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There is never anything wrong with looking back. But after a while, you just get tired of it. Over the last few weeks, we have all been inundated with year-end and decade-end reviews, “Best of” lists, and whatever else writers and newscasters like to throw at you to fill time in December. It’s all well and good, as reliving the best of the best can be fun.
But, I’m a future guy. A “what’s next?” kind of guy. So, as the calendar turns and the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close, I have turned my attention on my hopes and dreams for the next ten years. Sure, I have some personal goals and aspirations, but I won’t bore you with those. Instead, I’ve been focusing on summarizing my wish list in the Boston sports world.
Now I don’t want to come off as greedy, seeing that we just came off arguably the greatest ten-year period in Boston sports history. Six championships came in the decade, which really spoiled us. Three came from a Patriots team that before this decade, hadn’t won any. Two came from a Red Sox team that ended an 86-year title drought. Finally, one came from a Celtics team that finally, after a 22-year absence, was able to regain their throne as kings of the NBA. It was a decade like no other, and to that, all Boston sports fans have to give thanks.
But those championships are a thing of the past, and it’s time now to look ahead to a decade that hits us with just as much potential greatness as the last one had. Here now is my personal “Boston Sports Wish List” for the next ten years… 25 things across the entire Boston sports scene that if and they happen, will make this man a happy man. Without further ado, let’s drop the puck and get started with my No. 1 wish of them all…
The other three major Boston sports teams got theirs, now it’s time for the Black and Gold to make Beantown a hockey town once again. They’ve got the pieces in place to do it, and I’m not even looking for more than one. One will do just fine.
By the end of this decade, “QB12″ will be 42 years old. And if by that time, Tom Brady still wants to be a New England Patriot, no one has the right to tell him he can’t be. Truly great players deserve to end their careers the way they want to end them, and here’s hoping Brady can finish his illustrious career wearing just one NFL uniform from beginning to end.
These days with free agency, gigantic contracts, and salary caps, teams in all four major sports just aren’t able to hold on to their young talent and players are forced to move from team to team, year after year. So for Paul Pierce to be able to end his career as a Boston Celtic would be rare and extraordinary. I’m hoping we see it happen.
I hate Fenway Park. There, I said it. Seriously, what’s to like? It’s old. It’s uncomfortable. It’s an awful place to watch a baseball game. I’m more comfortable watching a Cape Cod League game, sitting on a stone wall. Set aside the history of the dump, and that’s exactly what you’ve got…a dump. After 2012, when the Sox will honor the 100th anniversary of the “House That Williams and Yaz Built,” I am praying that Red Sox Nation’s loyal fans will soon get to enjoy the same great baseball watching experience that millions of baseball fans across the nation flock to in other fancy-shmancy ball yards.
It’s the only college that could possibly make this area truly energized and excited about college sports. But, that’s not going to happen until Al Skinner’s hoops group or Frank Spaziani’s gridiron gang reach new heights at The Heights. Mediocrity just isn’t going to fill seats or get people talking.
The NHL hasn’t had their All-Star Game in Boston since 1996, and the C’s haven’t hosted the NBA All-Star Game since way back in 1964. All-Star Games can be somewhat of a joke, but they’re entertaining jokes. Bring ’em to Boston, local sports fans would eat it up (myself included).
Rodney Harrison, Junior Seau, Drew Bledsoe, and Curtis Martin all seem like locks, but maybe guys like Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Corey Dillon, and others could turn some heads and earn their way into Canton.
It’s quickly becoming a New England tradition, and needs to stay that way. With or without Tiger, the town of Norton, MA should be buzzing with golf’s greats every Labor Day weekend. It’s an event I’ve come to love and I hope it continues to get bigger and better every year.
If Ted Williams can have his own tunnel without winning a single World Series title, what does the father of the franchise that has an NBA-best 17 championships get? You don’t have to rename Causeway Street. Heck, I never liked the name, “Storrow.” How about “Red Auerbach Drive” instead? I like it.
After suspending their operations in 2009 due to the recession, the AFL hopes to get rolling again this year. They have never had a team in Boston, and I think that needs to change. Put it in the Garden and watch the crowds grow.
Ok, maybe this is a greedy wish. These two are already one of the greatest “head coach-quarterback” combos of all time, but one more Super Bowl win would cinch their spot at the top of that list. I don’t see it happening this season, but they really aren’t too far off. Get it done soon though; they’re both not getting any younger, and Brady’s got more famous ladies to impregnate.
