Just when we thought we had it all as Boston sports fans, we’ve come to the realization that something has been missing over these past 19 years. Somehow, with all the winning that’s gone on over the last two decades, the city is just getting ready to host its first Finals Game 7 since the Celtics beat the Lakers in 1984.
Out of Boston’s 12 titles since February of 2002, only two of them have been won at home. The 2008 Celtics and 2013 Red Sox, who both finished off their opponents in 6 games. The only two Boston teams to play a Finals Game 7 since the turn of the century are the 2010 Celtics and 2011 Bruins, but both of those games were on the road.
The ‘04 and ‘07 Red Sox completed their sweeps on the road, the 2013 Bruins lost in 6 at home, last year’s Sox wrapped things up in LA in Game 5, and of course the Super Bowl is played at a neutral site. So out of all the various ways in which we’ve consumed championships since the turn of the century, we still haven’t seen a do or die, winner takes all matchup in “our fucking city” as Big Papi calls it.
Well the wait is over. As the aforementioned David Ortiz watches from his hospital bed at Mass General tonight, the greatest sports city in the world will experience the buzz of a game 7 in our house for the first time in 35 years. New England millennials who have witnessed almost as many championship appearances as years on this planet will finally get to understand the thrill of hosting a game that will either end in an all-night party or the ultimate disappointment of watching another team celebrating in our building and their fans dancing in our streets.
Game 7’s are equally important no matter where they’re played, but it just feels different knowing that it’s all going down on Causeway. I often say “the Garden will be rocking” before big Bruins or Celtics games. That phrase has never applied more than it will tonight. The fucking roof might come off the place. If you’re driving over the Zakim after 8 pm, don’t be surprised if it starts to sway. The Cup is in the building. Tim Thomas is in the building. Let’s get rowdy.
Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour