As we approach Halloween here’s something that should horrify the Boston Celtics. Nobody gives a hoot about them in this neck of the woods. I base this scary claim on the recent survey I conducted with Sports Chowdah readers.
I asked them to name their favorite New England professional sports team. The Patriots won with 43% of the votes, closely followed by the Red Sox at 41%.
The Bruins were next at 10%. The Celtics? Dead and buried at 4%.
For those of you like me who grew up in time when the Celtics were hugely popular- its frightening how far they have fallen in the eyes of Maine sports fans.
Before Brady and Bill occupied Foxboro, the Celtics captivated New England sports fans for a few decades. From Russell, Heinson and Cousy to Bird, Parish and McHale, The Celtics owned the NBA hanging 16 banners in 30 seasons.
But those glory years are just old ghost stories now.
Since 1986, the C’s have added just one more trophy to the cabinet. That’s 1 title in 33 years. By today’s Boston pro sports standards that’s a trick and not a treat.
The turning point was the 1990’s. For most of that decade the Celtics were the walking dead. They had losing records almost every season. Bad drafts and bad teams scared most of us off.
It wasn’t until KG and Ray Allen joined Pierce for that one magical 2008 season that anyone got back on board with this franchise. But unlike most horror movies, there has been no sequel to that success.
It doesn’t help that the biggest stars in the league don’t want to play in Boston, including Kyrie Irving who turned into a pumpkin late last season.
Meanwhile the NBA is surging in popularity around here with kids. But you see more youngsters in Steph Curry or Lebron James jerseys than any Celtics player for sure.
This year with Kemba, Hayward, Tatum and Jaylen brown, the Celtics will be pretty good. I mean I wouldn’t compare watching them to getting something bad like an apple or pennies in your Halloween bag.
But with 6 to 8 teams in the NBA better than Boston, the Celtics are not exactly a giant chocolate and peanut butter candy bar in your bag either.
Maybe we’ll wake up and this Celtics apathy will be just a horrible spooky dream.
But I doubt it.