It left just weeks ago, but I already want it back. Seriously, greyhounds were bred to run, it’s what they do! Let the pooches run, and let us bet on them. If they’re being mistreated, don’t crack down on the dog tracks or the hundreds of people who work there. Crack down on the kennels who abuse these dogs. How is horse racing okay and greyhound racing not okay? Bring my pooches back!
Where do I begin the list? Glenn Ordway, Steve DeOssie, Fred Smerlas, Jon Meterparel, John Dennis, Gerry Callahan, Ron Borges, Dan Shaughnessy, Kevin Paul Dupont, Jack Edwards, Greg Dickerson. Those ones just need to retire because they’re awful. Gino Cappelletti and Gil Santos, well they need to retire because they just aren’t as sharp as they were at their absolute best.
Now I love Neil Diamond just as much as the next guy (probably even more), but even an avid Diamond fan like myself needs a “Sweet Caroline” break now and then. Play other Neil Diamond songs… “Heartlight,” “America,” “Cherry, Cherry.” I’d love it. Just mix it up a bit, that’s all I’m asking.
Honestly, Gillette Stadium is in a relatively quiet suburb between Providence and Boston, yet before and after games, traffic is jammed solid beyond explanation. Traffic before and after games in the city isn’t nearly as bad. The folks in Foxboro keep working on it, so hopefully some time this decade it won’t take four hours to get to the highway after a Pats game from the parking spot you paid $50 for.
Now granted, I’ll admit I’m not a Red Sox fan at heart. But really, do any of you Sox fans even like this guy any more? I mean really Big Schill, just shut the fudge up already! Move back to Arizona with your buddy John McCain. Move to Pittsburgh to root on your Steelers. Just go anywhere but here, we are sick of you! (Oh, but uh… thanks for the whole bloody sock thing.)
I’ve been to a few ESPN Zones in other cities, and I will say, the food is just okay. But, the atmosphere is like no other, and with Boston being the best sports city in the country, there is no reason why an ESPN Zone in Boston wouldn’t be a gigantic success. Put it near the Garden? Put it over at Fenway? Put it in Faneuil Hall? In any location, it’s a home run waiting to happen.
Our area is filled with great boxers of years past, from Marciano to Hagler and everyone in between. It’s been years since boxing’s glory days, but why not have a major event at the TD Garden help popularize the sport once again? Dana Whilte and the UFC have plans to bring ultimate fighting to the Bay State this summer. So, fill the Garden with 18,000 fight fans to watch the resurrection of heavyweight boxing.
In their 50-year history, the New England Patriots have never had a running back lead the league in rushing yards for a single season. With Tom Brady getting older and older, the Pats will need to rely on the running game more and more as the decade wears on. It probably won’t be Laurence Maroney or any other back they have on their current roster, but I’m hoping to see the Pats ground attack run wild at some point soon. And furthermore, let me be the guy who owns Mr. Patriot Leading Rusher in my fantasy league!
I’m not talking about another lame “Pocket Money” show. but I’m thinking more along the lines of VH1’s “World Series of Pop Culture,” Boston sports style. Teams of three, representing their home towns, showing off their stuff, answering questions about the most random crap in Boston sports. It can be on NESN or CSN, and if they ask nicely, I’ll even host the show. For the right price.
There is NOTHING better in sports than Sox-Yanks, and having it happen in October is just that much better. ‘Nuff said. Make it happen, men.
Was that not the single greatest sporting event to happen in Boston in recent memory? I mean, beyond the exciting finish, the whole thing was just an amazing spectacle of “what’s gonna happen next?” moments. The NHL can’t bring the Winter Classic back to Fenway soon enough. (Or to whatever ballpark the Sox play at after Fenway… see Wish #4.)
Eli. Peyton. Archie. All of them. Stop. Please. Just leave. I don’t care where you go, just go away. We won’t miss you. Any of you.
It could have Heidi Watney, Kathryn Tappen, and a flashback to yesteryear with a cameo appearance from Hazel Mae. Someone with some power needs to make this wish a reality. Pronto.
And it all starts now! Tell your friends, tell your family, spread the word: Sports of Boston is on its way to bigger and better things in the years to come, and you need to be on the bandwagon from the start, while there’s still room.
Here’s to a decade full of wishes coming true!
Tags: Bill Belichick, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Boston College, Curt Schilling, ESPN, Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, Heidi Watney, Kathryn Tappen, Paul Pierce, Red Auerbach, Tom Brady, Winter Classic