Monday, December 28, 2009

Just a Word About the Sports Lists...

During the fall and winter I like to unwind after being in the pulpit on Sunday morning by grabbing lunch at a sports bar where they are showing NFL games. Yesterday I enjoyed a sub sandwich while watching the New England Patriots defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-7 and secure a trip to the playoffs. While rooting for the Pats a couple of guys asked me how long I had been a Patriots fan. Here in Kansas City, like everywhere else outside of New England, the assumption is that you must have started rooting for them a few years ago when they started winning Super Bowls.

"Since 1985," I answered, "I was in second grade and we were doing the 'Squish the Fish' thing when the Patriots were playing the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs. Of course, we got killed by the Bears in the Super Bowl. That was also the year the Red Sox lost to the Mets in the World Series and not long after that Magic Johnson hit his 'sky hook' against the Celtics in the NBA finals. So, I was 8 and all of the Boston teams were making it to the championships and then losing and I've rooted for them pretty consistently ever since."

The guys wanted to goad me for being a "bandwagoner" but my answer denied them the pleasure. One of the guys fired off a retort, "How long did you spend rehearsing that line?" But, the line was delivered playfully and generously.

The last three blog posts (here, here, and here) I've written have been about the past decade in Boston sports. I don't write about sports very often and I apologize to my loyal readers who have come here and found posts about stuff they aren't even remotely interested in.

I decided to post on this subject because as a Boston sports fan I've enjoyed an almost unparalleled run of success by the teams for which I root. It has been a great decade. So, let me run through the resumés for the teams one last time.

Red Sox (2000-2009)
• 2 World Series Championships (’04 and ’07)
• 6 times in playoffs (’03, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’08, ’09)
• 33 wins and 23 losses in the playoffs
• 10 seasons with winning records; 7 seasons with 90+ wins
• Star Players: Pedro Martinez (2000 Cy Young), Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield, Jonathan Papelbon, Keith Foulke, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia (2008 MVP), Nomar Garciaparra, Bill Mueller, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, David Ortiz

Patriots (2000-2009)
• 3 Super Bowl victories, 4 Super Bowl appearances
• 7 times in playoffs (’01, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’09)
• 14 wins and 3 losses in the playoffs
• 9 seasons with winning records (missed playoffs in ’08 with 11-5 season)
• Star Players: Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Troy Brown, Deion Branch, David Givens, Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk, Antowain Smith, Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Damien Woody, Dan Koppen, Adam Vinatieri, Stephen Gostkowski, Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo, Ty Law, Asante Samuel, Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison

Celtics (2000-2009)
• Won World Championship in 2007-2008 season
• 6 times in playoffs in 9 years
• 39 wins and 38 losses in playoffs
• 5 seasons with winning records; 2 seasons with 60+ wins
• Star Players: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Antoine Walker, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Al Jefferson

I genuinely feel like a lucky sports fan!