Homer:Someone who shows blind loyalty to a team or organization, typically ignoring any shortcomings or faults they have.
I am very proud to be a Celtics homer. I love the Celtics. I have loved the Celtics for many, many years, through the good times and the bad times. I loved the Celtics through the Russell years as a kid. I loved the Celtics through the up and down years in the seventies. I loved the Celtics in the eighties when they were dominating. I loved the Celtics during the Carr and Pitino years when they were hitting rock bottom. And I love the Celtics now as they struggle to regain relevance.
I see their shortcomings but always see the bright spots along with them. I know that this past season the Celtics lacked defense and were very young and lost way more games than they won. I know that for the past 20 years, the Celtics haven't been close to a championship team. I know that for many of those years, we were closer to the bottom than to the top. But still, going into most years, I always had so much hope. I always felt that we would turn it around and that would be the year in which the Celtics would be a contender again. But never once did I ever think of not rooting for them or fiercely defending them.
I know many people who are fair weather fans. When the Bulls are winning, they are Bulls fans. When Detroit is winning, they are Detroit fans. When Miami is winning, they are Miami fans. For the most part, Boston fans are Boston fans for better or worse. We are always expecting things to turn around. We somehow know that even in the bad times, there is no franchise that even comes close to the Celtics. So much history and legend. So much Celtics Pride.
The best thing about being a homer is that there is always hope. The 60's were wonderful. We were on top of the world. The 70's were up and down but we had 2 titles in that decade to hold up to prove we were still a great team. Then came the 80's with Larry, Kevin, DJ, Ainge and Chief. Even in the off years when we didn't win a championship, we saw some of the best basketball ever played. Then everything seemed to fall apart. We had the second pick in the draft and picked a player who very well could have been even better than Michael Jordan. But 2 days later, he was gone, the victim of a cocaine overdose. Then we hitched our star to Reggie Lewis who was our hope for the future and just like that, once again the future was gone when Reggie collapsed and died. And even in the Pitino years, there was hope. These are the Boston Celtics. We may be down now, but wait until next year! I wish I had a dollar for every time I said "Wait until next year" over the past twenty years. I'd have quite a nest egg saved up.
And this past year I was so excited going into training camp. We had 2 very quick point guards who could lead the team. We had Jefferson and Perk ready to get to the next step. We had West and Gomes who had played so well the season before. We had a shot blocking veteran who could help our young bigs develop. We had Wally who could pull up for the jumper and stretch the defenses. We had Gerald Green who we just knew was going to be an all star. And we had Paul Pierce in the best shape of his career. We would finally show everyone that we had arrived. But then came setback after setback. We should have known how the season would go when we lost Red just 4 days before the season started. With injury after injury, we lost 312 player games to injuries on our way to the second worst record in the league. But again, there is hope. We have a core of very talented young players. We have a star in Pierce who is determined to be in even better shape than last season after a very disappointing year for him. We have a center who is going to be solid for years to come. We have kids who embody the term work ethic and are very exciting to watch. And most of all, we have a 38.7% chance of landing a top 2 pick in a draft with 2 franchise players up for grabs. All I can say is "Wait until this year!!"
Tomorrow Homerism Part 2: Johnny Most Friday Homerism Part 3: Tommy Heinsohn