I proceed with a brief life history in hopes of defending my teams:
It was September 1985. I was nine years old and in the autumn of my youth. Before this time I had never had any real interest in sports, but as my interest grew I was forced into picking a team, as it is not customary in our Country to watch sports without first choosing sides. At this time of year the NFL was starting up and as I surveyed the teams available to me it was evident that one stood out from the rest. The 1985 Chicago Bears were known for their swarming often stifling defense. I had never seen anything like the Bear’s defense before and am comfortable saying that I have never seen anything like it since. Watch the Bears perform “The Super Bowl Shuffle” and tell me that in the infancy of rap music that wasn’t the sweetest thing you had ever seen, I defy you. I watched the Bears dismantle opponents throughout the season and then shut out the competition in the playoffs until reaching Super Bowl XX on January 26, 1986 where they destroyed the Patriots 46-10. Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, William “the Refrigerator” Perry, Jim McMahon, Willie Gault, and Walter Payton; there was so much to love about this team and I have to admit, I was hooked from the word go.
When football was over I discovered that the NBA was already in full swing. Basketball is the love of my life. It’s true I’ve had affairs with other sports (damn you volleyball), but basketball has always held my love and forgiven my cheating heart. Right away I was forced to look at the Utah Jazz as a possible team worthy of my undying loyalty, as I live in Utah and it always makes it easier if you root for the home team. Bobby Hansen, Carey Scurry, Pace Mannion, and Marc Iavaroni should speak volumes as to why I did not choose the Jazz as my team. If you need more evidence as to why I did not choose to root for the Jazz, check out Karl Malone’s draft day suit. ‘Nuff said. There was a team however that peaked my interests right away. The 1985/86 Boston Celtics had it all. My mom is from Ireland so being half Irish I was instantly drawn to the shamrocks, Lucky the Leprechaun, and the beautiful green and white uniforms. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Dennis Johnson, and a 67-15 regular season record all made the Celtics an easy choice for me. Bird was magnificent winning his third straight MVP award in ’86 and when the C’s won the Championship in June I was instantly made a fan for life.
Baseball started in April of 1986. The New York Mets were brash, over confident, and extremely talented. They talked the talk, but then they definitely walked the walk. Doc Gooden was awesome (damn you cocaine), Darryl Strawberry was unstoppable (damn you cocaine), Keith Hernandez was Keith Hernandez (damn you molestache), and Lenny Dykstra was “Nails”. 108-54 was a totally dominate regular season record, they played well in the playoffs, got a little lucky (thank you Bill Buckner), and won the Championship in October 1986 making them my favorite baseball team and giving me the 1986 Championship Holy Trinity of the Bears, the Celtics, and the Mets. You see, I had no choice in the matter. Because 1986 was the year of my sports enlightenment, and because I had no way of knowing what the next twenty plus years would bring, my hand was forced. Boyd is my little brother so he had no choice either because we all know that it is the order of the universe that a little brother must do whatever his older brother says or suffer the consequences.
So there you have it. Twenty-two years ago I made my choices and I have never looked back. I have suffered greatly because of my teams (why did you have to die Reggie Lewis—damn you again cocaine! DAMN YOU!!), and I have had a few great moments (thank you KG and Ray Allen, thank you), but through it all I have never jumped off of a sinking ship and the only championship bandwagon on to which I have ever jumped were the wagons belonging to the three sweet champions of 1986 and then, I was only a foolish kid with stars in my eyes and my whole life ahead of me. Can anyone blame me for that?