Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rik's Blog, 80's Edition: Sports

I could actually dedicate a month's worth of posts dedicated to sports in the 80's. I grew up an avowed sports junkie and about the only sport I never got into in the 80's was of course car racing. Boston was a great place to be for sports fans in the 80's. It started with the Miracle on Ice in 1980 which had a heavy Boston tilt to it. My mother, for some inexplicable reason, became a huge Celtics fan in the early 80's and I really got spoiled growing up watching the Big 2 (Bird, McHale, Parish) and all the great Celtics teams of the 80's. We got a flicker of success in the mid 80's with the Patriots before it all came crashing down. I cried in 1986 when the ball went through Buckner's legs. Thankfully, the hated Yankees didn't win a World Series title in the 80's either. But I think what I miss most is watching the Bruins teams they had in the 80's. They never won the Stanley Cup but they had some great characters, guys like Rick Middleton, Brad Park, Gord Kluzak, Mike Milbury.

As far as playing, we played everything in the 80's. I played little league baseball, youth league basketball and soccer and spent the winters playing pick up hockey on the frozen ponds around our town, usually with our neighbors the Roys who were from Canada (and yes, the youngest son was named Patrick).

One memory that sticks out in my mind was somewhere around 1981, my father had taken us to Boston for the day and we were having lunch in the North End, which is the Italian section of Boston and has some amazing pizza. So we're in the pizzeria and I look over and in one of the booths is a guy who looks just like Larry Bird. I tell my father and of course, he's not a sports fan so he says "Go over and ask him". At first I was shy but I was such a huge fan that eventually I did go over and ask "Excuse me...are you Larry Bird?" The guy gave me a nervous laugh and said "No, sorry, I'm not". So I was disappointed but when I got home that night I looked in the paper and they did have a home game that day...and the guy was with a woman and young girl and Larry did have a wife and young I've always preferred to think that he really was Larry Legend and that he just didn't want to be recognized.

Anyway, I could on forever about being a sports fan in Boston in the 80's but luckily for me, WBZ-TV did it for me. I remember seeing this on TV at the close of the decade and was lucky enough to find it online a while back...

Every clip in that video is a memory...

1 comment:

eric said...

I've been trying to find the George Brett pine-tar incident online. Let me know if you ever run across it.