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|Red Auerbach smokes one of his trademark cigars in a 1996 portrait.|
Boston has to be named TitleTown because championships don't lie.
The Boston Celtics have won 16 NBA championships and 19 conference titles. The Celtics were the original dynasty, winning 11 titles in 13 seasons from 1957-1969. That includes eight titles in a row, the most in pro sports history. The list of greats goes on and on: Tommy Heinsohn, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Paul Pierce, and now KG and Ray Ray.
The Boston Red Sox have won seven World Series titles and 12 AL pennants. Whether it's the Babe, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans, Luis Tiant, Joe Morgan, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Nomar, Manny, Shilling or David Ortiz, the Sox have always had some of the best players in the game and their World Series titles show that.
The Boston University men's ice hockey team has won 28 Beanpot titles and four national titles in 1971, 1972, 1978 and 1995. It has also produced NHL stars such as Keith Tkachuk, Jay Pandolfo, Chris Drury and Rick DiPietro. The Boston College men's hockey team sports one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history: Jerry York has more than 800 wins. BC won national titles in 1941, 2001 and 2008 and has produced NHL players like Brian Gionta, Bill Guerin and Brian Leetch.
With all those championships, I dare someone to try to make a better case for their town.
Boston has also given the sports world innumerable unforgettable highlights. Everyone who has ever even flicked by ESPN while channel surfing has seen Doug Flutie of Boston College defeat Miami with a Hail Mary. Who could possibly forget Larry Bird's shot over the backboard? Or Bobby Orr's infamous ice dive? What other town has Pesky's Pole or Jerry Remy calling games on NESN? Every year, high school track teams in the greater Boston area run a meet in honor of Red Auerbach, at none other than the Reggie Lewis Center. Boston fans, players and teams are far and away the best in the nation, if not the world.
Boston is TitleTown USA.
Everyone knows how the four major teams break down, but you can also add the Revolution. Any town with five teams that compete at a high level in their sport has to get my vote. Factor in the Frozen Four and you have a lock for TitleTown USA.
The city of Boston is my pick for TitleTown. With all the storied history, is there a better rivalry in sports than Yankees-Red Sox? With all the richness and charm, is there a better ballpark than Fenway Park and its Green Monster? The New England Patriots, has any team displayed such dominance for so long when all odds were stacked against them? With free agency such a powerful force, the idea that they have been this successful for this long is simply outrageous. Anyone not counting this team as one of, if not the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL will eventually have history to answer to ...
Brings me to the Celtics. Ladies and gentlemen, we're baaaack! The Celtics' run of 16 NBA Championships in 30 seasons from '57-'86, including 11 of 13 and eight straight in the '57-'69 seasons is something of video game lore. What else can be said except that this team has just posted the biggest turnaround ever in the NBA and looks primed for No. 17 ... Boston is known especially for these things: great teams, great players, great stadiums, passionate fans and a legacy for winning against all odds. Heck, we even revel in our losses! What other city can there be for consideration of "TitleTown" when the city of Boston just feels so right.