Author Topic: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?  (Read 7274 times)

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As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« on: February 05, 2013, 04:47:08 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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Years ago, I remember the New York Yankees fan base being criticized.  The gist of the criticism was that they were spoiled, arrogant fans, for whom only championships mattered (and to which they were entitled).  They didn't appreciate their players, only seeing them as a means to an end. 

Now, bashing Yankees fans is a New England birth right.  However, I've been thinking about that criticism a lot over the last few months, and am wondering if it applies equally to Boston fans.  If so, is that a bad thing?  Or, are titles the only reason why we watch sports?

I think that where you come down on that question -- are titles the only thing that is important -- probably heavily influences where you fall on the "trade Pierce and/or KG" debate.  Many fans who only value titles are going to take a look at our current roster, coldly assess its championship chances, and decide that it's time to rebuild, hopefully transitioning to the next title team.  Now, even among the "title only" fans, there can be disagreement; somebody may believe that this year's team has at least as good of a shot at winning a title as any rebuilding team is likely to have over the next 5-10 years.  However, most of the "trade KG / Pierce" fans are doing it because they feel like a season without a title is a failure.

I'd submit that there's more to sports than winning championships.  Sure, that's the ultimate goal.  However, there's something to be said for watching all-time greats play.  How many fans of losing franchises would kill to have the chance to watch KG play every night?  How many fans of other franchises would love to cheer on the second and fourth leading scorers among active players? 

For fans who love the game beyond just winning titles, turning on the TV and rooting their team on to a hard-fought victory is always going to be superior to rooting for their team to lose.  Playoff games -- even if they result in first round exits -- are more fun to root for than ping pong balls.

There's a lot of criticism that fans who root with their hearts or with sentimentality are somehow missing the bigger picture.  I don't think so.  Watching the Captain hit a dagger against the Clippers or watching KG make a huge defensive play are always going to be enjoyable experiences, and there's nothing at all wrong with those fans who want to enjoy another season or two of that before we move on to the next phase.  To many fans, it's infinitely more enjoyable to watch KG bleed green than it is to root for the next Gerald Green.


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Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 05:06:29 PM »

Offline Redz

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I don't think championships are the only that counts for me as a fan, but they definitely can define and distinguish a group of players.

There are a ton of years for teams that I root for that are some of my favorites despite having missed winning a title.

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Most of the Sox teams of my youth.


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Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 05:09:42 PM »

Offline ScottHow

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My perspective.

I'm a fan of the game and of the Celtics. I root for them to win, but the ultimate goal is winning the title. Wanting to see the team at the top of the sport.

I want that to happen as quick as possible, which is why I am against holding on to players just to see an early round exit. I figure I have plenty of years to see us not win a title, but not many seeing us actually win it all. So for me moving on as quick as possible is the goal.

I'll admit that seeing favorite players go is tough. Watching PP and KG walk out that door is hard to do, but the next great Celtic can't walk through the door until we start rebuilding and moving on to the next phase.

That is just how I view it.

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 05:13:06 PM »

Offline Ersatz

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A championship is awesome. Taking the best team in the league to 7 games with a roster full of over-the-hill and injured players who aren't supposed to even be there is pretty awesome too. Heartbreaking, yup, but I'd rather have heartbreak than mediocrity.

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 05:14:30 PM »

Offline erisred

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No, but they do matter a whole lot!

As a general rule, I'd say that the Celtics should always be in one of two modes: Contending for Championships or Getting into Position to Contend for Championships. They should never be Settling for Middle of the Pack.

Having said that, I am opposed to trading Pierce and/or KG in anything less than an Auerbachian swindle of a deal. I firmly believe you need players like Pierce and KG on your team if you are going to compete for championships...even at their advanced age...so unless you're getting someone better (and there are very few better) you don't trade them.

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 05:16:16 PM »

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You need to at least feel it is a possibility. That you can compete for one or your team will get a chance to play for one down the road. That is building towards a title.

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 05:16:41 PM »

Offline Celtics18

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TP for a great post, Roy.  Of course a championship is the most satisfactory outcome for any season that one is rooting for a sports team.   But, for me, it's not the only way I define a great season.  I think you can definitely have a great season while falling short of the ultimate goal.

Personally, I've never subscribed to the theory that it's better to tank and start over than to stick with a team that is good enough to make the playoffs but a long shot to win the whole thing. 
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Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 05:23:07 PM »

Offline More Banners

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I don't expect titles, but I expect to be in the mix.

80's Boston sports fans got to see the Pats not win the Superbowl, Red Sox not win the world series, the Bruins with Bourque/Neely/GreatGoalie not win the cup, and the Celtics win championships, but almost always in the Finals (losses to LA in 87 and 88), ECF, or having epic playoff battles with the best stars, as against Dominique and Jordan, in playoff runs that fall far short of the goal.

This current C's team, once it gets everything lubed up and tuned up, will be one hell of a tough out in the playoffs.  The starting defense has disruptive potential, and the bench has explosive scoring potential.  Who would want to game plan for that?

That's why I want to get that one piece that, IMO, would give this team more than a long-shot chance to do something special in the playoffs this year and next.

We can be more than a tough out.

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 05:27:41 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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You need to at least feel it is a possibility. That you can compete for one or your team will get a chance to play for one down the road. That is building towards a title.

