I Crave Anonymity

alfrown.jpgTomorrow's game against the Bucks is important for several reasons. The team needs a confidence boost going into the All Star weekend. They need a win before heading out on a tough road trip after the break. They need a win because Paul Pierce needs to know that the situation is not totally hopeless. To me, the long and short term benefits of a single win tonight will outweigh the small benefit of padding our current lead in the Oden/Durant sweepstakes by one more game.

Still, those are all secondary to me. The primary reason I want a win is because I want the Celtics to be forgotten about.

The streak needs to end before it becomes legendary. Before it goes into the history books as a black mark on a storied franchise history. This one game seems critical because frankly I don’t think we can win a single game on the upcoming road trip. If we do, it will certainly be an upset victory. There are 4 games in 5 nights and I don’t think Pierce is going to be able to play back-to-back games (or at least he shouldn’t). If we can’t beat Milwaukee, this streak could snowball right past that record. That’s not the kind of attention you want.

The Streak Is Creeping Into The News Cycle

The topic of the streak is overpowering the Celtics these days. It is an omnipresent, ominous shadow that darkens every corner and douses any spark or fire that is there.

ESPN is already giving front-page updates the minute each loss is in the books. Marc Stein is smirkingly insinuating that Pierce took his time coming back from injury. Bill Simmons is openly giddy and making up words like “fantanking.” Columnists for every newspaper around the country are waxing poetic about the epic failures of years past; gleefully reminding everyone what happened in the Duncan lottery 10 years ago. Every blogger is openly deriding the franchise for tanking. Celtics fans are getting sympathy posts from cynical-by-nature Deadspin for crying out loud! If things get any worse, this is going to break into the mainstream news. When CNN starts telling me how bad my Celtics are, I’m officially going to go bonkers.

It seems everyone has become an expert on the Celtics. Everyone has their pet theories on why they can’t (or won’t) win. And wouldn’t you know it, none of them has bothered to ask me what I think! (the nerve!)

Enough already! A win kills it. A win silences the storm. No, a win doesn’t make this a good team, it just prevents it from becoming an epic nightmare. I don’t want sympathy from bloggers. I don’t want segments on PTI with Kornheiser holding a picture of Danny Ainge in front of his face. I don’t want any of it. Make it go away.

The Streak Is Dividing Us

rondofrown.jpg Another big thing the streak is doing is creating an increasing atmosphere of us against us. Meaning, Celtics fans are so frustrated with the team and so tired of blaming different people in the organization, that they have turned their frustration on each other.

There are those for “tanking” and those for making a big trade now. There are Oden guys and Durant guys. There are fans of Delonte and fans of Rondo. Of course there are always debates and preferences, but this streak is turning them into arguments and biases.

I used to love encouraging debates, sometimes even playing a contrarian angle just to get people talking. Now I feel the need to remind everyone that we are all still rooting for the same team. Every one of us would walk on fire just to compete for Championships once again. We differ on our opinions on how to get there, but who’s to say who is right and who is wrong? A man once asked CS Lewis how he deals with people who have “wrong theology,” and he simply stated, “I have wrong theology, I just don’t know what I’m wrong about.” We are all wrong about something regarding the Celtics; we just don’t know how we are wrong. So show some grace to each other.

Obviously the process of creating a contending NBA team is extremely difficult. Just because Red made it look easy doesn’t mean it really was. Celtics fans need to breathe deep, sing a little song, say a little prayer, have a Coke and a smile and deal with it.

Just Win Baby

I know people are going to say, “you wanted to lose Jeff, deal with it.” Well, I’m dealing with it the best I can. I am fine losing a lot of games and finally hitting bottom in order to secure a high draft pick in the draft of the ages. Lets just try to avoid making history in the process. I’d rather see some signs of hope. I’d rather see moral victories and great efforts and lessons learned by the young players. An occasional win would allow us enjoy all those things, if only for a brief moment in time. Right now, the streak snuffs all of that out.

A win takes the Celtics out of the news cycle. Spring Training is coming. The All Star game is almost upon us. The trade deadline will be a great distraction for the national media. After that, March Madness starts. The football draft is somewhere in there (I think). By the time they get back to us, the lottery positions will be locked into place and we’ll just have to wait till May 22.

All I want is to be forgotten again.
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