Valentine's Day is here, and as Boston sports fans, we have a lot of teams and athletes to love. There is not better city to be a sports fan in than right here in Beantown. Nowhere else -- New York, L.A., Philly, Miami -- is it nearly as good.
We are so fortunate to be sports fans in the great city of Boston. Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots, Revolution, Boston College, BU, UMass. There are so many places we can focus our crazy emotion as fans. Not only that, but we have two major sports talk radio stations to complain to, two major newspapers to get our sports takes from and countless websites.
It is a privilege to have been brought up in this area and to have these allegiances. For that, I am forever grateful. What other fan base can say that they have witnessed seven championships in 11 years (nine if you count BC/BU hockey)?
Nowhere else. Not in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Green Bay or Chicago.
In tribute, I'd like to offer the following Valentines to the city's biggest sports teams and stars.
TIM THOMAS AND THE BOSTON BRUINS
Thank you, Timmy and Bruins. As the most recent Boston sports franchise to bring the city a title, we are forever grateful. Thomas' glorious run in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs ranks among the most clutch performances in the history of this city. That's some pretty good company. All in all, the 2011 Bruins were a fun team to watch and follow down the stretch. This year hasn't been any different. Most of the season, the B's have been on top of their game. Thomas has too. Even with the controversy surrounding Thomas and his political/religious stances, it has been fun.
ROBERT KRAFT AND THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Thank you, Robert Kraft. Without you, there would not have been an NFL season, and in turn, the New England Patriots would not have made it to Super Bowl XLVI. We are very sorry that your Patriots couldn't close the deal, but we thank you for everything that you have done for the league and this franchise. You are truly a great owner and leader in the world of sports. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, we thank you too. WIthout you, we wouldn't have our Super Bowl victories. All of your tireless efforts have created another dynast in New England has has revived a once lifeless Patriots franchise.
TERRY FRANCONA AND THE .... OK, JUST TITO
Terry Francona, you won't be forgotten. Thank you, Tito, for leading our beloved (and fried chicken loving) Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships in the past decade. You are undoubtedly one of the greatest (the greatest in my book) manager in franchise history. We were sorry to see you go, and we'll enjoy seeing you on ESPN. As for the Red Sox, many of us are still not on speaking terms, but there is still much to be thankful for in Red Sox nation.
... AND DUSTIN PEDROIA, TOO
Dustin Pedroia, you deserve to be the next member of the Red Sox to wear that 'C' on your jersey. Jason Varitek was a great captain, but you represent the transition between the present and future within this organization. Your attitude is great, your selfless effort is inspiring and you are a true leader. Now more than ever, the Sox need a leader just like you.
PAUL PIERCE, RAY ALLEN, KG AND DOC RIVERS
For continuing a tradition of excellence in the storied history of the team that has brought Boston more championships than any other team, we thank you -- Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers. Paul, you have stuck it out through thick and thin, and your hard word payed off. KG and Ray, thanks for representing Celtic pride and working tirelessly to bring the C's back to the top. Doc, thanks for your brilliant coaching and your charisma and great attitude.
BOBBY VALENTINE (FOR OBVIOUS REASONS)
It's a Valentine's Day post, and his name is Bobby Valentine. How could you not be included? Thank you for being a fun-loving guy who is humbled to be leading this team. Great things are in store, Bobby V. This is going to be a lot of fun.
CHAD OCHOCINCO ... FOR ALL THE LAUGHS/HEADACHES
Chad, it was fun while it lasted. And it wasn't. The whole "living with a fan" stunt (never happened, by the way) and the first part of your Pats career was interesting. Your Twitter account ... let's not even get started. Of course, there were the headaches and the lack of catches. You had 15 all year. Oh well, thanks for the laughs. Catch you later, I guess.
In conclusion, to all of those mentioned above, as well as those unmentioned -- thank you. Being a sports fan here has been everything a person could ask for and more. Let's keep it going.