Will the Celtics "become irrelevant" if they can't rebuild quickly?
The other day on CSNNE's "Uno's Sports Tonight" show, Gary Tanguay, Mike Felger, and Steve Buckley discussed how the recent successes of the four major Boston area sports franchises have put added pressure on each other to continue to win. Tanguay began the conversation by saying:
"The theory here is that there's really no more wiggle room. You've got to rebuild quick in this town, or else you're going to become irrelevant. In my opinion the Celtics have the greatest challenge right now because they're in a league where you can't rebuild quickly, and they're going to have to."
I agree with the premise in general. All the recent titles in Boston have created a culture that demands winning, and the balance of power among the four teams is constantly shifting based on who's won the most lately. Right now, today, with the Bruins on the cusp of another championship, for Bostonians the order of popularity probably goes Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics.
But there is something Tanquay, Felger, and Buckley are missing: The Celtics are not just a Boston team, they are a global brand. Not that long ago people rooted for the teams in the cities they lived in because that was all they had access to. My father grew up in New York, but came to Boston for college and has been a New Englander ever since. He became a fan of the Boston teams in the early 70's when he settled down here. Today that would never happen. I've lived in California, Florida, Texas, and New York, and still followed my Beantown franchises with dedication. Nowadays you can watch your favorite teams from anywhere, and have access to all their breaking news at your fingertips within seconds. Last month some guys in my bar had come all the way from France to watch their favorite NBA team, the Celtics. I have numerous twitter accounts following me from all over the world, with names like "AussieCeltics" and "CelticsBulgaria."
Could several losing years effect the C's popularity locally? Sure. But make them irrelevant? No way. In 2013, "Celtics Nation" has become way too big for that.
Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan