Sunday was a day of rest for the Grand Slam of Bling.
But it is still alive.
It’s been a remote possibility since the Patriots won the Super Bowl just three months after the 2018 Red Sox won the World Series.
No city has ever been home to the reigning kings of all four sports simultaneously, but until the Celtics or Bruins are eliminated, Boston remains alive for this glut of championship gold.
Our emotionally exhausting playoff spring resumes Monday with both winter sports teams playing on the same day . . . again. We get the Bruins at 7 p.m. in Columbus for Game 6. The Celtics are at the Garden against the Bucks at the exact same hour for Game 4.
This will be the fifth time the Bruins and Celtics played postseason games on the same date this spring. Wednesday could very well be another conflict of clickers. And we are only in the conference semifinals. Our heads are spinning. Our thumbs are sore from hitting the “LAST” button on the remote device. Our significant others are tired of hearing the same excuse: “Can’t go to that event tonight. Two playoff games to watch. Two!’’
Folks in Colorado (Nuggets and Avalanche) and Northern California (Warriors and Sharks) are going through similar stress in this playoff spring, but those locales aren’t dealing with the Grand Slam of Bling. It’s not as if the Nugs and Avalanche are trying to follow the Rockies and Broncos into the championship circle. Ditto for the Bay Area. The Dubs and Sharks are not following championship seasons by the Giants, A’s, Niners, or Raiders.
No. This is a uniquely Boston thing. And no city has ever done it, though Detroit had three reigning champs (Tigers, Lions, Red Wings) in 1935-36 before there was an NBA.
Boston’s team numbers are numbing. We’ve seen success in eight consecutive playoff rounds. The last time any team from Boston lost a playoff round was when the Celtics dropped Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at home against LeBron James and the Cavaliers last May. This includes the Red Sox (ALDS, ALCS, World Series), Patriots (playoff wins over San Diego, Kansas City and Los Angeles), Bruins (round one vs. Toronto), and Celtics (round one vs. Indiana). New England teams are 26-10 (.722) in postseason play since the Celtics lost to the Cavs last spring.
A Boston Sweep remains highly unlikely, of course. But the paths have been cleared for the Spoked B’s and the Green Team.
The Bruins are one win away from advancing to hockey’s final four. The B’s had the best regular season record of any NHL team still playing. Among the remaining field, the B’s are Vegas favorites to win the Cup. They lead the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, going into Game 6. And now, they have the added incentive of annoying Columbus coach John Tortorella guaranteeing victory for his Blue Jackets on Monday.
If you are a Bruins fan, there is no team left that scares you. If the Bruins beat Columbus, the B’s play Carolina ( progeny of the Hartford Whalers) in the conference final. Brass Bonanza indeed.
The Celtics remain the longshot in our Sweep Dream. They have been annoying and uneven this season. Unlike the Bruins, they tend to fold when they blow a lead. Kyrie Irving has yet to demonstrate that he is a true leader and may soon be leaving Boston to join the Knicks. The Celtics were griping about officiating after they lost Friday night at home against the Bucks. The C’s trail, 2-1, and Monday’s Game 4 could be their final appearance of the season on Causeway Street if they don’t fix things.
The Celtics beat the Bucks by 22 in Game 1 and have had leads in all three games of their series. They simply have to figure out a way to contain Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis has attempted 50 field goals and 50 free throws in the first three games.
If the Green beat the Bucks, they might get Philadelphia in the conference finals. The Celtics dominate the Sixers. It would be a ticket to the Finals.
And a possibility of the Grand Slam of Bling.
The Wall Street Journal has written about it. The Athletic has written about. In April, before the Bruins and Celtics got out of the first round, Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe talked to the B’s and C’s about it.
“I think both teams have realistic possibilities,’’ said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “Let’s get excited about this. We want to do our part. I think it should be exciting.’’
Celtic big man Al Horford agreed.
“I actually have thought about it to be honest,’’ said Horford. “Why can’t we do it?’’
Until one of them loses a playoff round, the dream is still alive.