*Viewer discretion is advised. The following contains themes that are SPORTS psychology related. Any inconvenience or upset stomach you may experience due to the regionality of today's content are purely coincidental and absolutely the intention of the author of this site.
I once heard a guy described as so lucky, he could "sh*t in a swinging bucket". I'd have to say that not only was he lucky, he had some good aim too; considering the bucket's swinging. Sometimes I think that's what it's been like being a sports fan from New England since the start of the new Millennium. I came to this conclusion after Thursday night's Pats/Jets prime time showdown at Gillette Stadium. The "Tommy-less" Pats pulled out a surprising performance and the interesting thing is, we didn't win. We didn't even take over first place in the AFC. We took the loss, the 6-4 record and second place to the New York Jets. But, as luck would have it, we really won. We won because the actual game itself proved it's weight in gold for the psyche of the team and it's fans. The Patriots, with Cassel at the helm, showed that all important testicular fortitude needed to win big games. The Pats just may possess the nads to keep us in the game, sprinkled with a little dash of magic in the team's old top hat. It's that special quality that keeps us hungry for more and that teams from New England have been blessed with in recent years.
For sure, it's never boring around here if you're a sports fan, and I'll admit we have been spoiled ROTTEN for the last eight years. Our fair city has been graced with SIX world championships in that time and our children have been raised as sports royalty. We have fought through injury,(Tommy, The Bloody Sock) scandal, weather, history, records, and curses and still came out smelling like a rose.
We have experienced some of the most sensational come from behind baseball victories in our beloved Fenway Park. We witnessed the biggest "choke" in ALL sports history and a historic end to an 84 year old curse in 2004 and ended up with not one but two MLB World Championships. And let's not forget Game five of this year's ALCS. We live for games like that. We even brought a 17th championship banner back to the gaaahden to hang along side Celtic greats like Cousy, Russell, Havlicek and Bird. And if that's not enough, today the Bruins sit atop their northeast conference, a site we haven't seen since the glory days of Neely and Bourque. (They absolutely dominated the Habs last Thursday night-6-1)
Still, there are those that would argue that it's not just about luck. Money plays a key role in winning and there has been a bit of that sprinkled around here too, in Championship City. Bob Kraft was the laughing stock of the NFL when he bought the team in 1994 with nothing but his dreams and his big, fat $172 million dollar check book. He was told that the team would never be a viable commodity in the NFL. They lacked the winning record and the facility to attract the ad revenues needed to play with the big boys. He stuck it to them good with his $325 million dollar privately financed, state of the art facility, which we christened on opening night in 2002 with our first championship banner and saw the rise of the Brady era. (some credit Mo Lewis of the NY Jets for that, but that's another post for another day)
Then there's John Henry and the deadly tag team of Tom Werner and Larry Luchinno. Their money purchased them team, hired our golden boy Theo Epstein, the true architect of our two World Championships and saved our historic ball park by turning it into a money maker.
Money also came to the rescue of our boys in green. In 2003, a group of Fat Cats from Boston Basketball Partners LLC, headed by business man Wyc Grousbeck, purchased the team and hired Danny Ainge to the front office. With the EGO of Pitino gone and Doc Rivers hired as coach, Ainge made a steal of a deal and acquired both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to aid our own Paul Pierce out front. You know the rest and the Big Three need no introduction.
As for Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Bruins. F-Jeremy Jacobs! That's all I want to say about that.
Luck is defined as a force that brings good fortune or diversity; a favoring chance, success. This is what I have been talking about. Money, luck, talent, luck, money. I'm not going to ask any questions. For now, I'm going to walk outside my house and take a deep, deep breath and breathe in that sweet smell of success in a swinging bucket.