Once is a random occurrence. Twice is a coincidence. Three times, simply put, is karma.
Forgive the rest of the country for not shedding a tear over today’s news that Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett will more than likely miss the postseason due to injury.
It’s nothing personal against K.G., who by all accounts is an all-around good dude. You see, while Boston has run into a bit of a hot streak over the last decade – winning football, baseball and basketball championships – their fanbase has become insufferable. After years of futility, the first bit of success went straight to their collective heads and the great people of Boston turned into what we previously expected from delusional New York Yankees fans.
Here’s the funny thing – it didn’t have to come to this. The sports gods tried to send warning signs. The Red Sox won their first championship in nearly a decade and everyone was okay with it (mostly because the Yankees lost along the way, but whatever). The New England Patriots won their first Super Bowl and no one really objected. But then, as the Sox and Pats continued their dominant ways, their fans grew louder and more obnoxious. By the time the Celtics traded for Garnett and returned to their winning ways, all of New England walked around like Billy Badass.
So the sports gods struck once. Curt Schilling, the pitcher/blowhard who led the Sox to victory (bloody sock and all) was struck down. Some say it was a shoulder problem. Some labeled it a rotator cuff injury. But those who truly follow sports know what happened.
Without Schilling, the Red Sox found themselves in a shocking position – looking up at the Tampa Bay Rays. A team that has simply dominated any and every opponent they’ve lined up against over the last four or five years suddenly seemed mortal against the Rays – THE FREAKING RAYS. You’d think that would be enough “humble pie” to have Boston tone it down a bit. You’d be wrong.
Next the gods made sure to catch people’s attention. They took down the golden boy, quarterback Tom Brady, just eight plays into the 2008 season. Casual viewers thought it was Kansas City safety Bernard Pollard who ended Brady’s season. But again, real sports fans knew better.
From there the Patriots turned to Matt Cassel, some no name quarterback best known for holding a clipboard throughout his entire college and professional careers. Stepping into Brady’s golden shoes, Cassel played like a man possessed and somehow led New England to an 11-5 record. But once the football gods noticed that the greater Boston area had resumed their cocky/mouthy ways, they ensured that the Patriots somehow missed the playoffs. After all, being the best team to not make the playoffs is a lot like winning a medal at the Special Olympics. Sure you got a gold, but … well … you know what I’m getting at.
That brings us to Garnett. Those who follow basketball know that the Celtics had been pretty much irrelevant since Larry Bird called it quits. Sure, they might overachieve every once in a while thanks largely to Paul Pierce’s inspired play, but no one truly feared these Celtics teams. And then they landed Garnett. And Ray Allen. Suddenly, the Celtics looked like a throwback to those dominant 80’s teams. If you squinted, you could have sworn Bird, McHale and Parrish were running circles around whoever was dumb enough to line up against them. Bostonians couldn’t help themselves. When the Celtics brought home the championship last year the nonsense and smack talk reached unprecedented heights. They left the sports gods no choice. Garnett had to go.
With Schilling, Brady (who even had to do a “do-over” on his surgery because the sports gods felt their initial warning was ignored) and Garnett shelved maybe, just maybe, Boston will finally get it. It’d be shocking, but crazier things have happened. How about this? For the first time in recent history, why don’t you try the classy move and say nothing. The best course of action for New England would be to sit quiet and cheer amongst yourselves as the Bruins try to complete the sweep for Boston. Just remember – don’t even think one disparaging thought about an opponent or Zdena Chara could end up with career-ending outbreak of genital warts.
Brian Murphy is an award-winning sportswriter who also goes by the name Homer McFanboy. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.