10 Heartbreaking Boston Sports Playoff/Championship Moments

After defeating the Celtics, the Lakers images still haunts Noontime Sports today!

The bitterness of Game 7 between the Lakers and Celtics still remains. In some ways, it was just a nightmare for all Boston sports fans. Although, similar to this game, the city of Boston has seen some frightful moments or episodes in their playoff or championship quests that still haunts New England to this day. While there were an awful lot of dreadful moments to choose from, here are just a handful of games that makes everyone wish these historical Boston sports events went in their favor.

1.) 2010 NBA Finals Game 7 – Celtics and Lakers – It was supposed to be a Hollywood ending in Los Angles, but instead, it turned into a nightmare. After leading 3-quarters of the game, as well as showing that the momentum was on their side, the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics looked to repeat their performance from 1969, which they defeated the Lakers in Game 7. Although, this is Hollywood and sometimes the good guy’s don’t always win or get the prize, which certainly occurred in the final few minutes. The Lakers resumed the lead late in the fourth quarter, as well as continued to out rebound and muscle the Celtics. Kobe Bryant’s clutch shooting was key down the stretch, as he and coach Phil Jackson celebrated the organization’s 16th NBA banner.

2.) 2010 AFC Wild-Card Round – Patriots vs. Ravens – Cleary the New England Patriots were lucky by the end of their 2009 campaign to be in the post-season. Lucky is the word because somehow, they were able to host one-playoff game with their 10-6 overall record. With the chance to either head to San Diego or Indianapolis the following week, the Patriots clearly looked unprepared as they faced the Baltimore Ravens for the second time that season. After an almost remarkable comeback to beat the Patriots earlier in the fall, Baltimore’s crushing defense flattened the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. Interceptions, rushing touchdowns and just a gigantic smack down on both sides of the ball, helped the Ravens defeat the Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

3.) 2010 NHL Playoffs/ Round 2 – Bruins and Flyers – The Bruins held a commanding 3-0 lead when they skated onto the ice for Game 4 in Philadelphia, but the Flyers were determined that they would be one of four teams in history to come back and win a series after losing the first three games. After winning an incredible important few games, Boston was the host of a crucial, win or go home Game 7, but after an incredibly exuberant start in the first period by the Bruins, the NHL gods turned their backs to the black and gold to help the Flyers win and eventually advance to the 2010 Stanley Cup.

4.) 2008 Super Bowl XLII – Patriots and Giants – Following an exciting season finale that was televised nationally, the Patriots prevailed, beating the New York Giants in week 17, 38-35. They were 16-0 and would continue their path toward perfection by beating Jacksonville and San Diego on their way to Arizona for Super Bowl XLII. In the big game the Patriots looked confused and unsure of whom this New York Giants team was they were facing. The Giants blitzed Tom Brady all night, as well as shut down their top receivers, Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants on an unbelievable drive in the fourth quarter to secure the victory, which included avoiding a multi-man rush attack. With a small amount of time remaining for Brady to show off his magic, the city of Boston watched the Giants officially dismantle the hopes of being perfect and claimed their third Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

5.) 2006 AFC Championship Game – Colts vs. Patriots –After being defeated earlier in the 2006 season, the Patriots were prime underdogs that were trying to continue fighting their way toward Super Bowl XLI, but the only way to surely secure their tickets for the game was to beat the Indianapolis Colts in their dome. The RCA Dome was loud, extremely loud and with this being their second AFC Championship meeting in three seasons, quarterback Peyton Manning wanted it to be his turn to represent the AFC, not Tom Brady’s. After jumping out to an early lead, the Patriots went into halftime looking like their chances of returning to the Super Bowl in two season was right on target, but coming out to play 30 more minutes of football, Manning stole the show and punched the Colts ticket to Super Bowl XLI. Manning finally was proud to admit that he officially defeated the greatest coaching mind in the game today, Bill Belichick.

6.) 2004 ALCS Game 3 – Red Sox vs. Yankees – Coming back to Boston, trailing the Bronx Bombers, 2 games to none, the Red Sox felt their best chance to tie this series up was in their beloved comforts of Fenway Park. Although, due to heavy down pours the night before, Game 3 was switched from Friday evening to Saturday. Although, the extra night of sleep sure helped the New York Yankees, as they pummeled the Red Sox by a score of 19-8. The Red Sox appeared incredibly frustrated, aggravated and annoyed, as their pitchers were rocked and batters struggled. It was a wild one at Fenway, but once the game was complete, every fan believed their beloved Red Sox were done again for another season.

