By Kevin Henkin
The dream is always the same. It began haunting me back when the Celtics graced nearly every magazine cover in sight during the pre-season and subsequently took the league by storm with their relentless winning. Since then, national broadcasters have been clamoring to get their games on the schedule, Celtics merchandise has been flying off the shelves and Spike Lee has reportedly gone on suicide watch. Yes, it’s certainly been a sublime period for the Celtics organization. Even so, at this crucial juncture as they head into their first meaningful postseason in nearly two decades, one has to wonder: Are they truly ready for the big stage? At times like these, men of action and vision are needed, men who can lead the way into the promised land of themed musical integration and cross-media marketing potential. Indeed, it is a time for a dentist named Dr. Charles Steinberg to take command of the scene and weave his magic.
Imagine, if you will, a world where the Celtics are able to lure Dr. Charles away from the tight clutches of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They then have him flown in from California and hastily delivered to the Garden with a televised State Police escort. He is left with mere days to plan the ceremonies surrounding the Celtics’ first game of the playoffs. The dream goes a little something like this…
45 minutes before tip off
Terry Cashman arrives at center court with a freshly composed song dedicated to all the Celtics who have worn the green without glory over the past 22 seasons.
This is for Sherman Douglas,
This is for Dino Radja
This is for Alaa Abdelnaby,
They know these new guys aren’t too shabby!
This is for Walt McCarty
This one’s for Kenneth Anderson
This is for Greggy Minor
Our new squad’s never finer.
They’ll win it for Stojko, Barros and Popeye Jones
Says Robert Parish with his bones.
Print a new banner,
Ainge is such a planner.
No longer reason to be sore,
Pitino don’t live here anymore!
39 minutes before tip off
Donnie Wahlberg presents Tom DeCerchio, Director of the movie Celtics Pride, with a Boston Film Lifetime Achievement Award.
32 minutes before tip off
David Thirdkill, representing the 1986 championship team, leads a moment of silence for Johnny Most, Dennis Johnson and Jerry Sichting’s hair.
27 minutes before tip off
Dr. Charles takes the microphone and announces that commemorative minted replicas of the coin to be used in the upcoming coin toss will be available for sale in the various shops in the arena. An uncomfortable silence follows as Mike Gorman quietly informs Steinberg that coin tosses are not used in basketball games.
20 minutes before tip off
Peter Cetera sits in with The Dropkick Murphys to perform an updated version of his former hit “The Glory of Love”, which was #1 on the Billboard charts when the Celtics last won a title on June 8, 1986. By the crescendo, there is nary a dry eye in the establishment.
We’ll Live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all with the glory of love
We did it all for love
Woooooo ooo ooo
We did it all for love….
10 minutes before tipoff
A hasty shoot-around is squeezed in. During the brief break in entertainment, the Jumbotron shows Troy Brown and Tedy Bruschi sitting court-side. The crowd erupts in cheers until the electronic feed to the screens is suddenly cut. Dr. Charles smiles and gives a helpless shrug. “I don’t even know who those guys are,” he says with a laugh.
5 minutes before tip off
The national anthem is sung by Rik Ocasek, Peter Wolfe and Steven Tyler. As they finish, the Jumbotron is turned on again and shows a trio of Navy jets doing a flyover just over the Garden roof.
Patriotic pandemonium ensues. By the time the game starts, the crowd is well spent, just like their hard-earned entertainment dollars.
As always, I eventually wake up and am forced to sift the reverie from reality. In that reality, the Celtics team remains a monster, and yet….the in-game entertainment wants for that special touch of a certain dentist who now works his magic out in the land of dreams. Alas, we’ll always have Peter Cetera.