HELLO! AND WELCOME to Boston. Allow me to congratulate each of you on the six straight championships your teams are about to win. Please note that we Boston fans have already pretty much banked these titles, and failure to deliver them is not recommended. Your careers in Boston will be judged starting with your various title defenses in 2013.
I cannot remember a time when the city was so excited for all three major teams. When I heard Randy Moss was coming to the Pats, I thought, "Finally, a long ball threat for Brady!" When the Sox acquired Eric Gagné it was, "Two closers! We're so lucky!" And when news of the Kevin Garnett deal came across the wires I thought, "I only wish the Celtics were still in Boston." Then I was told that they are still in Boston. So ... great!
Because of you, Boston fans have been talking sports 24/7. This is up significantly from the normal average of 23/7—the extra hour usually reserved for local politics and stories of times we met Matt Damon. (In my case it was 1996, outside the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. We talked about Wade Boggs for 20 seconds. We're basically best friends.)
To help you get accustomed to your new environs, I will now answer some questions you might have as you embark on a new life in the greatest sports city in the world.
Are people excited about us joining our new teams?
Absolutely. Critics, pundits and fans alike largely approved of the moves that brought you here. Which was very confusing. We're not used to describing our front offices as "competent" or "smart" or basically anything except "hopeless morasses of dysfunction."
I'm confused—aren't the front offices generally excellent?
They're idiots. We could run their teams better.
Wait. I know the Celtics have had some hard times. But the Pats have won three Super Bowls, and the Sox won the Series in 2004.
I can't hear you. You're breaking up. I'm going into a tunnel. (I did hear the Celtics part, though, and I agree.)
I have heard stories of the importance of sports—not just to fans but to the greater Boston community. Are they true?
Quite. If there were a nuclear war in Asia and Jabar Gaffney happened to be vacationing in Singapore, the front-page headline in The Boston Globe would be: PATS' WR INJURED IN BLAST.
Is it as tough to play here as some people say?
It can be. In 2004 the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since like 1768. There were parades. People named their babies "Papi" and "Theo Epstein" and "2004." Seriously. My best friend's daughter is named 2004 Kellner. Then the following year, when the team started 0--2, Terry Francona developed heart problems and Epstein was later run out of town in a gorilla suit. We do not mess around.
This sounds irrational. I thought Boston fans had a reputation as being well-informed.
We do, and it is somewhat justified. For instance, using the branch of data examination known as "sabermetrics," I can better calculate the value of baseball players beyond what traditional stats, or anecdotal evidence, might suggest. However, thanks to the psychological process known as "compartmentalization," I can also set aside all my well-reasoned thinking and objective analysis at a moment's notice if Kevin Youkilis hits into a double play in the seventh inning of a one-run game, allowing me to smash my TV with a hammer.
I have heard that you, Ken, used to play the video game NBA Inside Drive 2004 and that the first thing you did in your one-man league was trade Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to the Celtics. Is this true?
It is, weirdly, absolutely true. Garnett, Allen and Pierce had excellent digital team chemistry. The Celts went 82--0.
Didn't that make playing the game less fun?
Are you kidding? Garnett averaged a triple triple. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.
What do you expect from the real team?
Surely you can't....
82--0. End of discussion.
Again—welcome, and I hope this helps with your transition. Good luck with the seven-peat.
Ken Tremendous writes for the site firejoemorgan.com.
Your one stop for offbeat humor and the wackiest sports stories and links, including Hot Clicks and the Daily List, is SI.com/extramustard.
ILLUSTRATION BY JOHN UELAND