Since February 3rd, 2002, New England sports fans have found themselves at the epi-center of what is often referred to as a 'Title-Town.' However, what exactly does it take for a city, or in our case a region, to achieve this status? In Chicago it took the greatest single-sport athlete of a generation winning six championships in one sport over an eight-year period, all while taking a quick second from basketball to try his crack at America's past time. In Detroit it took four Stanley Cup Championship parades in 11-years. For the 'Big Apple,' it was Joe Torre's Yankees rolling through the Canyon of Heroes four times in five years. For New England however, it's placed itself into uncharted 'Title-Town' waters since early February 2002;
Super Bowl wins for the New England Patriots for the seasons of 2001, 2003, and 2004. World Series Championships for the Boston Red Sox in curse-breaking 2004 and then again in 2007. An NBA Championship following a 66-win regular season for the Banner 17 raising Boston Celtics in 2008. Then this past summer, the Boston Bruins etched their names onto Lord Stanley's challis for the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship.
Yet, how different could this have been . .both good and bad?!?
Tuck Rule; Via Wikipedia; It applies if the quarterback brings his arm forward in a passing motion, but then changes his mind and tries to keep hold of the football rather than making a pass. In this situation, if the quarterback loses the ball while stopping his passing motion or bringing the ball back to his body, it is still considered a forward pass (and thus an incomplete pass if the ball hits the ground). Or as we like to call it, the beginning of what will now be referred to as the start of The Patriot Dynasty. Oakland Raider Charles Woodson (future Super Bowl Champion) could have made the a play of the decade if not for this little rule that shot Tom Brady and the Patriots into another stratosphere . . . and so the question must be asked; Had that not happened, what would be?!? 1st Championship that might not have been.
*Disclaimer; We're not forgetting Patriot kicker Adam Vinatieri and his 3 Super Bowl Rings which he more than deserved. Each and every one of those clutch could have gone the other way, and they didn't.
The Curse-Breaking 04' Red Sox!?!? Puh, leassssssssssssssssse. Down 0-3 in the ALCS to the New York Yankees?!? Ya'll can't even write that stuff. By far the best moment of my sports fandom. Better than the Celtics '08 Championship, better than all three of my Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl victories, and better than Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich declaring himself cancer free on GameDay (just said that), but by far the easiest, 'What shouldn't have been moment.' Four straight wins, against the best team in major league baseball, against the best closer in the history of the game?!?! Kevin Millar, David Ortiz, Dave Roberts, need I go on?!?! What might not have been, right?!?!
February 3rd, 2008 - David Tyree & Eli Manning put the world on it's proverbial a**. An Asante Samuel interception, a sack of Eli Manning, a knocked down ball from what we consider a future hall of fame defensive back Rodney Harrison, and we're talking about the Brady/Belichick era in a completely different tone. It didn't happen. The Patriots would have completed the single-greatest season in NFL history, a 19-0 mark even! But that didn't happen and it came so close to doing just that. What would the past month have looked like had Manning taken a sack and the Patriots wrapped up their fourth Super Bowl victory back in 2008? The conversation between Brady and Montanta would be over, the season would be something for the record books, but more importantly, there would have been a parade running through the streets of Boston as the New England sports arrogance was lifted to another level. What didn't happen, what didn't.
That 'Banner 17' raising season?!? It looked great when future hall of fame 'ballers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were holding up Celtics jerseys next to Paul Pierce in had 'The Truth'the summer of 2007, didn't it? What would have happened not shut down a proposed trade in 2005 that would have sent him to Portland for the 3rd overall pick and the cap relief of Nick Van Exel's $13 million dollar expiring contract?!?! 'Cause that would have happened had Pierce not stepped in and refused to go to Portland. It wasn't just a rumour, and you wouldn't have raised 'Banner 17' without Pierce going toe-to-toe against LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in back-to-back NBA playoff rounds, own that! Oh, and they would have never seen Cleveland and LeBron or Kobe and L.A. had they not survived their first round scare vs. Atlanta whom pushed them to the limit! What very easily could have been erased!
So, when you look at the last few weeks, and think about Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker not making a great catch, or super-human quarterback Tom Brady not coming through for the second time in four years, think about what may not have been?!? You're still the only fan who saw their four major professional sports teams notch a pro championship in less than seven years! Can you dig?!?!
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