We spent last evening at Professor Thom's , the Boston sports bar here in New York City. (Apparently, it used to be Riviera's, but then some bartenders got fired, or something; it's difficult to keep track of such matters.) We were engulfed in a swarm of New Englanders, the people who, over the last several years, have celebrated titles, and celebrated titles, and celebrated titles. We saw every inch of their joy last night. (Not a euphemism!) And you know what? It wasn't so bad. It was really fun.
The goofy looks around the bar at halftime betrayed any fear of jinxing; this title was happening, and one couldn't pretend otherwise. The dominance of the Celtics was overwhelming, all-encompassing and enthralling; it really had the feel of a Harlem Globetrotters-Washington Generals game. Down the stretch, it was like a band winding down a great set. There's Big Baby Davis with a dunk! Leon Powe! Eddie House! Give it up for James Posey! Everybody got their moment. What drama was sucked out by the blowout was more than made up for by the emotional earthquake afterwards; we were legitimately frightened Kevin Garnett was going to explode into a splash of blood and confetti.
It was a celebration, a reminder of what Boston basketball once was and what it was again. We found it best not to attach the Celtics to the Patriots and the Red Sox; let the true diehards have their moment, for they had earned it. (Though if the Celtics win again next year, all bets are off.)
We'll talk about Kobe Bryant and how no one can ever think of him the same, no matter what happens the rest of his career, a little later. For now, we congratulate the Celtics and their fans; these come along rarely, even for Boston fans, and must be held as tightly, for as long, as possible.