Our tenth edition of ‘Green Runs Deep’ proudly features Jay O, a contributing member of RedsArmy.com, and a Boston area native. I’ve always enjoyed following Jay on Twitter, as he posts constant high-quality tweets, has excellent knowledge about the game of Basketball, and is intensely passionate of his beloved Boston Celtics. Jay also happens to have an outstanding sense of humour.
Enjoy his story. –@AusCelticsFan
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Jay, I’m a contributor to the Celtics blog site Redsarmy.com and my Twitter handle is @MrTrpleDouble10. My day job is working in the IT/network engineering field. I was born in the Boston area and have lived here my entire life. I’m not a huge fan of any other sports, so I follow the NBA/Celtics closely (they occupy all of my irrational emotion). I’m big into exercise/nutrition and I also love to read in my spare time.
How did you first become a fan of the Boston Celtics?
I’ve been a fan ever since I was little, and my earliest memory is watching Game 7 of the 1984 Finals with my dad and brother. When the Celtics won I remember my dad jumping off the couch over us (we were sitting on the floor). A few years later, I remember watching Larry Bird slam his face on the parquet floor while diving for a loose ball during the 1991 playoffs against the Pacers. Like everyone else, I figured he was done but he came back and did what The Legend always did: brought his team back from the dead, to victory. It was the tail-end of his remarkable career but it inspired me like nothing else before. From there, I was all in on this organization and I have not missed a game since.
When did you first see the Boston Celtics play? (tv?) When did you manage to see your first live Celtics game?
Well the first TV game I can remember may have been before the Finals game I discussed in the previous question. I was very little and just excited to watch a random game with my dad, and he would ask me the score. Well I took that literally, and shouted out the score… after EVERY basket by both teams. My dad is a very easy-going and patient guy, so he just laughed at me and went with it. Being a little kid I just didn’t get why he laughed, since in my mind I was just doing what he asked of me.
As for a live game, it was definitely at the old Boston Garden in 1992. It was against the San Antonio Spurs and at the time I was a big David Robinson fan. I went to several games that year, including a playoff game against the Cavs, which turned out to be Bird’s second to last home game. My dad and I saw Bird’s agent standing outside of the pro shop, and my dad asked him if Bird would be playing (keep in mind this is prior to social media so this info wasn’t readily available). Bob Woolf (his agent) was coy about it, but basically told my dad he would be returning that night.
Who is your favorite Celtics player? Past? And present? And what do they, or have they meant to you?
Currently with the Rajon Rondo trade I don’t think I have any attachment (yet) to any single player so technically they’re all in the past now. I’ve talked a bit about Bird already (I did randomly meet him twice at Logan Airport, both times taking a family vacation to Disney as a kid). I loved Reggie Lewis and was devastated when he died. One of my favorites when I was in high school was Dee Brown. He’s not one of the greatest players in the history of the team, but I especially loved his jump shot. So much so that when I practiced as a kid, I tried to emulate it as best I could.
“I loved Reggie Lewis and was devastated when he died.”
Obviously I loved Paul Pierce, as he came along right when I went to college. But nobody since Bird brought me so many exciting/memorable moments, especially in the playoffs, than Rondo. But, it was just time for him to go unfortunately. I love the entire 2008 team and that era (2008-2012ish) will always be close to me. KG made this team relevant again both here in the city and around the world. I’m not quite sure his impact here could be measured, but when it happened it was loud and it was fun. I waited nearly 20 years for them to be back on the NBA map, and felt like I was living a dream during those years, but especially in 2008.
Can you tell us about how the Boston Celtics communities, whether globally, or in Boston, make you feel a part of such a large, and loving sisterhood/brotherhood?
