She loved him, yeah. She don’t want to leave this way. She feeds him, yeah. That’s why she’ll be back again. Can’t find a better man… -Pearl Jam
On Sunday, I shipped off Boston. On Sunday, I shipped off to Boston to find my wooden leg. On Sunday, I shipped off Boston so I could watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the friendly confines of family. On Sunday, I shipped off to Boston so I could watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots with my three older brothers. Together, we have watched a lot of games. Together, we have watched a lot of big games. Important games. Games that mattered. Whatever our differences, Boston Sports has always kept us together. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been Boston Sports. Our lives have rolled by like an army of steamrollers. They have been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But Boston Sports has marked the time.
As much as I blubber about Tom Brady, I am a Celtics fan first and foremost. As much as I blabber about the Boston Red Sox, I am a Celtics fan first and foremost. If you read Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball and his history as a Celtics’ fan, you know mine. I began going to Celtics games the year before Bird when the Celtics were just God-awful. I began going to Celtics games when fans held signs that read, ”Knight and Jo-Jo have to go-go.” Or more poignantly, I began going to Celtics games when fans held signs that read, “Knight and White bite.” Back then, $4.oo got you a second balcony ticket at the olde Boston Garden. Back then, with that $4.oo ticket, you could easily sit down on the floor at the olde Boston Garden. The following year, my two oldest brothers bought season tickets and held onto them throughout the Bird years. Due to the loyalties I displayed the previous season, I was the first alternate.
I know, I know, I’m taking the long way around here. Don’t worry, I’m getting there. I had to say all that before I could say what I said on Sunday when I shipped off to Boston so I could watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots with my three older brothers. At the game’s outset, before Tom Brady threw his first interception since the Ravens game in Week 6, I made a comment. At the game’s outset, before Tom Brady threw his first interception since the Ravens game in Week 6, I made a pretty bold comment. At the game’s outset, before Tom Brady threw his first interception since the Ravens game in Week 6, I said, “Tom Brady has passed Larry Bird as most important Boston athlete of my lifetime.” (Just so you know, Doug Flutie is third.) But now, with the game over and Tom Brady having gone 0-3 in his last three post-season games with three fumbles, four interceptions and 13 sacks, I take all that back. Like my main Mouth always says, “Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn’t come true. So I’m taking it back. I’m taking them all back.” I take that all back and I apologize to Larry Bird.
If you read this site with any regularity, you know I love me some Tom Brady. If you read this site with any regularity, you know I think Tom Brady is the best quarterback that has ever been borned. However, Senator, I served with Larry Bird. I knew Larry Bird. Larry Bird was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Larry Bird. Not yet anyway. Not after what I saw on Sunday.
On Sunday, during the opening series, I saw Tom Brady driving the Patriots downfield. On Sunday, during the opening series, I saw Tom Brady driving towards another AFC Championship game. Then, on Sunday, during the opening series, I saw Tom Brady throw a screen pass that he tried to drop over linebacker Calvin Pace but overshot for an interception. That is a mistake Larry Bird would not have made. When Larry Bird was right, when he was healthy, before the heels, before the elbow, before the back, before he had to ultimately call it quits, on that play there, somebody was going to get an ass-whipping. Somebody was going to get backed into the corner and get a three rain down in their mug. No question about it. Message sent. Dagger delivered.
As the game progressed, as the walls closed in, as the game was more and more on the line, Brady became more inaccurate than usual and his vision began to shrink. You saw it time and time again on Sunday. You saw it on a poor fourth-down pass to Deion Branch. You saw it on a ball thrown behind Danny Woodhead. You saw it and you saw the blame fell on directly on Tom Brady. Rightfully so. Rightfully so because he’s the goddamn quarterback! You know what that means? It’s the top spot, kid. It’s the guy who takes the fall. Larry Bird does not take that fall.
When a big game was on the line, Larry Bird’s vision never began to shrink. Quick fast in a hurry, don’t worry, Larry Bird vision ain’t blurry. When a big game was on the line, it was Bird who hit the game winner. When a big game was on the line, it was Bird who dropped the buzzer-beater. When a big game was on the line, it was Larry Bird who nailed game-clinching free throws, made game-changing steals, knocked down the biggest of big shots. Knock knock. Who’s there? Larry Bird bitch.
Now I ain’t sayin’ I hate Tom Brady. I ain’t sayin’ he still ain’t the best quarterback that’s ever been born. All I’m saying, pretty baby, la la love you. Don’t mean maybe. All I’m saying, pretty baby, Tom Brady has to get his shit back together if he wants to pass Larry Bird.