The thing I love about being a Celtics fan is the history. I don't mean this in the "I remember when . . . " sort of way. Because I wasn't alive for most of that. But I've gotten to experience the stories. See in my view, emotion is a big part of being a fan. It's the elation and the sorrow, all of it, like that relationship that was a lot of fun, but really bad for your psyche. The Celtics, in effect, are the girl my mother warned me about. And when fans share memories, what they're sharing is their emotions. The story, the memory of the event, that's all just a delivery system.
So even though I never watched Russell play, I know what it felt like to watch him play. I've had people tell me that story and give me that feeling. I only remember seeing Bird in a very cursory way. But the stories have been shared with me. So I know how it felt. I get to feel the past in a way that other people don't understand, because they aren't Celtics fans.
I've said all that, to say this. My favorite stories aren't the ones about great players being great. My favorite stories to tell and my favorite stories to hear are the ones about the bench player. The subtle role player. The guy that was a hero for one moment on one night. Because we the fans are the ones that remember those stories. ESPN will help people remember Pierce's 3 pointer or Rondo putting back his own miss. But as fans, we are responsible for telling the smaller stories. And maintaining those little memories that won't be replayed for years, but were all the difference in the universe.
Last night, it was Pietrus's three. That broken play, Wade's block, Rondo's tip pass, Pietrus drilling it like he'd done it a million times. The night before it was Pietrus and those offensive rebounds. But I'm getting ahead of myself. We all remember that game in 2008, when Leon Powe was an unstoppable god of war. I remember when the announcer in the game said "World, meet Leon Powe." And I was so proud for him. And so ecstatic about the game. And I remember, logging the feeling away. Holding onto the joy. So that one night, watching a Celtics game with my kids I can turn to them at halftime and say "Let me tell you a story about Leon Powe . . . "
My story from this playoffs. The one I'm looking forward to telling my kids was MP's two offensive rebounds. I could feel the anxiety. I could feel the fear. I was terrified that the game was going to slip away like game 2 had. The shot missed and I fell in my chair. And the Pietrus streaks in like he's wearing Superman's cape, flies through the air and secures the ball. On that first rebound I left my chair, couldn't say a word. When he grabbed the second, I fell on my knees. Because the stories are what make all this fun. It gives it emotional weight. It connects us to Celtics fans past, even if we've never met. And connects all of us together, even though I have no idea what you look like. We are family, in a general way. I am glad to share the emotional turmoil with all of you, no matter how far the Celtics take us. I'd love to hear your favorite memory or favorite story. Of these Celtics or the ones past.