A confession from a persistent Larry Bird Stalker - Celtics Race-to-the-Title bonus
For those who were wondering about my label of Larry Bird as a stalking victim, look no further. Larry's stalker was my at-the-time 13-year-old daughter, Lisa. I asked Lisa to do a write-up of her persistent pursuit of Bird and Danny Ainge. Her photo with Clyde Drexler shows she still pursues NBA stars.
Who is with her in the bottom photo? First person to get it right gains three points in my CelticsLife Race-to-the-Title contest. She wrote the following, rather quickly I might add, due her duties as Director of the Massachusetts Police Academy at Fitchburg State. Who can you name in the video below? First reader that names six individuals (the vid is blurry) in the video (5 are easy), gains two points in my CelticsLife Race-to-the-Title contest. (per Lisa Lane McCarty)
Most people wake up on December 7th and instantly remember it as the "date that will live in infamy" - the surprise attack by the Japanese on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. I am no exception. But where I differ is that I also remember when I wake up on December 7th that it is Larry Joe Bird's birthday.
I am an avid Celtics fan and dare to say I was a rabid Celtics fan back in the 80's and 90's when Bird, Ainge, McHale, DJ, Walton and Parish played. When I was in 8th grade in 1982, my teacher gave us an assignment to write an essay on who our hero was and why. Now, at the time, my dad was a police lieutenant and should have been the clear front runner, right?
Nope. I did my essay on Larry Bird. Larry Bird was my hero when I was 13 years old. I don't think I have that essay anymore but I wish I did. I would have loved to read it today. It only occurred to me years later, as an adult, that maybe my dad was a little hurt that I didn't choose him as my hero. But then I realized that he was the person who instilled in me my love of the Celtics - so Larry Bird must be his hero, too.
I never had a chance to meet Larry Bird. But not for lack of trying. I stalked that man in the Scotch 'n Sirloin one Easter Sunday like it was my full-time job. The Celtics always played a game on Easter Sunday and my friend, Heather Cram, and I got tickets. We had heard a rumor that the Celtics always went to the Scotch 'n Sirloin after the game. So we made reservations. And, sure enough, they were ALL there - Parish, McHale, Ainge, KC Jones, DJ, Walton, ML Carr, etc. - and Larry Legend! (Don't even get me started on how I ended up in an elevator headed to the dining room with KC Jones and Danny Ainge and I panicked and stared - and said NOTHING! Ugh!)
I was 13 and too shy to approach Larry in the restaurant but every single time he went up to the buffet, I made a bee-line. The man ate a lot! But he is 6'9" so who am I to judge? And it meant he made a few trips to the buffet which was good for me. I just kept grabbing rolls every trip up as I loitered near him. I tried to look as inconspicuous as I could - which I'm sure looked the exact opposite of inconspicuous.
My regret as an adult is that I didn't at least try to talk to him. I didn't need to bother him on a holiday with requests for autographs or pictures but I should have at least told him that he was my hero. I would have liked for him to know that.
Happy Birthday, Larry Joe Bird! (from the awkward 13 year old teenager who ate about 55 rolls with you one Easter Sunday)
Playing second-fiddle to Larry Bird is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Happy birthday, Larry.
Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC, @CelticsSentinel and Facebook
Photos via Peter Southwick and Lisa Lane McCarty
Video via sneezy777