Noontime Rewind: Boston Sports Teams of the 2010s

NSBostonSports2010s

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

Welcome to the first Noontime Sports rewind post, which will recap the current year of New England (and Boston) sports as well as look back on the soon-to-be past decade of blogging for NoontimeSports.com.

In this particular post, we highlighted our favorite Boston sports teams that we covered (and chronicled) through the site – there were some fun teams to watch and others that made us sick to our stomach over the past nine-to-ten years.

We hope you enjoy this look back at the soon-to-be past decade of Boston sports, which certainly kept us busy, both here on the site and social media.


The Best New England Patriots Team of the 2010s: The 2014 New England Patriots. Sure, you can make the case for the 2016 squad, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons or the 2018 squad, which outsmarted Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams, but in my opinion, the 2014 squad was the best Pats team of the 2010s. Between the offense and the defense and just the way they manhandled teams after losing to Kansas City, this particular Patriots squad was perhaps one of the best teams under current head coach Bill Belichick.

One of the most impressive games this team played was against the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the postseason. They ran a few tricky plays, including one that saw Julian Edelman throw a touchdown pass to a streaking Danny Amendola. Additionally, they stole a play from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, which infuriated Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.

But the cherry on top of the sundae was the Malcolm Butler interception on a potential go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Butler will be forever linked to that play – the result ignited an animated (and giddy) celebration by Tom Brady and … Jimmy Garoppolo.


The Best Boston Red Sox Team of the 2010s: The 2013 Boston Red Sox. Following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, our city became enamored with the local nine, especially after David Ortiz delivered a heartfelt speech just days after the horrendous attacks. Ortiz’s words would be the catalyst for a magical season that concluded with a World Series victory at historic Fenway Park.

Boston, which went from worst (2012) to first (2013), concluded the 2013 campaign with 97 wins. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays in four games before topping the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers in six games. Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh in game six before Koji Uehara shut the door on a possible rally in the top of the ninth.

The win over the Tigers secured the Sox their third American League crown, as well as their third appearance in the World Series in 10 seasons.

Against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Red Sox overcame a 2-1 deficit by winning the fourth, fifth, and sixth games to clinch the series and win their first championship in Boston in 95 years.


The Best Boston Bruins Team of the 2010s: The 2011 Boston Bruins. If the Bruins won the Stanley Cup earlier this year, I would have chosen that team, but instead, I’ll play it safe and go with the squad that won the Stanley Cup eight years ago.

After seeing the 2010 squad collapse in the second round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, I was unsure if the 2011 Bruins would be able to make myself (and other Black and Gold fans) proud. But they certainly did.

Their Cup run began with an epic game seven overtime win in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, thanks to Nathan Horton. One round later, Boston erased memories of a dreadful collapse from one year earlier by sending the Flyers home with four-straight wins (it was sweet revenge, in my opinion!).

But perhaps Boston’s most impressive win came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, especially in the seventh game. Horton netted the lone goal of the contest, while Tim Thomas, who won the Vezina Trophy, stopped every shot he faced.

“I’m just happy to see the guys smiling in the dressing room,” coach Claude Julien said to the media following the exciting one-goal win over the Lighting of Tampa Bay.

Those ‘smiles’ would not disappear as those same grins reemerged days later after the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games to win their sixth championship in franchise history.

The win over the Canucks was exciting – it was also the team’s third game seven victory of the 2011 postseason, which was the most game seven wins by any team in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Unfortunately, their win over Vancouver did not result in a few more titles as Boston would lose in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and seven games to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.


The Best Boston Celtics Team of the 2010s: The 2017-18 Boston Celtics. After winning their 17th championship in June 2008, the Celtics have yet to return to top of the mountain but have had chances, including ten years after they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games when the Green and White almost beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boston was without Kyrie Irving who missed the entire postseason, as well as Gordon Hayward, who suffered a serious end-of-season injury during the team’s initial game of the 2017-18 campaign, which happened to be against the Cavaliers. So, without two of the league’s marquee players, the Celtics turned to both their veteran and youth players to go on an exciting run, which included wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers (4-1).

