusions is done so with the big "TINY SAMPLE SIZE" asterisk that is so often tossed around on these boards.

Anonymous said...

PF

This is bordering on the dumbest argument this blog has seen--just shy of anything mentioned about Javier Vazquez and significantly less than the Coco Crisp saga (sorry DV). But let's be clear: I didn't miss anything in your previous post. I read everything that you wrote. You mentioned that you'd met people who weren't from New York who hated the Celtics. You didn't mention how many, you didn't mention where they were from, and you didn't mention what their team of choice was. If you don't provide any of that information, it makes it difficult to discern anything from a statement that says something like, "I live in New York. And in New York there are lots of people from lots of places. And lots of those people hate the Celtics."

I was in Las Vegas last month. Nobody in Las Vegas is from Las Vegas. I was surprised at how many Celtics and Red Sox hats/gear I saw out there. I also saw people rooting against the Lakers. But I didn't count or take notes. I didn't know where any of those people were from. I didn't know anything about them. And because of that, I'm not going to draw broad, sweeping conclusions about the state of fan allegiance in America. You've provided some anecdotal evidence. I certainly don't think anyone would call it scientific. And so, Tim and I question the strength of that evidence. That's all there is to it.

--the Gunn

jason said...

one final point to the argument I have is that we know atleast seattle and minnesota are probably rooting for the celtics because they loved their boys ray and kg

PF said...

I agree this conversation has now reached an absurd level, but at least we shook up a comments section that for the last 18 months has been shaken up about 7 times total.

Ill close with this. I was under the impression that there were certain simple truths in american sports. People don't like the yankees. People don't like the celtics. People don't like the lakers. It is so obvious that the celtics are one of the 5 most dislikable teams in all of american prifessional sports (both historically and certainly in relation to this particular team) that I wasn't even really making that point. I was pointing out they are so disliked, that most people have adopted the lakers as their team in an effort to stop the celtics from taking this title. If you guys are debating that point, I can more than accept it, the lakers as I've mentioned more than once in this thread are also a strongly disliked team. If you guys are arguing the former point, that the celtics in general are disliked, I'm just not really sure where we can go with that. I'm don't need any anecdotal or any kind of evidence to prove that, and its certainly not what I was presenting the evidence in relation to (that was for my point about people rooting lakers in this series). Its just a fact. That's just shy of me saying people don't dislike the yankees. I'm not saying this to get on the celtics. I'm saying this because nobody likes a winner unless they are an underdog. So the celtics are out. Toss in some obnoxious personalities, and can any reasonable person really sit here and say, I doubt people really dislike this team? Even if we didn't know on person out there who was like this wed know they existed, and existed in the majority, because that's how we all are as sports fans too.

PF said...

I agree this conversation has now reached an absurd level, but at least we shook up a comments section that for the last 18 months has been shaken up about 7 times total.

Ill close with this. I was under the impression that there were certain simple truths in american sports. People don't like the yankees. People don't like the celtics. People don't like the lakers. It is so obvious that the celtics are one of the 5 most dislikable teams in all of american prifessional sports (both historically and certainly in relation to this particular team) that I wasn't even really making that point. I was pointing out they are so disliked, that most people have adopted the lakers as their team in an effort to stop the celtics from taking this title. If you guys are debating that point, I can more than accept it, the lakers as I've mentioned more than once in this thread are also a strongly disliked team. If you guys are arguing the former point, that the celtics in general are disliked, I'm just not really sure where we can go with that. I'm don't need any anecdotal or any kind of evidence to prove that, and its certainly not what I was presenting the evidence in relation to (that was for my point about people rooting lakers in this series). Its just a fact. That's just shy of me saying people don't dislike the yankees. I'm not saying this to get on the celtics. I'm saying this because nobody likes a winner unless they are an underdog. So the celtics are out. Toss in some obnoxious personalities, and can any reasonable person really sit here and say, I doubt people really dislike this team? Even if we didn't know on person out there who was like this wed know they existed, and existed in the majority, because that's how we all are as sports fans too.