I agree with this, with one exception: if the team has been terrible for a long time (e.g. 4-5 seasons) and the organization has been in disarray, then I'd start to feel like just having a reasonably competitive season that ended in a trip to the playoffs would be worthwhile, even if the team made a few "win-now" moves at the expense of potential to do it. 

For example, if I were a fan of the Kings or the Wizards, I'd be okay with trading young guys just to put together a decent, watchable team for a season or three.  It's important, I think, not to get stuck in a recurring cycle of losing.  There's long-term value in breaking out of that.

That thinking is what affects my willingness to blow up the Celtics -- it's not always wrong to want to keep a playoff-caliber team together just for the sake of making the playoffs despite the fact that you have no realistic shot at a championship. 

But when the team has been a contender or fringe contender for 5 straight years, I don't feel a desperate need to win 40 or so games just for the sake of it.  I can deal with this team being in the lottery for a few years if it means we can get closer to being a 60 win team sooner.
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Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 05:30:52 PM »

Offline scaryjerry

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Nope not at all...which is why I'd rather go down fighting with kg/pierce with little chance at a championship then trade them for any package I've seen thrown out there


Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 05:30:58 PM »

Offline Lightskinsmurf

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I wouldn't say its the ONLY thing that matters. However i agree with what another poster has said. Boston should either be contending for championships or getting itself in position to contend for one. Not just settling for being a middle of the pack team.

Championships is the ultimate goal. Its ALOT more fun for me when my team has a legit shot at a title like my patriots do every single year. Even if they don't win it every year i know they're serious contenders every year which makes it fun to watch.

Now is it championship or bust? That depends on the situation. If you're coming into a season built to win a championship and it can realistically be done and that's the goal and by the end of the season it doesn't get done? Then yeah, its a bust.

Just like my patriots id consider this year a total failure because the goal was to win a championship and it didn't get done. The goal was not to lose to miami or the bulls in the playoffs. So if that happens it will be a failure to me.

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 05:31:48 PM »

Offline Kane3387

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For the most part I think so, but that is a very tough question to answer. I guess I ultimately am unless the player does a Hometown discount.

I think for certain organizations this is true. And thus it will be of its fans.

Patriots are definitely that way. In a way I beliece they are the most cold blooded team in sports and that isn't bad. I mean it along of the lines of there is no sentimental attachments with them.

They wouldn't hesitate to Tom Brady if someone offered them the RG3 trade package. Kraft already said he wants to keep Brady arounds as long as possible "as long as he is productive". Guys like Seymour, etc. have been moved for packages that NE thought would help them win more titles in the future.

The Dallas Cowboys are like this. So are the Lakers and Yankees. LA shipped out Shaq after he really was the prime guy to revitalize the organization. Gasol and Odom were as good as gone one year after helping them win two titles. Fisher was dumped in Houston.

Some teams are more sentimental then others. Spurs for example are. Dallas with Dirk is.

I'm not really sure where Boston is in that regard. I tend to think the Celtics would be somewhere in between where the Patriots are and where the Spurs are.

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Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 05:36:27 PM »

Offline scaryjerry

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For the most part I think so, but that is a very tough question to answer.

I think for certain organizations this is true.

Patriots are definitely that way. In a way I beliece they are the most cold blooded team in sports and that isn't bad. I mean it along of the lines of there is no sentimental attachments with them.

They wouldn't hesitate to Tom Brady if someone offered them the RG3 trade package. Kraft already said he wants to keep Brady arounds as long as possible "as long as he is productive". Guys like Seymour, etc. have been moved for packages that NE thought would help them win more titles in the future.

The Dallas Cowboys are like this. So are the Lakers and Yankees. LA shipped out Shaq after he really was the prime guy to revitalize the organization. Gasol and Odom were as good as gone one year after helping them win two titles. Fisher was dumped in Houston.

Some teams are more sentimental then others. Spurs for example are. Dallas with Dirk is.

I'm not really sure where Boston is in that regard. I tend to think the Celtics would be somewhere in between where the Patriots are and where the Spurs are.

idk...the patriots are like this but only because they have Brady/Bellichick....I think bill was actually somewhat satisfied with the growth of the team and certain players this year and there was no championship..they're actually growing towards a title in a totally different era other then Brady when they actually won...once they're gone so will be the expectations for a championship every year, I also think there's a chance they get sentimental about Brady.

I also think the cowboys are at a point where they would be satisfied with a couple playoff wins...the steelers are more championship or bust.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 05:43:54 PM by scaryjerry »

Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 05:39:14 PM »

Offline Kane3387

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I will also say this...

Watching the Celtics from 2008-now has been much more enjoyable then watching the Celtics of 2002-04.

I would rather watch my team competing for a title then a certain player who I liked regardless of legacy.

So yeah I would trade watching the last 2 years of KG and Pierce if it meant in 2-3 years I got to watch my Celtics play in late May and June for another 5-6 year run.

That's just me.

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Re: As a fan, are championships the only thing that matter?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 05:41:52 PM »

Offline Lightskinsmurf

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I will also say this...

Watching the Celtics from 2008-now has been much more enjoyable then watching the Celtics of 2002-04.

I would rather watch my team competing for a title then a certain player who I liked regardless of legacy.

So yeah I would trade watching the last 2 years of KG and Pierce if it meant in 2-3 years I got to watch my Celtics play in late May and June for another 5-6 year run.

That's just me.

Oh yeah definitely, without question.

 

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