In honor of the Boston Marathon today, it’s just felt right to take a look at the top moments in one of the best sports cities in the world: Boston. Between the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and New England Patriots, Boston’s sports history is absolutely loaded. Since 2001, the big four teams in the region have won nine titles, and have competed for 13 total. In that 15-year span, most of the city’s best sports memories have occurred. Here’s a look at the top six:
6. Bruins’ Game 7 Comeback vs. Maple Leafs in 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs
I really struggled with which Bruins moment I wanted to put on the list between their 2011 Stanley Cup win and their massive comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the 2013 Playoffs. In the end, I picked the comeback, which truly catapulted them into the Stanley Cup Finals that year, where they would lose a heartbreaking series to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Bruins were down 4-1 in the third period at home at the TD Garden with about 13 minutes to go, and fans were heading for the exits. The team scored a goal that seemed like it was too little, too late with 10 minutes left in regulation. They weren’t done yet, however, as they pulled to within one goal with 1:22 left, and then tied it on a beautiful shot by Patrice Bergeron with 50 seconds left. Bergeron put the cherry on top six minutes into overtime to win Game 7 and get the Bruins out of a small slump. It’s one of the top Bruins memories out there, and it came less than a month after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing.
5. Super Bowl XLIX: Malcolm Butler Interception
As much as I wanted to put this one higher on the list, there are other moments that truly deserve to be where they are. Malcolm Butler’s interception in Super Bowl XLIX will be remembered forever as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, and it topped off one of the best Super Bowls I’ve ever seen. It was a back-and-forth battle between the two true top teams in the league, and it came down to the last minute to decide a winner. Especially after all of the DeflateGate talk leading up to the big event, Butler’s interception topped off a rollercoaster season for the Patriots that luckily ended in Tom Brady’s fourth Super Bowl ring.
4. David Ortiz’s Pregame Speech At Fenway Park After Boston Marathon Bombing
This one isn’t about winning a game or winning a series. This moment is about a city coming together after a tragedy to prove they are still strong and united. Sports is one of the true things in life that can bring people together and create real happiness and joy, and this great speech and pregame ceremony did just that. David Ortiz gave one of the most emotional and powerful speeches Fenway Park has ever seen, just days after the Boston Marathon bombing and just hours after its suspect was captured, where he proclaimed that Boston is “our f**king city”. The moment is so special that President Barack Obama called it “one of my most powerful memories and one of my proudest moments as president.”
3. Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots First Super Bowl Win
Tom Brady can say all he want about how his favorite ring is “the next one”, but the first one is always the best. The Patriots weren’t a force in the NFL just yet back in 2001, with young Brady behind center for an underdog New England squad. They were battling the top team in the league, the St. Louis Rams, who were known as the “Greatest Show on Turf”. The whole situation went against the Patriots, but sometimes the underdog pulls off the huge upset. After letting go of a 14-point lead, Brady and the Patriots took the field with less than two minutes to go and everyone saying to run the clock out for overtime. Brady and coach Bill Belichick decided against the masses, and went for the improbable. They drove down the field, set up kicker Adam Vinatieri for the game-winning field goal as time expired, and a dynasty was born.
2. Red Sox’s 2013 World Series Win
This World Series win is a personal favorite of mine, and I very much wanted to put it at the top of the list, but it’s tough to argue with the number one on this week’s Pick-Six. The 2013 run was a special one because of the Boston Strong movement after the Boston Marathon Bombing, and the way in which the Red Sox made it to the World Series. Take a look at the two clips posted with this moment and try and tell me that you don’t get goosebumps when you watch them. It was a great run after a devastating year in the city, and all the perseverance proved to be worth it in the end with a great World Series victory for Boston.
1. Red Sox’s 2004 World Series Win/ALCS Comeback
As great as the World Series win was in 2004, everyone remembers that year for the infamous American League Championship Series against the rival New York Yankees. The Red Sox went down 3-0 in the series, and some Boston fans were ready to throw in the towel and call it a year. The Red Sox, on the other hand, were not. They fought back, led by “Señor Octubre” David Ortiz and Dave Roberts, to tie the series in three close games, and then close it out in New York in Game 7. It was a historic run that many felt was the true World Series that year, and will go down in history as the greatest comeback in baseball history. This World Series win is a special one solely because of the history behind it and the curse that it reversed. The Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years, and had come close so many times. 2004 was finally different for Boston, as they swept the St. Louis Cardinals to create a truly historic moment in baseball, and break their unfortunate streak. It ended almost a century’s worth of torment for a city so dedicated to its sports, and rewarded the Fenway faithful.