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Superiority complex

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  June 23, 2008 10:25 AM

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1. 2004 Red Sox: Because it set us free, baby. I trust there are no questions?

2. 2007-'08 Celtics: I'll admit it, this one's almost entirely personal, and I won't bicker with anyone who wants to put the 2001 Patriots here. It's just that the Celtics' first championship in 22 seasons came at a time when, because of my 20th high school reunion, the Facebook phenomenon, and the increased prominence of this wee blog, I've been hearing from numerous long-lost friends lately, and it's appropriate to me that the sentimental flashbacks to whatever semi-Glory Days I might have had should coincide with the Celtics' revival. Basketball was extremely important to me then, so I was surprised to discover that my affection for and appreciation of this Celtics' team rivaled the feelings I felt all those years ago for Larry and the 1985-'86 champs. These Celtics didn't necessarily make me feel young again, but they sure jostled some wonderful memories of when I really was young, and that's plenty good enough.

3. 2001 Patriots: World, meet Tom Brady. Tom Brady, world. This wasn't only the most improbable championship in the history of Boston sports, it's among the most improbable in any sport in any era. Now, you might claim that's hyperbole, to which I'd counter by saying look at the Patriots' wretched depth chart from the previous season, then get back to me. (No offense, Antonio Langham.) Brady's rise, the Bledsoe Empire's fall (complete with stone-like ruins), the Snow Game, whupping the heavily favored Rams, Vinatieri from 48 yards . . . really, had this been a script, even Disney would have rejected the thing as sappy and unrealistic.

4. 2007 Red Sox: Five years ago, I never would have thought the day would dawn when we expected the Red Sox to come through in the big games. But that's the life-altering effect '04 had on us. Even when the Sox were down three games to one to the Indians in last season's ALCS, the clearheaded among us were confident in their ability to come back. After J.D. Drew's grand slam in Game 6, everything that followed was delightfully anticlimactic. I don't know about you, but I like it this way.

5. 2003 Patriots: This title validated the first one, which was perceived by most of the shrapnel-brained twits in the national media (hi, Merril!) as a fluke. Little did they know it was the dawn of a dynasty (yes, albeit one with a video fetish).

6. 2004 Patriots: Corey Dillon made this perhaps the most complete Patriots team yet, at least among those that finished the job. (Whoops, never happened.) Here's hoping their last championship isn't their last championship . . . and with a New England sports fan's arrogance, I tell you I'm quite sure it won't be.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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