What a Boston sports fan hopes will happen (THOUGHTS)

Item Sports Editor Joey Barrett. (Design: Sam Deeb)

I’m a pro sports fan with 17 basketball championships, six Super Bowls, six Stanley Cups, and nine World Series titles.

I’m still sad.

My frustrations with the Bruins and Celtics are still here. I mean, seriously, we lost to the wild-card Florida Panthers and eighth-seeded Miami Heat – both in game sevens, both at TD Garden.

I could go on and on. With the Bruins, it was their lack of physicality, below-average goaltending, and inability to stand up for star players. Call me old-fashioned, but that’s what it was.

As for the Celtics, I agree with what Shaquille O’Neal said postgame. He said he would’ve called a timeout and told his teammates that the next player who shoots a three will be punched in the face.

All this got me thinking, what now? What should the Bruins and Celtics do?

The Bruins drive me up a wall, but I still love them. I think this roster has more heart than the Celtics, so I’m not going to tear the whole thing down – yet.

Also, this is very Bergeron- and Krejci-dependent. Whether they retire, or stay, is beyond me. But for the sake of this, let’s say they’re gone.

On a side note, if that’s the case, they’re two of the best centers in hockey history – happy retirement from a grateful fan.

OK. The game is evolving, and you can’t win without skating and stickhandling. That said, do not touch Pastrnak, McAvoy, DeBrusk, or Coyle. They’re all fast, skilled, and – without Stanley Cup wins – still hungry.

Seriously, do you think Pastrnak, McAvoy, DeBrusk, and Coyle were why we lost? I do not.

Like Mickey said to Rocky, “Speed’s what we need!” Don Sweeney, go get it.

As for whom we trade, it’s time to get rid of mediocrity – you know exactly whom I’m talking about. Having forwards who score six times in 82 games obviously isn’t cutting it.

Even a decade or so ago, grinders Daniel Paille (19 goals) and Gregory Cambell (13) got involved offensively. I’d tell our third- and fourth-line players – give me 12-15 goals, or you’re out of a job.

I’d much rather bring a kid up from Providence and suffer through some growing pains. I’d want to watch him fly around the ice and, frankly, have a blast representing the best hockey city on the planet.

Let’s change up the lines, too. As much as I love Marchand – my third-favorite player in sports history – I think 61-goal Pastrnak has established himself as our best player now. I’d put Pastrnak on the first line and Marchand on the second.

That way, each line has a star, and we’re not relying on a “perfection line” situation where we ride or die on Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak.

Celtics. Oh, Celtics. I like Tatum and Brown individually – a lot, actually – but they just don’t work together.

Yes, before you call me emotional because of what happened Monday night, I’ve actually thought about this. Tatum and Brown are just too similar.

I think this team needs two players who complement each other. Seriously, do you think Tatum makes Brown better, or the other way around?

Kobe and Shaq complemented each other. They were better players because the other was there.

Kobe’s ability to lose defenders on the perimeter created odd-man situations for Shaq to finish around the rim. Conversely, Shaq got double-teamed every play, to which Kobe was smart enough to move without the ball and practice shooting on the catch.

You know what I mean?

Those are the things Tatum and Brown don’t do to help each other. I’m not holding it against them, necessarily, they’re just too similar and play too isolated from each other.

So, yeah, let’s break them up and go from there.


Connor Cronin of Marblehead boys lacrosse was just named Player of the Year in the Northeastern Conference. I talked to him on the phone last week for a different story – what a great, hard-working kid.

I love when high school teams promote themselves on social media. KIPP basketball, Classical softball, Lynnfield boys lacrosse, and St. Mary’s all do a great job on Twitter.

I’ve already named my favorite local logo and uniform. As for my favorite field, I’ve got to go with Manning Field in Lynn. It’s spaced out, renovated, and has great parking. To facilities manager Rich Avery and company, well done.

Congratulations to Caitlin Snow of Peabody girls lacrosse for collecting her 250th career save, and Anthony D’Itria of St. Mary’s track for winning MVP of the city meet.

Super Bowl halftime performances are atrocious nowadays, and you know it. I know young pop singers are chosen because the NFL wants to appeal to fans not interested in the game, but Kenny Chesney singing “The Boys of Fall” would be so much classier.

The Big House and Tuscaloosa can take a back seat. The Tennessee Volunteers have the best environment in college sports. From the orange and white, to the checkered endzones, and to Peyton Manning being present at every big game, there’s just nothing like it.

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