My Dad's Celtics, and Mine
You don't read much here about the Boston Celtics because I don't follow them with the fervor I did in the magical '80s, when every game was an event unto itself. DJ and Danny Ainge were the guards. Kevin McHale and Larry Bird were the forwards, and the Chief, Robert Parish, was the center. Now that is a starting line-up!
The Celtics always came to Hartford to play four games each year, one pre-season and three regular season games. We had seats in the mid-1980s that were three rows behind the Celtics' bench, just far enough up so that we would not be blocked by the seated players. One game I'll never forget was on a cold snowy night. I was sitting with my Dad. There were 2 seconds left against the Knicks, we were down by one, and Larry arched a shot from the corner near the bench. We were sitting not 6 feet away, and my Dad and I, standing, watched as the ball flew upward, reached its peak, and softly settled into the bottom of the net. Green team wins. It was a magical moment for players and fans alike, as the Civic Center erupted with an earthquake of cheering. And leave it to my Dad to go over to where Red Auerbach was sitting and hand him a cigar. Red promptly slid off the band and lit up. Right there! Priceless memories.
My Dad is gone now. And the Celtics, those multiple World Champions of the eighties, are gone too. In their place have been scores of pretenders. But they can never be MY Celtics. Or as my Dad used to say, our boys.