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Another Legend Gone.

Another Legend Gone.

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This is going to sound weird, but if you’re a Bostonian you are painfully familiar with disappointment. Now hold on, I’m talking about being a “boomer” from Boston. And you are familiar with the 1970s. Ya, we did get to see Bobby Orr in overtime against the Blues. The feed from Derek Sanderson, the infamous leap, and the first Stanley Cup since 1941. How many times did we relive this moment, my friends and I, diving head first into a dirty snow bank, stick in the air…..hell ya.

The Bruins did go on to win another Cup in 1972, against the New York Rangers. How sweet it was. Then…..1976, and Orr, arguably the greatest defenseman of all time, was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. We all felt that punch in the stomach for a very, very long time, and seemed to set off an avalanche of misery for the chowder loving, pizza eating, beer drinking Boston sports fan. July of 1978 our beloved Red Sox had a 14 game division lead. We were playoff bound. But the Sox squandered an almost assured trip to the series, losing in a one game playoff match to the Yankees. Wow.

In May of 1979, our Bruins were giving the Canadiens, yes, the same Canadiens that had won the Stanley Cup the three previous years in a row, all they could handle. In game seven, Bruins were up one goal with a scant 2:34 to play, when they were called for a “too many men on the ice” penalty. And, well, the Canadiens won the Cup four years in a row.

Larry Bird did provide some special moments for sure. But Boston otherwise, was Nor’ easta cold in the winter, dripping humid hot in the summer, and for the most part a completely miserable place to be as a sports fan-unless you enjoyed watching“Candlepins for Cash” on a boring Saturday afternoon.

BOSTON – 1980: Larry Bird #33 of the Boston Celtics shoots a jump shot against the Atlanta Hawks during a game played in 1980 at the Boston Garden.

So in 2000, when the Patriots drafted Brady with the 199th pick, not one New Englander saw an end to the pain and misery. Not one. Not one saw the Patriots winning one Super Bowl, after the blowout loss to Chicago in 1986, and ya, in 1997 just get out of the way for Brett Favre and the Packers. BUT, the “laser-focused” Tom Brady ushered in a nine Super Bowl appearance, six Super Bowl titles stretch, that will go down for the ages. Almost, simply “too good to be true”. We got a taste for winning like a Bostonian will have a taste for beer and Quahogs. It was contagious, as the Bruins, Celtics, and yes, the hapless Sox all got in on the winning action. We won so much, we had put off the reality that Brady could not play for our Pats forever.

That day in March, when Tom Brady, arguably the greatest football player of all time had left the Patriots, I am reminded of when Bobby Orr left the Bruins. Same punch in the stomach. Same disbelief. Same disappointment. Granted, both departures were business related. Orr was near the end of his playing career, managing only three years as a Blackhawk and never played a full season. And for Brady, the Pats simply could not afford him. I want to say “I get it”, “it’s business”, but none of that matters, when you get the wind knocked out of you. Let’s just hope we recover, get our wind back, and continue our winning ways.

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