Being a fan, and not a 'hater' of a team that won't be very good

In 2008 I almost killed one of my best friends. The Boston Celtics weren't just beating their greatest rival, they were embarrassing them, and when Tony Allen put an exclamation point on it with an awesome reverse alley oop from Eddie House, I lost it.

Overcome with emotion, I turned to my friend, lifted him up and put him against a pillar. Problem was we were on the catwalk at the Greatest Bar, and to survive my excitement he needed to push his body weight against the pillar and grab onto the top of the railing with his open hand. Luckily, he didn't hold it against me - he ran with me to Red Auerbach's statue in Fanuel Hall, stopping only for high fives and to wiggle with anyone wearing an Antoine Walker jersey.

That type of emotion doesn't come from someone who woke up eight months prior, saw the Boston Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and decided to invest a few months into following a new team. It's the emotion of someone who had spent two dozen years following this team, and felt tortured the whole time.

I didn't get to watch the original big 3, I read about them. My mother had to tell me about Reggie Lewis' death, and my friend's father explained the tragic death of Len Bias. I sprinted home, and lost a shoe (an L.A Gear Pump Sneaker, mind you) to an amazingly sticky pile of mud to see Rick Pitino introduced, convinced that it was a day my grandchildren would ask me about. I was on the big screen the night Pierce trash talked Al Harrington, and cursed to a friend furiously about him a year later. When the Celtics lost the Oden/Durant lottery I sat outside my college house drinking whiskey and smoking cigars until a roommate yelled at me to stop singing this version of U2's 'Walk On'. Apparently, I had been singing it for quite some time.

Since the championship run, every season I've found myself in the same place: either on my porch, or on a set of steps, questioning why sports, and moreover this team mattered so much to me. After Pierce (and Garnett) were traded, I again found myself in a similar position.

I am a Celtics fan. I will always be one. I'll watch almost every game this season, attend 5-10, and probably find myself buying some unlicensed merchandise along the way. I also don't think this team will be very good. It doesn't mean that's what I want, it's just the conclusion I keep coming to.

Put it this way - There's no job in the world I'd rather have than the general manager of the Boston Celtics. But with five years of professional experience in sales and customer service, I don't think it's likely. That doesn't mean I'd turn down the offer if Wyc Grousbeck showed up at my doorstep.

Every time I think about this Boston Celtics team I come to the same conclusion - they can't score, can't defend the paint, and will probably struggle to rebound. You don't win many games that way.

I'd rather see Jeff Green take two steps forward, Rajon Rondo take the step up from 'B+ Player' and begin to be 'The Face of a Franchise', see our young bigs immediately hit the ceilings of their potential, and celebrate another championship this June. But my logic dictates we'll be seeing a much more grim outcome (probably a bottom 5 team in the league).

I want them to win, I just don't think they will.

If you differ from my opinion, you shouldn't see me - or people who agree with me - as a 'hater' or a 'bandwagon fan', just someone who has come to a different conclusion than you. People who write, read, and/or comment on CelticsLife are generally not the bandwagon type - they're the type that hop on any spare second they have to be able to read and talk hoops with people who are just as passionate about this team. They're the types who are hoping to engage in specific conversations, like where Jared Sullinger should be in his maturation process or how Brad Stevens has his team defend the pick and roll, they can't have in other places. People who hear even the smallest of trade rumors, and wonder how the Celtics could either trump it or get in on it. The type who stick around during a blow out loss against the Heat to give the Celtics their thanks.

The trolls come out when the goings good, the die hards stick around, trying to talk themselves into thinking that run to Red's statue isn't too far away.