CIRCLE OF LIFE
Things are cyclical. There’s really no scientific basis for it, that’s just the way it is. Sports is no different. We have been on a decade long high in New England as we’ve savored two World Series titles, three Super Bowl wins and an NBA crown. Pretty heady stuff. My kids can’t fathom the years of agony and frustration that we went through with our teams. I like Terry Francona, Bill Belichick and Doc Rivers to a degree, but I wonder if other men could have lead these teams to glory. The three “wisemen” all failed, or at least didn’t enjoy the success they’ve had here, in previous stops. Belichick was cursed with the Cleveland Browns. Francona skippered the Philadelphia Phillies and Doc toiled in Orlando. Tito managed the Phils from 1997-2000, never finishing better than third place and never coming close to a .500 record. (77-85 in 1999). Did he suddenly get smarter? Did he become a better tactician? He is known as a “players’ manager” and for the most part, his men swear by him. He is said to have “what it takes” to handle the diverse personalities of the coddled millionaires that play for the Red Sox. I will always like him for what he symbolizes, and the fact my friend Ron Johnson says he is a good man. Rivers was canned as the Magic head coach 11 games into his fifth season. He resurfaced in Boston and was nothing but mediocre until Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on deals for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. I’d guess Rivers would be long gone by now, if not for Ainge. Belichick was the head man in Cleveland for 5 seasons (36-44, 1 playoff appearance). That hardly inspired awe as Robert Kraft hired him as head coach prior to the 2000 season. Since his 5-11 first year, they’ve been great (until lately, that is). My point is, with the horses, any guy could succeed. Others have failed, but the world is littered with the likes of Phil Jackson, who has ridden Jordan, Pippen, Kobe and Shaq to 10 titles. Imagine, a ring for EVERY finger. Who knows why some guys succeed and others don’t? As I said earlier, we may be a little spoiled. It’s been a pretty good decade. It’s almost over. A new one begins in about three weeks. Let’s hope for another bunch of banners and rings and parades. They’re fun.