My father grew up in western Ohio. He enjoyed the Red Sox winning the world series, but mostly because my brother and I reveled in it as he didn’t grow up in New England and was never truly part of the almost genetically embedded fandom. He grew up a Cleveland Indians fan. While the New England Patriots were running up three Super Bowl titles he enjoyed it, but at heart he was and still is a Green Bay Packers fan, but the Boston Celtics, well that’s a different story.
My father has been a Boston Celtics fan since the 1950’s while living in Ohio. I can remember following the C’s during the middle of the 1970’s with Jo Jo White and John Havlicek and Dave Cowens and I remember the 74 and 76 titles as my introduction to father’s Celtics fandom. Unlike a lot of Celtics fans of my generation, I can genuinely say I was on board pre-Bird era.
When the Celtics won title # 17 Tuesday night my dad was bonkers, plenty more happy than when the Patriots and Red Sox won their titles. He arrived at my door yesterday bearing gifts: Championship T-Shirts, hats and replicas of the NBA finals trophy for everyone. He had the same joyous grin on his face that I had on mine when the Sox won the World Series in 2004.
Sure, I enjoyed watching the C’s win the NBA title Tuesday. It took me back to watching Bird and company win titles 14, 15 and 16 in 81, 84 and 86. But I enjoyed watching my father enjoy it more. It took him back to watching Cousy and Red win title #1.