7.) 2003 ALCS Game 7 – Red Sox vs. Yankees – With being a game away, as well as just a handful of outs away too from heading back to their first World Series since 1986, the Red Sox kept their faith with a tired Pedro Martinez. Unable to keep their lead, Martinez allowed for the Yankees to tie up the game, which opened the door for a game winning home run by Aaron Boone off knuckleball extraordinaire, Tim Wakefield. The pitch that Boone connected on floated ever so gently toward the left field upper-deck section, which gave the Yankees their 39th American League pennant.

8.) 1996 Super Bowl XXXI – Patriots vs. Packers – The New England Patriots found themselves back in Louisiana for their second Super Bowl trip, but after losing 10-years earlier to the Chicago Bears, the Patriots sure hoped they would not be in for a repeat. Although, facing a talented Green Bay Packers team, quarterback Brett Favre made sure to score often and early. The Packers scored on the second snap of their first offensive series, which would eventually catapult them to a 35-21 victory.

9.) 1986 World Series Game 6 – Red Sox vs. Mets – When you think of the 1986 World Series, you might forget that the New York Mets prevailed, winning Game 6 and 7 at Shea Stadium. Although, you may remember one historic play that hurt the Red Sox chances of ending their curse for good. With two outs remaining, the Boston Red Sox were flirting with destiny. Although, a wild pitch that got past catcher Rich Gedmen secured the tying run for the Mets. Then, on the 10th pitch to Mets batter, Mookie Wilson, his routine ground ball hit up the first base side rolled through Red Sox first basemen Bill Buckner’s legs and into the right field. Ray Knight came running home from second base and the Mets went onto win the game and series.

Did Ray Hamilton allow the Raiders to win?

10.) 1976 NFL Divisional Round – Patriots vs. Raiders – New England Patriots fans surely remember this squad as being the team that was the best assembled and deserved a Super Bowl ring. After finishing with an 11-3 record, the Patriots went to Oakland for their Divisional Round playoff contest in anticipation of winning, especially since they had beaten the Raiders earlier in the season, 48-17. Leading the Raiders, 21-10, Oakland scored 14-unanswered points, as well as received some help from the referees on a controversial call that involved Patriots defensive tackle, Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton. Apparently, Hamilton was flagged for a roughing the passer call, which resulted in the Raiders scoring their final touchdown of the game to give them a 24-21 lead and eventually the game. The Raiders would continue on to win their first of three Super Bowls.

Big Day For USA Soccer: Will You Be Watching?

The World Cup has begun, but is America ready for USA vs. England today?

On any given Saturday, Americans are constantly running errands, spending quality time with their families, as well as unwinding from the long workweek. Although, today is something special, it is USA vs. England in a highly anticipated soccer match.

It has been roughly 60-years since these two allied nations played against one another on a gigantic stage like the World Cup, but who really will be caring today about this specific contest? Will you be crying your eyes out if America loses? Does this specific game mean so much to you?

Here in America it seems from my vantage point that sports fans gets revved up for college football on Saturday’s, NFL on Sunday’s, along with baseball, basketball and hockey throughout the week, but not soccer.

Do you know anyone that becomes incredibly needy for MLS or European soccer? I don’t, but I do know there are a decent amount of soccer fans across this nation that already have World Cup fever.

Today, I will watch team USA begin their quest in possibly capturing their first World Cup trophy, but I am not optimistic about their chances or the possibility of them beating England, Brazil or other top soccer nations. Seriously, does anyone in America believe they have a chance? What do you think President Obama has to say about his country in the World Cup?

I know during the winter Olympics in February, I believed both the men’s and women’s USA hockey squads had an incredibly slim chance of winning. I thought this because Canada, Russia and Sweden were going to be too powerful, but instead, both squads made it to the medal round and returned home with silver medals in their hands.

So how do I gauge this entire USA soccer team? Do I just assume that they will do poorly too? Will they surprise America just like both hockey teams did in Vancouver?

Again, soccer has never been the sport that most Americans get so amped about because it is not our pastime. Besides, I still have images of the 2006 World Cup on my mind when Italy’s Daniele De Rossi elbowed Brian McBride in the face.

Coach Bradley has a great deal of pressure to win!

Supposedly Coach Bob Bradley has a team that is committed to excellence and winning. I won’t buy into any of that until USA exits its current Group C and defeats at least England, Slovenia or Algeria. I think England will be the toughest opponent, but how can USA not defeat Slovenia or Algeria?

To be honest, after all this rage of excitement of writing my thoughts pertaining toward the World Cup, primarily focusing on team USA, maybe I am excited to watch some soccer for the next few weeks.