Against Cleveland, Boston won the series’ first two games before losing four of the next five contests. They had chances to beat James and the Cavaliers in each of the final five contests, but the youth and inexperience eventually caught-up with the Green and White, who have been really fun to watch this season.

What made this particular postseason run so much fun was the play of both Brown and Tatum, along with Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris.

BCS Bedlam

"Oh hey! Have fun in the National Title...NOT."

By Andy Lindberg

I’ll be the first to admit I’m stoked out of my mind.  I’m a rabid Alabama Crimson Tide fan and a few weeks ago, my national title hopes were done.  I needed serious divine football God intervention to even have a shred of hope.  I needed undefeated #2 Oklahoma State to lose, #5 Boise State to lose, #4 Stanford to lose.  Shoot, I could have even used losses out of Oregon and Oklahoma just to be sure.

Would I see ALL five of those teams losing?  Not likely.  Oklahoma State was a lock to beat Iowa State and Oregon would surely cream USC after ousting Stanford.

Wait, hold on a moment…

(They lost?  Who?  ALL of them?  ALL!?!?)

*Ahem*, this just in, WHAT THE $*@# BCS?!?  You shatter my dreams and then hand them RIGHT back!?!  You TOY with the emotions of the college football fan and it has gone on for TOO long!  I had accepted Alabama’s demise.  ACCEPTED!  Now you want to give me more hope after crushing the hearts of so many others?  How DARE you!

As super stoked as I am for Alabama once again, has there ever been a more glaring example of why Division 1 college football needs a playoff system?  There have been examples before, sure, but now it’s a free-for-all.  This is a football debacle.  The computer deciding the new rankings might actually go Skynet on us in an attempt to understand what the heck just happened.

I want a divorce from the BCS.  I’m citing irreconcilable differences.  BCS hit me at the dinner table in front of my children.  It’s a monster that for some reason cannot be stopped, like how the Kardashians are still famous.  There is no answer to why either still exists.

This posting may be short, but you know it’s sweet.  Aside from the fact that the BCS rakes in TONS of money, is there a legitimate reason the BCS should stay instead of a playoff system?  Please comment if you have a good reason, because I would genuinely like to hear it.  Or comment if you hate the BCS.  Either way.  Also take a look at the poll below.

 

Could It Be True – We Need the Death Penalty?

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor opted to leave school rather than serve a five game suspension for violations

By Dan Rubin

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article posted on this website taking a number of schools to task in regards to their graduation rates on their college football programs.  I drew a direct line between the desire to make money and the desire to provide “student-athletes” with a means to getting a college degree, using their athletic skills to advance their abilities within the classroom.  I touched on how college football meant big money, that some schools transgressed, that it angered the NCAA, and ultimately, a few well-publicized slaps on the wrists would bring harmony back to college football, even if the graduation rates weren’t celebrated in the manner they should be.

The NCAA did land a few well-placed slaps on big college campuses, but it didn’t stop the big money, big-market programs from doing what they do best.  I’m not talking about their ability to draw hundreds of thousands of people to games, and I’m not talking about their ability to take in millions of dollars of revenue for their schools.  I’m talking about the other side.

The NCAA didn’t stop the cheating.

If you read no other part of this article, read this quote from legendary broadcaster Brent Musberger.  At the end of the ESPN Films 30 for 30 special on Southern Methodist University football, Musberger says it best.

“Every time I walk into a stadium, I think to myself – ‘they’re still keeping score,’ ” says Musberger.  “And as long as they’re keeping score, there will always be people who try to do everything they can to put up more points than the other guy.”

Brent Musberger, ladies and gentlemen, is a complete and utter genius.  The NCAA shuttered the SMU Mustangs for the 1988 season almost 25 years ago due to multiple, blatant infractions while under probation.  The move decimated the Mustangs program to the point where they didn’t field a team again until 1990, and they didn’t field a full complement of players until 1992.  Since then, they’ve only within the last few seasons returned to prominence and bowl games, enduring a nearly 20-year stretch of irrelevance.

Continue reading →