Heartbreak has befallen both the fans of New England sports and the foes of it, but what are the five best moments that unfortunately still came to no avail? After careful consideration, one from each of the Boston teams was found, except two for the Patriots, totaling to five moments.
NUMBER 5: The Boston Bruins 2013 Playoffs
“Bergeron! Bergeron! Bergeron!” chanted Bruins radio play-by-play announcer, Dave Goucher, as Patrice Bergeron jumped into the excited arms of his teammates after the incredible 3rd period and Overtime Game 7 comeback over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Everything had looked gloomy with about ten minutes left in regulation, until Bergeron’s Bruins scored 3 goals to tie the game at 4 apiece and sent the B’s onto the next round and eventually onto the Stanley Cup Finals. Unfortunately, this great upset led to no trophy for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s Chicago Blackhawks took only six games to take home the title over Boston.
NUMBER 4: The Boston Celtics 2002 Eastern Conference Finals
Versus the New Jersey Nets, the Celtics made possibly one of the greatest single game comebacks in NBA history: down 84-53 at the end of three quarters, Game 3 hopes looked grim for Celtics fans. Fortunately, Paul Pierce led his team to a 41-16 fourth quarter which ended in a 94-90 Celtics win. This was incredible, although the Nets took Games 4, 5, and 6 to win the series and head to the NBA Finals.
NUMBER 3: The Boston Red Sox 1975 World Series
Game 6 of the 1975 World Series versus the Cincinnati Reds’ Big Red Machine is what led to the left field pole on the Green Monster at Fenway Park to be called the “Fisk Pole.” The thriller of Game 6 began with future beloved Bruins singer of the national anthems of the United States and Canada, Rene Rancourt belting out the Star Spangled Banner, it got interesting when Red Sox’ outfielder Bernie Carbo tied the game in the eighth inning, and it ended when BoSox’ Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk swung his arms above his head, waving the ball fair, and hit a walk-off home run. The next game, Game 7, ended with Redlegs’ center fielder, Cesar Geronimo jumping in midair after catching the Carl Yastrzemski fly ball that finished the ’75 series.
NUMBER 2: The New England Patriots 2015 Super Bowl XLIX
When Russell Wilson tossed the ball to Jermaine Kearse, it looked an awful lot like the ball had hit the ground, but in actuality, the Seattle Seahawks receiver had kicked the ball up before taking control of it. Seattle then took the ball from the spot of the lucky grab and drove down to the Patriots’ one yard line where head coach Pete Carroll told his quarterback to pass the ball instead of handing it off to great running back Marshawn Lynch. Fortunately, this has a happy ending for the Foxboro based franchise because with about 20 seconds remaining in that quarter, which happened to be the fourth, young and unknown cornerback Malcolm Butler made the biggest play of his career and intercepted the ball in the end zone to preserve the Pats’ 28-24 lead and win the 49th NFL Super Bowl.
NUMBER 1: The New England Patriots 2017 Super Bowl LI
Apart from losing the 28-3 lead, the Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback, Matt Ryan, tossed a seemingly impossible throw to future Hall of Famer Julio Jones, but he miraculously caught the projectile over the out of bounds line and slammed his feet into fair territory before falling out of play having gained the dearly needed yardage. Without that highlight reel play, Atlanta would not have made it into field goal range. Once again, to the delight of all of New England, the Patriots’ opponents would befall great misfortune: after several yards lost due to sacks that would push the Falcons out of field goal range, a Matt Bosher punt to the nine yard line, a Julian Edelman catch that seemed to transcend the realm of human ability, a Danny Amendola touchdown, a two-point conversion, an Overtime period, a James White touchdown, and a Tom Brady MVP Award, with a score of 34-28, the Patriots rendered the incredible Jones play redundant and secured the greatest NFL comeback in Super Bowl history.
There have been many incredible plays in New England Sports history that tragically or joyfully did not come to ultimate fruition, but these are the obvious top five. Despite the misfortune that might meet the great city of Boston, it is important to keep in mind that they did win at least one championship in each of the Big Four sports in under ten years.