Wait, did I say, “I am excited watch some soccer?”

Uh oh! I think I am catching World Cup fever too!

The Great "Big Baby" Davis

Glen Davis Played Terrific in Game 4, can he keep this up?

Shooting hoops this afternoon and trying to do initiate my best Glen “Big Baby” Davis impression, the neighbors watched in awe!

Last night, I gave my MVP of Game 4 to “Big Baby” Davis. I loved his hustle, heart and hard work. I don’t care what various radio stations or Mark Jackson had to say in regards to him supposedly drooling at mid-court, I just loved his performance.

All Celtics fans have to admire this young mans courageous effort and energy to lift the Celtics to victory, as well as secure a 2-2 series tie.

Not only did he show the same signs of greatness last spring when the Celtics were without an ailing Kevin Garnett, but that same player, Davis, just happened to reappear at the right time last night.

The fourth quarter should now be known has “Baby Time.” Maybe Glen Davis is on a mission to prove the baby’s want more than success, they want victories in life too.

The Great “Big Baby” Davis

Glen Davis Played Terrific in Game 4, can he keep this up?

Shooting hoops this afternoon and trying to do initiate my best Glen “Big Baby” Davis impression, the neighbors watched in awe!

Last night, I gave my MVP of Game 4 to “Big Baby” Davis. I loved his hustle, heart and hard work. I don’t care what various radio stations or Mark Jackson had to say in regards to him supposedly drooling at mid-court, I just loved his performance.

All Celtics fans have to admire this young mans courageous effort and energy to lift the Celtics to victory, as well as secure a 2-2 series tie.

Not only did he show the same signs of greatness last spring when the Celtics were without an ailing Kevin Garnett, but that same player, Davis, just happened to reappear at the right time last night.

The fourth quarter should now be known has “Baby Time.” Maybe Glen Davis is on a mission to prove the baby’s want more than success, they want victories in life too.

44 Wonderful Years of NFL Football: Reflecting on the NFL Merger

Pete Rozelle would help grow the NFL into the greatest American Sports league.

Glancing through the Boston Globe this morning, I noticed in their history column that June 8th means something to the NFL. It was a day that both the NFL (National Football League) and AFL (American Football League) became one and no longer competitors.

It was on June 8, 1966 that both commissioners, Lamar Hunt from the AFL and Tex Schramm of the NFL came together in announcing that the American “Football War” had concluded and that both leagues would merge in 1970.

This was a critical step in the right direction into creating the game that NFL enthusiasts still flock to in the 21st century, but questions during this time still have had to remain today.

I love football. It is my favorite sport and I owe the love of the game to my father who played it as a young boy. Even though I never played a single snap in my entire life, I thought while reading this blurb, what if this merger had never occurred? Would football still remain today? Would it be the same game that we have always loved over the years or possibly, could the AFL and NFL have flopped big time?

These are some critical ideas and questions that came to my mind, especially when considering how today, two leagues that seem parallel to the beginning of the modern NFL are definitely the MLS and MLL. How many are true-die hard soccer fans in America? Does everyone want to buy season ticket packages for a Major League Lacrosse team?

These two leagues have very similar structures that both the AFL and NFL exhibited early on, but once players began choosing sides or picking the NFL over the AFL, it was about time that the leagues become united.

Ever since the merger occurred, the NFL has created a special league that keeps fans engaged, entertained and eager for more football. Playing on Sunday’s and Monday’s, as well as the occasional Thursday, Friday or Saturday, the NFL has turned into a league that quite clearly the most popular in America!

Forget baseball, basketball or hockey, football is the sport that seems to drive up the most revenue and engage so many fans of all ages. It doesn’t matter whether one is 7 or 83-years of age, everyone enjoys this game in their own way.

The first Super Bowl was just the beginning of many great NFL moments to come!

Yet one the greatest spectacles of this entire merger was having a World Championship game between both conferences at the end of each season.

The first Super Bowl, which was played between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs, was completely different than it is today. The coverage of this particular game was on both CBS and NBC, yet, today, one channel has the complete coverage. Sure there weren’t the fancy musical introductions featuring Jay-Z or other modern musicians, but the first Super Bowl had balloons, birds, two guys wearing jetpacks and of course, football.

Today, the Super Bowl has turned into a holiday of its very own. It is a day where everyone huddles around their television to either watch the musical acts, over priced commercials or the actual game itself.

This particular day in American history may not be so special to everyone, but for an avid football fan like myself, this was a crucial chapter in the NFL history that all fans must embellish. I feel that if the merger had not occurred, football would have become a different sport today.