For young, championships aren’t rare

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By Akilah Johnson
Globe Staff / June 19, 2011

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Residents will tell you that Boston is a city of champions, and by most accounts it is, with all four of its major pro sports teams —some repeatedly — having won national titles in the past 10 years.

But, there is a generational divide between fans who waited years for their first parade and younger ones who have grown up with one after another.

“Since he was born, I’ve been to every parade with my son,’’ Michael Kairevich III, 45, said before yesterday’s rolling rally for the Bruins. It’s almost become a ritual for the two, who drive into the city from the North Shore, park somewhere near Beacon Street, then make their way to “their spot’’ in front of the Four Seasons Hotel on Boylston Street and collect confetti as long as it isn’t too soiled.

“Dad, I still have a bag of it from the Celtics,’’ said 9-year-old Michael Kairevich IV, who loves all sports but admits to preferring baseball.

“I don’t think the young kids realize how much work goes into bringing home a championship,’’ Kairevich said as his namesake fidgeted nearby. “They think it happens every year.’’

And since 2002 it nearly has, with a victory parade being held in 2008 for the Celtics, 2007 for the Red Sox, 2005 for the Patriots, 2004 for both the Sox and the Patriots, and 2002 for the Patriots.

Kairevich and others of his generation know another time, a time when 15 years passed between the Celtics bringing home the trophy in the 1980s and the millennium-winning Patriots, as well as the 39 years that passed between the Bruins championship teams.

Ken Young, whose two sons play hockey, a game he describes as a way of life for his Brockton family, said there was a bittersweetness to watching parade after parade for every Boston team but his beloved Bruins. “I kind of felt left out,’’ said Young, who was 3 when the hockey team won its last championship.

“I said, ‘When they win the Stanley Cup, I’m going to get inked,’ ’’ Young explained on his way to Government Center to watch the parade. And get inked he did. Inscribed on his left forearm in big black and gold capital letters is a still-healing tattoo of the word Bruins.

His 7-year-old son used art to honor the Bruins, too, though his image of Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid defending the Cup was drawn on paper in crayon. “We told them, ‘If you get near the Cup, you can’t touch it. You gotta win it,’ ’’ Young explained.

The Golda family traveled from Warwick, R.I., to watch the Bruins bacchanal in the shade made by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s concrete building along Staniford Street.

Mary-Ellen Golda said she and her teenage son never miss a parade, though this was a first for his cousins. The 47-year-old said she remembers Boston’s dry spell. She calls that period of the city’s sports history “depressing,’’ and she wouldn’t miss a rolling rally.

“When I’m 80 or 100, I’ll still come if they’ll roll me over here,’’ she laughed pointing to her son, niece and nephew.

And though her 18-year-old son, Brandon Golda, whose face was painted black and gold, has witnessed every parade in the past decade, he doesn’t take Boston’s victory blessings for granted. “You never know,’’ he said. “Last year, I legit cried at the end of game seven.’’ (The Bruins lost the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers.)

Jenna Chiavelli and her older brother think luck had little to do with the win that preceded yesterday’s parade. “I think they work their butts off,’’ the 9-year-old said.

Eleven-year-old Derek Chiavelli agreed: “Yeah, it’s way too much work, and it takes a lot of energy.’’

Still, despite this being their first championship carnival, the siblings already tapped into Boston’s collective confidence in the city’s sports dynasty. Like so many others, their family’s parting words at yesterday’s parade were: “See you in October.’’

Red Sox, they’re talking to you.

Akilah Johnson can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @akjohnson2.

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