Ranking your favorite championships is like ranking your children. You have your favorites. You just don’t tell your wife.
No, no, wait, dear, I was just kidding . . . Of course I love all of our babies equally . . . Even what’s-his-name, the little pirate-looking fella with the wooden leg . . .
Anyway, while I prepare to sleep on the couch tonight, I suppose I should warn those of you who aren’t Boston sports fans that this post is an exercise in supreme arrogance. Yup, even moreso than usual.
You see, we’re here today to rank our teams’ six championships this decade – that’s right, SIX championships – and you can bet your Loserville pennant that we’re going to enjoy it.
(Editor’s note: For today’s purposes, we’re going to pretend Super Bowl XLII never happened. Because it didn’t. Thank you, TATB Management.)
So Yankees fans, you can skip out on us today and surf on over to your other favorite destination . . . what is it again, BronxChixWithMustachesTomSelleckWouldEnvy.com? Sounds right.
Lakers fans, you can stop pretending you care and again focus on your real favorite pastime: bleaching your hair, your teeth, your nostrils, your Vujacic, and whatever else happens to be the Tinseltown trend of the moment. Freaks.
And Philly fans . . . well, I don’t even know where to begin with you. Moses Malone isn’t walking through that door. And if he did, he’d probably drop 25 and 20 on Samuel Dalembert.
But seriously, enough about you. This is about us. So fire up the duck boats, let the confetti rain, and let’s get rankin’ . . .
1. 2004 Red Sox: Because it set us free, baby. I trust there are no questions?
2. 2007-’08 Celtics: I’ll admit it, this one’s almost entirely personal, and I won’t bicker with anyone who wants to put the 2001 Patriots here. It’s just that the Celtics’ first championship in 22 seasons came at a time when, because of my 20th high school reunion, the Facebook phenomenon, and the increased prominence of this wee blog, I’ve been hearing from numerous long-lost friends lately, and it’s appropriate to me that the sentimental flashbacks to whatever semi-Glory Days I might have had should coincide with the Celtics’ revival. Basketball was extremely important to me then, so I was surprised to discover that my affection for and appreciation of this Celtics’ team rivaled the feelings I felt all those years ago for Larry and the 1985-’86 champs. These Celtics didn’t necessarily make me feel young again, but they sure jostled some wonderful memories of when I really was young, and that’s plenty good enough.
3. 2001 Patriots: World, meet Tom Brady. Tom Brady, world. This wasn’t only the most improbable championship in the history of Boston sports, it’s among the most improbable in any sport in any era. Now, you might claim that’s hyperbole, to which I’d counter by saying look at the Patriots’ wretched depth chart from the previous season, then get back to me. (No offense, Antonio Langham.) Brady’s rise, the Bledsoe Empire’s fall (complete with stone-like ruins), the Snow Game, whupping the heavily favored Rams, Vinatieri from 48 yards . . . really, had this been a script, even Disney would have rejected the thing as sappy and unrealistic.
4. 2007 Red Sox: Five years ago, I never would have thought the day would dawn when we expected the Red Sox to come through in the big games. But that’s the life-altering effect ’04 had on us. Even when the Sox were down three games to one to the Indians in last season’s ALCS, the clearheaded among us were confident in their ability to come back. After J.D. Drew’s grand slam in Game 6, everything that followed was delightfully anticlimactic. I don’t know about you, but I like it this way.
5. 2003 Patriots: This title validated the first one, which was perceived by most of the shrapnel-brained twits in the national media (hi, Merril!) as a fluke. Little did they know it was the dawn of a dynasty (yes, albeit one with a video fetish).
6. 2004 Patriots: Corey Dillon made this perhaps the most complete Patriots team yet, at least among those that finished the job. (Whoops, never happened.) Here’s hoping their last championship isn’t their last championship . . . and with a New England sports fan’s arrogance, I tell you I’m quite sure it won’t be.