Northeast Underground

New Day or End of an Era for Boston Sports?

Boston sports logosToday, instead of writing about the typical focus of this blog, music, I thought I would take the time to comment on a topic that has become popular fodder recently for cable news stations and other media outlets across the country.

The Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA you say? What about the George Zimmerman trial in Florida? No. At the risk of tiptoeing in the waters usually frequented by fellow Advocate blogger Pete Redington, I’m going to talk about sports, more specifically New England sports and the professional teams that represent the city of Boston, Mass.

Let’s recap some notable events of late shall we?

  • The Boston Bruins ended their season by falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in game six of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday.
  • Longtime Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers finally completed the negotiations necessary for him to move from the sidelines inside TD Garden to the celebrity-studded confines of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
  • And New England Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder Wednesday, with his official release from the team coming just hours after he was led away from his home in handcuffs.
  • Oh, and as for those Boston Red Sox, the boys from Beantown clobbered the Colorado Rockies 11-4 Tuesday and remain 2 ½ games ahead of the Yankee in the American League East Division. But such success at a time like the present seems like almost an afterthought.

So what should even the fairest of fair-weather sports fan in Western Mass make of all this news? This writer for one posits that change is in the air. Even as a new day prepares to rise, we appear to have reached the end of an era for Boston sports.

To wit, on the heels of Hernandez’s arrest, Pats' quarterback Tom Brady will be without the following receivers at the start of this year’s NFL season: Hernandez (obviously), longtime target Wes Welker, and even Rob Gronkowski amongst others, though the latter is only injured and will likely appear in uniform at some point during the 16-game schedule. Could this mean the end of the Pats’ dominance atop the AFC East? Brady and coach Bill Belichick have consistently proven capable of rebooting their squad season after season, but are some cracks starting to appear in the team’s grey-hoodie wearing façade.

The same sentiments are apt for the current situation with the Celtics as well. Rivers has been coach of the C’s since 2004, and with a probable rebuilding of the team on the horizon he has decided to move on to a team with great potential, which can also win now, a skill the Celtics might be starting to lose. Star players Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have even been mentioned in trade talks, meaning the front office could be looking to unload some old talent in exchange for some young prospects. No matter your viewpoint on such changes, most can agree that another championship banner doesn’t seem destined for the rafters of the TD Garden anytime soon.

Any feelings of optimism that are currently present in Boston are surely the result of the fact that the Bruins and Red Sox appear a class apart from their counterparts in other leagues.

Though they just lost a hard-fought series and the immortal trophy that goes to the victor of the NHL, the Bruins appeared downright dominant at times this postseason and have given many fans reason to believe again in a tough team capable of dishing out as much punishment as it receives. Head coach Claude Julien was questioned by some before the Bruins clamped down and made their push for the title, but with a resurgent effort the coach as well as the rest of the B’s could certainly make some noise next year. Just ask Sidney Crosby.

Finally, I’ve come to the Sox. During their first season under new manger and former team pitching coach John Farrell, these boys of summer have shown grit and tenacity, two attributes sorely missing from the Bobby Valentine squad of last year, and promising stuff all around the diamond. Still, as any true Red Sox fan will tell you, it’s always too early to tell what kind of luck the coming months might bring. But even if the glory days of ’04 and ’07 don’t return anytime soon, this squad remains deserving of interest. And hell, any New England baseball fan worth their salt can remember worse days right?

So here we sit. ESPN and other cable news stations will likely amp up their coverage of the ongoing situation with Aaron Hernandez now that he’s officially been arrested. And speculation will start to run rampant on the Pats chances this year, as well as the Celtics and what the shamrock-clad squad might resemble as game one’s tip-off approaches. In the meantime we have baseball, or no sports at all if athletic events aren’t your bag. Come to think of it, a break from sports might not be a bad idea at all. Think about it New England. A new day beckons.

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