Anonymous said...

A few quick points and then I'm done for the day:

- It's good to see The Gunn getting back and throwing his weight around on here a little bit with some real comments. I can't remember the last time he contradicted PF on anything. For a while I thought he had joined the UN and therefore was allergic to making any inflammatory comments.

- Who killed Ross Kaplan? Where has he been today? Bad job by Kaplan leaving PF out to dry against all the bostonians. He couldn't come on and add to this conversation by talking about how the Gunn is afraid of going to NYC or who Red Sox fans belong in cages? I guess studying for a test full time means you can't post on blogs. I expect this type of disappearing act from other NY fans but not from Kaplan.

the gm at work said...

Pat,

Thanks for taking a JD from work today to participate in the comments section.

The Tim C comment about license to like the Lakers ("If you like rape, not showering, punching fans...") was the best.

Have our posts sucked that bad lately that people don't feel compelled to comment? Is it that or the fact that everyone's watching basketball and not baseball right now?

Anonymous said...

DV

You and Pat have both written thoughtful and knowledgeable posts in recent days/weeks. A lot of times the posts you guys write are so sound that nobody finds themselves in a position to disagree. Contentiousness breeds comments. But this blog isn't about being outrageous or contentious just for the sake of it. From time to time something pops up the really gets people fired up. But mostly you guys just write quality stuff that people agree with or want to add a little bit here or there.

Also, as far as participation goes, the NBA Finals are a big thing right now. Kaplan is studying for the bar exam (which is really time consuming), I've been busy at work (I believe Pat just started a new job as well) and from what I read on this page DV, you're making a lot of efforts to rehab, which I'm sure takes a lot of time out of you schedule.
And Tim is busy watching soccer and trying to figure out why Daisuke can't throw a gyroball.

Basically, Bandi is the only guy who has no excuse not to post.

Bandi

Glad I could make some comments that meet your approval. And we both know I would never join the UN. The UN is an organization that has absolutely no authority and yet still tries to tell America what to do and make us feel guilty about our place in the rest of the world even though we are subsidizing about 3/4's of the poor/pathetic countries on this earth.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

DV,

Long time, first time...

My gut tells me the C’s will re-sign Ray Allen this summer; Paul Pierce will negotiate a new contract (which will actually help the C’s keep Allen) that will make him a Celtic for the rest of his career; and it’ll be Kevin Garnett that pays the price for the team being too old when his contract expires in ’12. They’ll compete for the title for another 2 years. If all 3 win another title tomorrow night, are they hall-of-famers? Is Allen and Garnett HOFers even without the win?

To answer your question, I LOVE this team. I was at the game on Sunday and this team is off-the-charts popular. (It helps that you’re playing for the championship.) You’re right, the recent Sox teams have nothing on the C’s in terms of likeability.

I would make the argument, however, that the Red Sox are more likable than the Celtics NATIONWIDE. I only like the Celtics because they’re my home team. I think the average NBA fan respects the Big Three but finds them cocky as hell. ( “We’re not coming back to LA” – Paul Pierce, seconds after Game 2 is over.) All three are huge trash talkers, especially Allen. (I guess Rondo is, too?) All three constantly complain about fouls, especially Garnett. Allen flops. Pierce has superhuman healing powers the way he milks fouls and then pops right up. Rasheed Wallace is the poster child for bad behavior on the court and Tony Allen is the poster child for bad behavior off the court. Brian Scallabarini (sp?)’s mere existence pisses people off. (I find everything about the man annoying.) I sometimes feel Doc Rivers has no idea how to coach and is LUCKY to be in the position he's in. Plus, we’re the best franchise in the NBA with a recent championship, so there are lots of haters out there!

I’ll also say that – in a weird way – I like teams who pride themselves in not being “likeable.” The New England Patriots, for example, are a team I like, in part, because they don’t care if they’re liked. I think Bill Belichick is the least likable person in the NFL and I love him for it.

Great post as always,
Marino