By: Amy Tolman | Follow me on Twitter @amy7594
Last night on New England Sports Network, The Sports Museum honored the 2011 Boston Bruins, the 2004 Boston Red Sox, the 2001 New England Patriots, and the 2008 Boston Celtics in their 19th Annual Tradition. This event is normally held at TD Garden, but due to the COVID pandemic, the Sports Museum broadcasted it on NESN. Tom Caron and Jackie MacMullan hosted and interviewed players and coaches that were apart of those victories.
Starting With The 2001 New England Patriots.
2001 was the year that the dynasty of the Patriots started. Drew Bledsoe got hurt from a hit in the second game of the season against the New York Jets. And the beginning of the Tom Brady / Bill Belichick era began. The 6th round backup quarterback took the reigns and never looked back.
One memory that has to be mentioned is of the infamous “Tuck Rule.” January 19, 2001, during the AFC Divisional Round game at Foxboro Stadium under heavy snowfall against the Oakland Raiders (now the Vegas Raiders), the “Tuck Rule” was born. Brady was making a forward pass when it was stripped out of his hands, and the Raiders recovered the football. After much review and discussion, it was ruled an incomplete pass, and the Patriots kept the football. The Pats won in overtime 16-13.
The Patriots then went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game. But then there was the controversy over which QB was going to play in the Super Bowl. Bledsoe was healthy again and ready to play, but Coach Bill Belichick decided to keep the young Tom Brady as his starter. The New England Patriots won Superbowl XXXVI beating the St. Louis Rams (now LA Rams) 17-20 with an Adam Vinatieri 48 yard field goal with only seconds left to the game.
2004 Boston Red Sox
In 2004, the Boston Red Sox broke the forever curse.
The Curse of the Bambino was a superstitious sports curse evolving from the failure of Major League Baseball team Boston Red Sox to win the World Series in the 86-year period from 1918 to 2004. While some fans took the curse seriously, most used the expression in a tongue-in-cheek manner.Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
Terry Francona was hired before the season starting as the new head coach. On last night’s broadcast, Terry Francona, Catcher Jason Varitek, and Closing Pitcher Keith Foulke spoke about that year via the internet. Jason Varitek mentioned that the determination of the team got more intense after beating the New York Yankees. This brings up another memory from that year.
In the 3rd inning of a game on July 24, Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez with one of his pitches. As Rodriguez walked towards first base, he began shouting profanities at Arroyo. Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek positioned himself between the two players. After a brief argument, Varitek pushed his glove into Rodriguez’ face, causing a bench-clearing brawl.Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
After beating the Yankees, the Sox would then move on to take on Anaheim Angels, in which they swept the series, moving them on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
2008 Boston Celtics
Former Coach Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, and Leon Powe talked last night about that season, and they said that the win didn’t hit them until the Duck Boat Parade in Boston with a ton of fans cheering them on and holding up signs of appreciation.
The final game of the NBA Playoffs in 2008 had the Celtics playing the LA Lakers. The Celtics won the series 4-2 and won their first championship since 1986, which was the seventeenth in franchise history and the most in the NBA history.
And Finally The 2011 Boston Bruins
Last night Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Mark Recchi spoke to Tom Caron about that season. Bergeron said that the momentum to win got stronger after Nathan Horton got hurt in Vancouver. For more about the impact that hit on Horton made, check out fellow BNG writer Max Mainville article: https://blackngoldhockey.com/2020/06/04/aaron-romes-hit-on-bruins-nathan-horton-changed-the-2011-finals/
However, Horton did attend game six and seven of the finals, and before that game seven, he brought water from the ice at TD Garden in Boston, MA, to Vancouver and poured it on the ice rink.
During the Stanley Cup playoffs that season, the Bruins kept their fans on their toes. Always forcing a game 7 with all the teams (except the Flyers) even at the very end in Vancouver.
The Sports Museum is located at TD Garden in Boston, MA. During last night’s event, they were raising money for the Boston VS Bullies program.
Boston vs. Bullies is a bullying prevention program presented by The Sports Museum and the Boston sports community to stand strong against bullying. Through videos and activities, the award-winning educational program leverages the power and example of Boston sports to help stop bullying in our schools and in our community. Thanks to funding from The Highland Street Foundation, New Balance, and others, we are able to bring Boston vs. Bullies to schools and afterschool programs free of charge.The Sports Museum
To learn more about The Sports Museum and its services or to donate go to https://sportsmuseum.org/