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Disappointing, shocking, and agonizing are just some of the ways to describe the past month for Boston sports fans. In a decade when Boston dominated the sports scene with seven championships and 29 playoff berths, earning the nickname Title Town, it seemed our teams were invincible to the drama and epic fails experienced by other organizations. However, the dismal events of this past month have temporarily diminished some of the joy and certainty associated with being a Boston fan.
Not long ago, things were looking positive for Boston sports. The Bruins were making a great run for the Cup and the Red Sox were atop their division. Then things started to snowball and the bad just got worse.
Starting with the signing of Tim Tebow to Aaron Hernandez being immersed in a homicide investigation to Doc Rivers leaving the Celtics for the Clippers and to the collapse of the Bruins in the final two minutes of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, these last couple of weeks have not been good to Boston sports fans.
The descent of Boston sports began earlier this month during the rare anything but quiet off-season for the Patriots with the outrageous signing of quarterback Tim Tebow. Sure, the Patriots are an organization that can successfully turn even the worst athlete into someone with potential but Tebow is a lost cause. Even the best coaches cannot teach someone how to throw an accurate spiral. He is just a waste of a roster spot that can be better utilized now, especially in the tight end position. Bringing in Tebow to be a third string quarterback should have been a warning of things to come. Unfortunately for the Patriots, this was not the last time a media frenzy would surround one of its players.
Not long after the signing of Tebow comes the news tight end Rob Gronkowski would undergo another surgery, this time for a disk in his back. Reports state the surgery was successful but give a 12-week recovery period, forcing the tight end to miss the beginning of the season.
Barely having time to digest this news, the Gronkowski surgery soon took a backseat to the devastating, headlining news tight end Aaron Hernandez had been questioned by police in connection with a homicide investigation near his home. As the investigation continued, the scrutiny of Hernandez’s past and his connection to the victim became magnified, and new details emerged about a possible obstruction of justice warrant for Hernandez for breaking his home security system and cell phone in connection to the case. Even if proven innocent, with all the negative attention from police searching his house for days, it is clear Hernandez has likely played his last down with the Patriots.
The news of Hernandez is disappointing and even heartbreaking. It is so disappointing to know Hernandez could jeopardize his future and relationship with his daughter over drugs because of misplaced loyalties (if the rumors are true). It hurts more to know Hernandez made a fool of the fans and the Patriot way. The Patriots extended his contract last year because they believed in his character and thought he exemplified qualities of the organization. The team took a risk with Hernandez and he slapped them right back in the face by becoming even more reckless after signing his contract. Accepting the reality Hernandez will never play for the Patriots again has been the hardest part of all.
The Patriots were not the only team in the spotlight this month. The Celtics made news of their own by “trading” their much respected and successful coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers. A coach of men as he was known, the deal sent Rivers to the Clippers in exchange for an unprotected first round draft pick in 2015, and will perhaps mark the end for Kevin Garnett and captain Paul Pierce as a Celtic as well. With the leaders of the team most likely out of Boston, that leaves the franchise in the hands of the younger players, Rajon Rondo in particular.
The thought of Rondo being a leader for the Celtics next season is a very chilling one. He is immature, inconsistent and a difficult player to coach and play alongside. Reports surfaced Rivers wanted out of Boston so bad because of his frustration with Rondo. There were even reports that Rivers almost came to blows with Rondo over his blatant disrespect for the coach. Before Ray Allen left for the Heat, it was widely speculated Allen left because he could no longer play with Rondo. With Rondo at the helm, the Celtics will be lucky to be a .500 team next season.
In the midst of the trade talks was the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and our rivals, the Miami Heat. The Heat unfortunately winning another championship was one thing but knowing ex-Celtic Ray Allen turned his back on the city and bought himself, like LeBron, a championship with the Heat is another. What hurt the most was watching Allen make the same clutch shots for the Heat that he would have missed if he were a Celtic.
And then there were the Bruins. For the last couple weeks, they seemed to be the one glimmer of hope for the fans. On the brink of elimination, it seemed the Bruins had forced game seven, until the final two minutes of the game, when they gave up two goals within seventeen seconds to squander away a 2-1 lead and the Stanley Cup on their home turf.
As we hang our heads in despair, it is important to remember two names that might just brighten our day, Brady and Belichick. As long as we have Brady healthy and under center with Belichick making the calls, the Patriots will always remind us why we love Boston and am proud to be a Boston fan despite all the recent drama and heartbreak.