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Comfort In Familiarity

Being a fan can be a stressful thing sometimes.  You invest so much emotion into something that you have next to no control over aside from screaming your lungs off and plunking down your hard earned cash.  Sports are so unpredictable that any given day any team can lose to the worst team in the league.  So it is always nice to have some stable, reliable things that you can count on.  They can be small things that don't even change the outcome of the game, but you can lean on them for emotional support because they are so familiar.

Here are some of the things that you'll see while watching any given Celtics game that make me smile.

  • Kevin Garnett's pre-tip ritual of head butting the basket support and pointing at the officials and who knows what else.
  • Rondo's fake behind the back pass that always seems to fool people if only for a split second which is all he needs to get by them.
  • Rasheed barking something at an official after a call that the instant replay showed was actually a perfectly legit call.
  • Doc's strained voice.  Even when he's completely calm and rested he sounds like he's lost his voice from screaming too much.  When he spends all night yelling at the players and refs, he sounds downright screechy.
  • Garnett making eye contact with Rondo, bolting to the rim, and flushing an alley oop on a defender who has that "they got me" look on his face.
  • Perkins' scowl.
  • Ray Allen coming off of 2 or 3 screens to catch, aim, release, follow-through, and splash (nothing but net).  Poetry.
  • Ball movement.  Unselfish passing.  Screens.  Pick and rolls.  Very little one-on-one.
  • Paul Pierce pinballing through the lane and throwing his hands up to make sure that the ref sees that he just got mugged.  Sure enough, he gets the call just about every time.
  • KG snatching a dead ball shot out of the air before it hits the rim.
  • Rondo "walking the dog" on the inbound pass, even when he doesn't necessarily need the extra seconds.
  • Tommy incredulous about a call that really could have gone either way.
  • A Scalabrinie sighting.  Even if he isn't playing, you notice him on the bench because he sticks out in a "one of these things is not like the other" sort of way.
  • Update: (by popular demand) the Eddie House "is that such a good idea for a shot? ...ok, it went in, great shot Eddie!" shot.
  • And of course, much more often than not, a win.  It isn't always pretty, but they find a way most of the time.

And that is what makes the losses stick out that much more.  They are unfamiliar and unexpected.  When the team doesn't come through in the clutch, when they don't make the extra pass, when they don't hit critical free throws, it stands out.

Which suits me just fine.  Drama is easier to write about, but I'll take a comfortable, predictable win any day of the week.

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