Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Reason to Prefer Larry Bird's Red Auerbach's Celtics

No fucking cheerleaders.

Boston Globe: Go-go dancing all over Red's grave

Red Auerbach, the iconic coach and general manager who built 16 Celtics championship teams, was disdainful of cheerleaders, who he feared would distract from the game. The Celtics would have cheerleaders over his dead body, Red said. And so the suits waited. In February 2004, Auerbach told the Globe, "They're just waiting for me to die so they can get cheerleaders." He was right. Two and a half years later, Red was dead, and at the first available opportunity the girls took the court.


As a fairly recent transplant from New York, I'm a little puzzled by all this. I thought that I was moving to the land of stiff collars and self-restraint. No one thinks of Boston as "sexy." Boston is classic. It's distinguished. It's Brooks Brothers and Bloody Marys.

Maybe that's why the Celtics Dancers' erotic interruptions feel so incongruous. And when I glance around at the game, I see plenty of baffled faces. There are suburban dads in attendance with preteen daughters, shrugging helplessly. They seem to be saying, "These aren't your role models!" There are respectable older gentlemen, like my father-in-law, who sinks deeper into his popcorn. Our eyes don't meet. There are also legions of teenage boys, their eyes like saucers, holding up their cellphones to get the perfect soft-porn picture to show off around school. I guess those are the customers the Celtics are hoping to please.