45-3. 118-116. Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez vs.Russell Martin and Mark Prior.
Welcome to the last two weeks of the great Boston-New York rivalry, the greatest rivalry in all of sports. A rivalry that has been owned by Boston over the last three weeks. Paul Pierce chuckles at the notion that the Knicks-Celtics are a rivalry. He fails to understand that it is not a rivalry of two teams but a rivalry of two cities, or regions. Maybe it started with the Red Sox-Yankees, and then on to the Patriots- Jets/Giants. I don’t know much about hockey but I would think that the Bruins and Rangers being Original Six teams would constitute a rivalry in the NHL. The bottom line is that no matter how the teams in their respective sports compare in the win-loss column, the two cities will forever be bitter rivals.
Last Monday night the Patriots embarrassed the Jets in the national spotlight on Monday Night Football 45-3. Tom Brady shredded a team that many pundits had soaring to the Super Bowl behind the young Mark Sanchez and the genius coaching of Rex Ryan. The Patriots delivered a “hard knock” that sent the Jets into a tail spin, and have many of those same pundits wondering if the Jets will even make the playoffs.
That weekend the Red Sox started their off season of dominance by trading for Adrian Gonzalez and later in the week signing Carl Crawford. While the Red Sox were out making moves, the Yankees were learning that ace Cliff Lee was taking approximately $48 million less to pitch in Philadelphia (technically another win for Boston). On paper the Red Sox have a greater lineup than the Yankees. On paper the Red Sox rotation is far superior to that of the Yankees. The missing piece for the Yankees last year was pitching and they missed out on the number one guy on the market, while the Red Sox acquired the top two everyday players on the market. It’s understood that no games have been played yet, but the feeling of sheer ecstasy is sublime as a Red Sox fan. The disgusting feeling in the pit of Yankee fans stomachs is not enviable.
Tonight the Celtics came back and won a very exciting NBA game with Paul Pierce drilling a step back mid range jumper over Amare Stoudimire with 0.4 seconds left. Amare would later hit a three that didn’t matter because he couldn’t get it off in time pushing the Celtics win streak to 11 games. Granted the Knicks look like they can be contenders this season. But tonight the Celtics reminded them that they have a long way to go. The Celtics started their 4th string center tonight, Semih Erden, against one of the top five big men in the game and the C’s still won. 4TH STRING CENTER! There was no Perkins, no Shaq, and no Jermaine O’Neal to body Amare. But the Celtics still came out on top because, at the time of this writing, they are the best team in basketball. Just like the Patriots are in the NFL and just like the Red Sox look to be going into the 2011 season in Major League Baseball.
Welcome to life as a sports fan in Boston. Fans in New York, Philadelphia, and maybe Chicago can attest to how much of a high you feel when your team is on top of the sports world. Few can say how great it is when your city owns the rival city in a certain sport. And even fewer can say how great it is to have utter dominance in every major sport. (Sorry, McKeon and Tazzi, hockey just can’t reach that echelon of major sport just yet)
At this very second, Boston owns New York. At this very second every Boston sports fan should appreciate this because if you truly are a Boston sports fan you know this feeling won’t last for long. New York is as competitive a sports market there is and they will get their revenge and have their time. But right now, Boston is the capital of the sports universe.