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My Love Affair With The Celtics (9/18/09)

It all began in May of 1988. I was 12, going 0n 13 (that meant a lot back then) and my class and I were on a school trip far away from home. One night we were watching TV, just channel surfing, when all of a sudden we catch this basketball game. The teams playing were the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics and the name of the game was the 1988 NBA Playoffs. I did not know a lot about basketball back then. But I recognised the Celtics and their logo immediately. I had often watched "Cheers" and the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics pennants on the walls of the bar were something that had always caught my eye.

There we were, watching the game and I remember being so very impressed with this white player named Bird. To me, basketball was "a black man's game" so I couldn't help being awestruck by what this Bird character was doing: Shooting long jumpers, passing with finesse, diving for loose balls and just being an all-around team player. Plus, he just seemed to make everyone on the Celtics better. A few weeks later, I bought my first Celtics jersey with matching shorts. It said "Bird" on the back and I wore it as often as I could. There was no way I could watch the Celtics because we didn't have cable, in fact we only had four channels. But I didn't care, I just wanted to wear that green jersey.

Through the 1990's, my interest in the Celtics was sometimes high, sometimes low. I discovered girls and that took a lot of my time. I started playing basketball in a club twice a week and we also played games. By then, I had grown way too much to be able to wear my jersey but I kept it at home and looked at it now and then. Some of my friends had cable, so now and then I was able to watch the Celtics and my hero, Bird. When he retired, I felt sad, mostly due to the fact that his final years were marred by injury.

Reggie Lewis became my new C's hero until his untimely death on July 27, 1993. Then followed five or six years were I was too busy to watch the C's. I sometimes bought USA Today, though, just to see what players were now on the C's and how the C's were doing in the standings. Another long hiatus and all of a sudden the year is 2007. I discovered CelticsBlog and suddenly I was bleeding green again. Here were literally hundreds of fans living and dying by the ways of the Green and I was now a part of that.

The beautiful manifestation of it all came on June 17, 2008, when the Celtics wasted the Lakers and secured their 17th NBA title. My newest C's hero, Paul Pierce, was crowned Playoff MVP and I still remember this as one of the happiest days of my life. When the Celtics received their rings on opening night in the '08-'09 season, it was a moment that will live in my mind until the day I die. Seeing how emotional PP was nearly brought tears to my eyes. That's how much it meant. Well, here we are, 21 years later. There have been ups and (mostly) downs and I have not always followed the Celtics as much as I could or probably should have. But I am proud to say that I am a fan of one of the best sport organizations in the world.

I look forward to follow the quest for that 18th Banner and I very much look forward to doing it in the company of YOU, my fellow fans of the mighty Boston Celtics, the best fans in the whole world.