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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

RIP Red

It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with a great man who used sport as a tool to entertain -- and to make kids into men. Arnold "Red" Auerbach made the Boston Celtics a basketball dynasty and created a pride that has endured through too many lean years,

But life (and with it, politics) is never far from the surface. Auerbach broke basketball's color barriers by drafting Chuck Cooper as the first African-American player in 1950 and naming Bill Russell the first African-American coach in 1966 -- two years after the Celtics fielded the first all-black starting five.

Sports, like politics, has changed for the worst over the years. Overpaid athletes with under developed senses of responsibility and sportmanship (Hello T.O.) dominate all sports. Money has corrupted professional sports, allowing "the anything to win mentality" reflected in the toleration of Barry Bonds. And the incessant salary demands has made a day at the game a luxury few can afford.

So long Red. Thanks for the good times. And you're free to light 'em at will.

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