Sunday was a great day for Boston sports fans.
The Bruins, trailing 3 games to 1 in their series with the upstart Carolina Hurricanes, put together a dominating 4-0 victory to extend their season and force a Game 6.
Playing on the road, the depleted Celtics (No Garnett, no Powe), eked out a much needed “W” over the Orlando Magic, courtesy of a gutsy, last-second buzzer beater from the human bowling ball, Glen “Big Baby” Davis (see vid embedded below). That evened their playoff series at two games apiece, with the pivotal Game 5 set for Tuesday night in Beantown.
Finally, the BoSox, playing before a nationally televised audience on ESPN, rallied to defeat their divisional nemesis, The Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3 with some late-inning heroics from sluggers David Ortiz (remember him?) and Jason Bay, thereby completing the Boston trifecta. All of these games, it should be noted, concluded within minutes of one another, making such developments all the more exciting and celebratory.
Caught, as I was, in the moment, I started thinking about purchasing some cool Boston-themed shirts that I had stumbled across the week before — gotta represent, yo! (Though I’ve resided in Portland, Oregon for the last 15 years, I was born and bred in MASS and my roots still run deep…) Along these lines, here are 6 wicked-pissah sports tees — one for each championship that the Hub has racked up since 2001 — that will put a smile on the face of any true Bostonian. No real order here, just personal preference.
One final note — click on the photos to link through to the appropriate site.
1. I wrote a short blurb about a cycling shirt from Homage Clothing last week; the Ohio-based company has carved out a niche printing oh-so-cool, retro-themed sports tees. The shirt below pays tribute to the great Red Sox teams of the 70’s, celebrating a veritable who’s who of mashers that could hit for average, power and run production.
2. Homage’s webstore also features this Red Sox shirt, which puns on a colloquial reference to the infamous Bucky Dent, a light-hitting shortstop that played for the hated New York Yankees. Dent clubbed a crucial — and fluke — 3-run home run in an infamous one-game playoff in 1978 (said by some baseball lifers and journalist types to be the single greatest baseball game of the 20th century …), thereby earning the lifetime enmity of a generation of BoSox backers. In the years since, the refrain “Bucky Fucking Dent” or “Bucky Bleeping Dent” has cemented itself in New England as a catch-all for good aspirations soured by the painful intrusion of reality.
3. This next design riffs on a t-shirt worn in a popular movie (2004’s goofball hit, Napoleon Dynamite), something we know a little bit about here at Found Item Clothing. I don’t recall if Pedro won that election after all, but I do know for certain that the starting second baseman for the Boston nine, the scrappy, undersized Dustin Pedroia (all 5 foot 6 inches of him), was awarded the 2008 American League M.V.P. trophy by a panel of sports writers.
4. Observant readers might note that I’ve profiled this next shirt in this space once before. Via Irish Laundry, I (re)present the Boston Celtics 1986 top, which cleverly parodies the so-called Experimental Jet Set tee trend.
5. The only Boston team I’ve yet to see raise a championship in my lifetime (or this decade), the Bruins are something of a black sheep, relegated to the back page of the Globe Sports section and left to wither on the collective vine due to poor play and chronic mismanagement for much of the ’00s. All of which is sad, because as popular as the other local teams are, Boston is, first and foremost, a hockey town. In any case, the Bruins roared back into the consciousness of the average Boston sports fan this season, rolling up the NHL’s second best record with a nice blend of youth, power, finesse, defense and goaltending. Seeing as they stand on the precipice of playoff elimination, I thought it would be apropos to invoke their last championship in 1972. To wit, this snazzy shirt, which reproduces a black & gold logo of that by-gone era.
6. For most of my childhood, the New England Patriots were atrocious. That all changed in 2000 when the Hooded One, the notoriously tight-lipped Bill Belichick, took over as head coach. Cornerstone All-Pros Richard Seymour and Tom Brady were drafted soon thereafter, rounded out by a succession of smart draft picks and shrewd free-agent signings. Six division titles and three Super Bowl wins later (2001, 2003, 2004), the team is now hailed by industry observers as a model franchise (under Belichick, BTW, the Pats are an stellar 116-45).
As much as I love this new chapter in the team’s history, I’ll always be partial to Pat Patriot, the squad’s original icon and mascot from inception until 1992 when the flying Elvis symbol (don’t ask) took hold in a
predictable piss-poor attempt to modernize the appearance of the “brand.” This shirt from Junk Food captures old Pat in all his patriotic, pigskin-loving, line-of-scrimmage glory. (On an aside, the Patriots will celebrate their 50th anniversary in the 2009 season. To mark the occasion, they will wear throwback uni’s in 4 of their 16 regularly-scheduled contests.)