With our world slowly progressing back to its old ways, we are seeing signs of normal life reemerge. We’re seeing public spaces reopening, college students are returning to campus, and oh yeah, Boston sports are rolling once again.
These past two weeks have been exciting for fans of all Boston teams. For the Patriots, the team has returned to Foxboro with much anticipation. Fans got to see the first few battles between Jarret Stidham and newly acquired Cam Newton as they both compete for the starting quarterback position this upcoming season. From reports from training camp, Stidham was the hot hand in the first few practices. The former teammate of Newton was drawing praise from teammates and media due to his initial play on the field and his confidence in stepping into the shoes of Tom Brady, but sadly a few practices in an upper leg injury has sidelined Stidham, further opening the door for Cam Newton. With the extra reps Newton has gotten with Stidham sidelined, good things have been happening. The word coming out of practice is that Newton has already seemed to learn the Patriot’s offensive system, something that would be wicked impressive if he has truly figured out all the ins and outs of the playbook. That along with his growing connection with long time star slot-receiver Julian Edelman are both major positives that Patriots fans are able to take away from the early days of camp.
Boston fans have also been blessed with having the ability to watch both the Celtics and the Bruins in playoff runs with high expectations. For the Bruins, their rocky start in the bubble has been answered with an optimistic run for the Stanley Cup. The B’s first opponent in this playoff run was the 6th seeded Carolina Hurricanes who had just knocked out the Rangers in the round prior. Despite not having their leading goal scorer, David “Pasta” Pastranak, for a majority of that series, and with Tuuka Rask opting out of the bubble after the series had already begun between the two teams, the Bruins were able to come away with a 4-1 series win. This seemed to be the turning point for the Bruins as they have been dominant on the ice following their bad start, even taking game one in the second round of the playoffs from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-2 victory (that seems like a close score, but the B’s dominated almost all night). Pasta and Marchand led the team with two points each, and their line mate Bergeron added an assist as well, proving to be an impressive night for the Bruins first line.
For the Celtics, things can’t be any sweeter. After people questioned the potential this team possessed all year, the Celtics quickly showed all the doubters what type of team they were with a prompt 4-0 sweep of their “rivals” the Philadelphia 76ers. Each night it seemed one player on the Celtics would dominate, much similar to how the team ran when they were hitting their stride pre-bubble days. Game one was Jaylen Brown’s game, scoring 29 points (only 2nd to Tatum’s 32) while shooting 9/16 from the floor and 5/8 from deep. Game 2 was where Tatum seemed to turn back into February Tate, scoring 33 points in 31 minutes of play. Tatum had a fantastic night from the field where he shot 12/20, and an even better night from three point land where he shot a staggering 8/12. In games 3 and 4 Celtics fans got to see Kemba’s playoff coming out party, where his extra motivation to get his first playoff series win really lit a fire underneath him. Kemba was the leading scorer for the Celtics in game 3 scoring 24 points on 10/20 from the field, but Kemba’s 32 points in game 4 was where he told Boston that he is there for one thing; Banner 18. Kemba’s 32 led the team in the elimination game, sending the 76ers back to Philly with a whole lot of problems to address this offseason, due to the Celtics exposing multiple large holes the team now has to fill.
These last few months have been extremely hard for everyone, but I would argue they have been the hardest for Boston fans. All at once we were hit with COVID, Tom Brady leaving us, John Henry deciding not to pay Mookie Betts even though he’s a top three player in the league, the top team in the NHL was the Bruins and the season was cancelled, and Jayson Tatum was on a historic run that was cut short thanks to Rudy Gobert’s press conference antics. All of that happened to us in a matter of weeks and then we were told to go sit in our rooms and just think about it for a couple months. If you know anything about Boston or their sports fans, you would understand how catastrophic that time period was for us. But now with both the Celtics and Bruins cruising in the playoffs, along with the Patriots looking better and better every day in camp, it seems things are finally back to normal in the life of a Boston Fan.
ALSO: The Sox are still a dumpster fire. John Henry may be the most hated man in Boston right now. That is all.