This famous first line from The Bard’s play, “Richard III” seems the perfect summary of the horrendous final outcomes of Boston’s winter sports teams. (Yes, it’s almost summer, but what the heck! Disclosure: never read the play.)
Both Boston teams crashed out of the playoffs in dramatic fashion in two heart-breaking Game Seven losses after splendid regular seasons.
The disappointment emanating from the region after recently the Boston Celtics succumbed in a flameout at the hands of the Miami Heat is the most scalding since it’s fresher. Yet both are grating.
The Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins were stunned by more resilient opponents
The Boston Bruins of course, after a historic regular season, were drummed out of the playoffs by the Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs after taking a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Bs were out-muscled, out-hit (including lots of dirty hits), and out-gutted by a Panthers team that refused to cave. Boy does that experience dramatize the old saying, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” uttered by legendary Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra.
The same can be said for the Boston Celtics who roared back uncharacteristically and unexpectedly from a three-games to none deficit, to experience the utterly deflating experience of losing at home in a blowout to Miami.
Boston-“dislikers” are having a field day with this. Until you close the door on all the other teams and win the prize, it’s never enough, no matter how well the team performed during the regular season or in any previous playoff games.
The lesson and futures of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins
The uber-lesson for the two Boston winter sports teams is painfully obvious and easy to relate. “You gotta finish da bums off or you go home losers!”
No great wisdom or revelation there. In the final analysis, you are what you accomplish, and in the world of American team sports, nothing matters except closing the deal.
That means winning a championship and securing a nice new, shiny trophy for the team’s cabinet or your names on the Stanley Cup. There ain’t nothing else.
All the accolades of a greatest regular season ever or a remarkable comeback from three games down “don’t amount to a hill of beans” (borrowed line from the movie “Casablanca”) if you can’t close the deal.
So it’s back to the drawing boards for Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics and Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins. They again learned in the worst possible way that unless and until you win it all, it’s just another season of failure and discontent for them and all of us.
Now it’s time to regroup, reassess, and get ready for next season. And, don’t expect better results with the same crew of players. Championship teams are primarily built in the offseason.
Add the piece or pieces that will hopefully get the teams over the top. As we used to say about the Boston Red Sox, “Wait ’til next year.” In the final analysis, that’s all we can really do. It is what it is.