Monday, July 17, 2006

Another Lost Tradition

Boston claims to be a city of tradition. And certainly it is is some respects. As time advances these traditions are being lost. The Boston Celtics seem to be in the forefront of abandoning tradition. Crowds at the old Boston Garden were notorious for "sitting on their hands" so "piped-in crowd noise" was added. This faux noise was so distracting as to be embarassing. Next, traditional organ music was replaced with pop and rock music, supposedly to attract a younger crowd. (The "Walker Wiggle" also seemed to typify the decline of the Old Green.)

Three years ago when the "Danny Ainge as general manager" era began the traditional black sneakers were replaced with white ones. The Celtics had always worn only black sneakers. I thought that something simple and distinct as black sneakers could surely be saved. I was wrong. (I just can't picture Larry Bird or Kevin McHale playing in white sneakers.) Next, the "alternate jerseys" of green and black, and green and gold combinations were added to the traditional, sharp and distinct green and white ones. At this point I did not recognize the Celtics anymore. Now, 21 "Celtics' Dancers" are going to be added next season! The Celtics had been the only team I know of that did not have any cheerleaders or dancers. I'm sure that these girls won't be doing any Celtic/Irish steps, which would be nice to see.

I'm sure a life-sized mascot like "Wally The Green Monster" will be added next. The Boston Red Sox lost their "no mascot " tradition when Wally first made his appearance at Fenway Park. He was booed when he was first introduced and some thought that he would never return. Now he is accepted as part of the Red Sox family.

The simplicity that used to make the Boston Celtics unique is long gone. Let's hope that the pretty parquet floor wil not be taken away next. If the Celtics really want to keep tradition then they should focus on winning another World Championship —to add to their 16 World Championships— and forget about these superficial makeovers. It has been 20 years since the last championship and another one does not seem to be on the horizon.



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