Friday, February 17, 2012

One Big Family

It occurred to me recently, that it really is impressive how all the Boston sports teams seem to get along. And not just because Tom Brady and Kevin Youkilis are apparently going to be brothers-in-law. But, the other teams are always there to support each other in some way.

You see them in the stands at each other’s games. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Celtics game without them pointing to a Patriot in the crowd. The Red Sox have been known to bring a whole group to watch the Celtics from a box. It’s interesting because there’s really no good reason for them to be there. Most of these players are from other places. They’re probably not Celtics fans. They certainly weren’t when they were growing up. But they still come out to the games. Is it just that they need to do something while they’re in town? Are they doing it for a PR move? If Tom Brady can get slammed for wearing a Yankees hat, maybe they expect a boost by wearing Celtics green? Or, is it just a fellowship with the teams where they all support each other?

They also make a lot of official appearances at other team’s games. Throwing out the first pitch. Dropping the first puck. A ceremonial coin flip or jump ball. Whatever it is, the other teams all seem more than willing to help out with a crowd-pleasing ceremony. This has gotten even better now that all the teams are winning on their own. I remember when the Patriots threw out the first pitches at the Red Sox home opener in 2002. It was, of course, incredible to see them. It was one of the first chances to publicly celebrate their accomplishment. But, it also seemed a little sad. It was like the Sox knew they weren’t winners, so they tried to appease their fans by showing them a team that actually could win it all. Flash forward to 2011 when the Bruins rode into Fenway on their duck boats. It wasn’t sad anymore. Everyone was simply free to celebrate with each other. Like a family.

Is this unique to Boston? I don’t remember it happening all that much in the past. After all, we were all surprised when the Patriots showed up for that 2002 first pitch. If they had won again a couple weeks ago, I would be shocked if they didn’t show up this year. So, it seems that things have changed. But, does it occur in other places? Are Eagles always seen in the crowd at 76ers games? Do the Mets go and see the Knicks? Do the Dodgers like the Lakers on Facebook? Is this all special?

Because it sure is a lot of fun.

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