Absolutely. Here, in Boston, they are actually the 4th “most popular” team out of the four major sports teams. The Patriots and Red Sox have an insane following and have been either 1 or 1A for years. The Bruins have a much bigger following, and always have. Even when the Bill Russell Celtics were winning 11 championships in 13 years, it was the Bruins selling out and the Celtics struggling to get fans. I’d say the only time the Celtics were “more popular” would be in the 80’s during the Bird era. Even in 2008, there wasn’t much attention within the city because the Patriots were in the midst of a perfect, undefeated season. The reason why I say all of this is because even though the Celtics are the “Celtics” they still feel like more of a smaller, loyal legion of fandom. It’s great though to see tons of C’s fans in the stands of away arenas, and I’ve experienced it myself traveling to different cities.
Can you tell us about your proudest, or most memorable moment that’s occurred whilst being such a loyal member of the Boston Celtics fan base?
I think I’ve touched on this a little bit already, but obviously being there to witness them winning Banner 17 at the Garden was one of the greatest nights of my life. I almost didn’t make it though, since I was traveling back from LA. My friend and I went out for Game 5, just in case they won it on the road, I wanted to be there. Well, they lost a close game and we flew back the next morning. We had a connecting flight in Philadelphia, which told us our flight back home was cancelled. We slept in the airport, on the floor, hoping to catch the earliest flight back. We lucked out, but due to traffic and other such things, I barely made it back in time for Game 6. Needless to say, it was all worth it… all 18 yearsworth of waiting. We also made the trip out to LA in 2010 for Games 6 & 7, but unfortunately we all know how that ended. We got out just as the LA fans started rioting, so that was an interesting experience especially when you’re one of the only people in a sea of purple and gold that is wearing green. I have met several players over the years in various settings, none of which have been kinder than Pierce.
“being there to witness them winning Banner 17 at the Garden was one of the greatest nights of my life”
With our current performance trend, and after losing key players, how do you see the team holding up over 82 games?
I think this season will end similarly the way last year’s did. Ainge is doing his best “asset acquisition” in order to set the team up to be better in the future. He’s going about it the right way, and believe me after watching this team closely in the 90’s and early 2000’s they are better off. Management back then made bad decisions every year, and it took a long time to recover from the deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis, as well as the Bird Era ending. For now, Brad Stevens just needs to play guys that either A) will be here long term or B) to increase their trade value. It’s a tough position he’s in, but he knew that when he took the job.
Can you share your thoughts on our Celtics community in Australia? Do you see a lot of the Celtic Pride in our many members?
You guys have been great… very supportive of a team that is not only in another country (and continent) but essentially in a different time period! It’s easy for fans like me to follow, but I’m truthfully amazed at the passion you guys have. I know that being connected online makes things a bit easier, but still, it’s fascinating to me. I know the team appreciates it, and I know that the rest of my fellow C’s fans are impressed by your passion.
“I know that the rest of my fellow C’s fans are impressed by your passion” – on Australian Celtics fans.
Any plans to visit us one day? Our team at Celtics Down Under would welcome you with open arms.
Great question… I would love to someday and if I do I’ll definitely contact you.
Any finals words to share with your fellow Celtics fans? Keep your heads up, things will turn around.
Like I said earlier, even though the team is bad like they were in the 90’s, they have far superior management rebuilding them. As fans, all we can do is ask for ownership/management to at least share our passion as fans, and work hard to build them in to a contender as best as they can. I have no doubts that Ainge, along with ownership, is working toward that constantly. In the 90’s there was no such thing and even later on during the dreaded Rick Pitino administration it was worse.
The NBA is the toughest sport to become a true contender, and even tougher to stay that way. But, the Celtics have some of the best/most loyal fans in the world, so we understand what’s going on. The C’s will be back, and just like in 2008, when they get the next banner, it will make it THAT much sweeter.
“The NBA is the toughest sport to become a true contender, and even tougher to stay that way. But, the Celtics have some of the best/most loyal fans in the world”
Thanks so much guys, I enjoyed it!
Celtics Down Under immensely thanks Jay for taking part in
‘Green Runs Deep’.
Check out Jay on Twitter at: @MrTrpleDouble10