Mazz: Celebrating the '12 Days of Christmazz' in the Golden Age of Boston Sports

The Boston Red Sox World Series Trophies on display at Fenway Park before the Victory Parade around Boston on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub

The 12 Days of Christmas, believe it or not, begin on December 25. But we here at 98.5 The Sports Hub have our own way of doing things, so we’re counting backwards. As such, as we conclude 2018, we give you the 12 Days of Christmazz to celebrate what has been another typically eventful year in the unprecedented Golden Age of Boston sports.

Twelve drummers drumming for Tom Brady, the peerless No. 12, whose year essentially began during a postseason in which he went 89-for-139 with 1,122 yards, 8 touchdowns and no interceptions, culminating with a Super Bowl LII performance in which he passed for a whopping 505 yards and three touchdowns ... in a loss. Brady’s postseason rating at age 40: a sterling 108.3. The clock may be ticking on Brady’s career, but it still sounds as forceful as a drumbeat.

Nov 4, 2018, Foxborough, MA: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 4, 2018, Foxborough, MA: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Eleven pipers piping for David Price, who should have been the Most Valuable Player of the World Series and who has (seemingly) forever silenced the nattering nabobs of negativity by winning in the postseason – and winning big. As such, Price is the one doing the piping now. "I hold all the cards now," he said after winning the World Series clincher. And he does.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: David Price of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with the World Series trophy after his team's 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five to win the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: David Price of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with the World Series trophy after his team's 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five to win the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Ten lords a-leaping for Celtics budding superstar Jayson Tatum, who posterized the great LeBron James with an epic dunk in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last spring. Tatum and the Celtics aren’t all the way there yet, but the trade that essentially sent Markelle Fultz to the Philadelphia 76ers for Tatum and another lottery pick looks as though it could be Danny Ainge’s smaller-scale version of Joe Barry Carroll for Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.

Dec 10, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after a three point basket during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Nine ladies dancing for eternal frat boy Rob Gronkowski, one for each of his catches in the Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles. Is Gronk the same player anymore? Probably not. But during this giving season, let’s try to remember him for what he was at his peak – an old school, Atlas of a man who bulldozed defenses with the ball in his hands and a showgirl on each arm.

Rob Gronkowski makes a 4-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski makes a 4-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Eight maids a-milking for David Pastrnak, No. 88, the dynamic, young right winger of the Bruins who looks like a teen heartthrob. With that hair, he should have been playing in the ‘70s – without a helmet. Don’t look now, but Pasta played in all 94 Bruins games last season – including playoffs – and hasn’t missed one this year, either. He’s on pace for 55 goals in 2018-19 and has 24 points in 18 career postseason games. Whoosh.

Apr 14, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates after a goal during the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs in game two of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates after a goal during the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs in game two of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Seven swans a-swimming for Kyrie Irving and, for that matter, Patrice Bergeron, two of the more graceful performers ever to set foot into the home building on Causeway Street, and who distinguish themselves in different ways. Really, has there ever been a prouder, more dignified Boston athlete than Bergeron? And as for Kyrie on the floor, he’s a basketball Baryshnikov performing his personal version of Swan Lake.

Nov 14, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) controls the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Six geese a-laying for Nathan Eovaldi, one for each of the six innings he pitched in relief in epic Game 3 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium. While the unfortunate outcome was that Eovaldi took a loss – the only Red Sox defeat in his six postseason appearances – the lasting result is a legacy in Boston sports lore. To us, he put up six goose eggs. So we’re giving them to him now.

Oct 26, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi prepares to throw a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th inning in game three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Five golden rings for Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and the Patriots, even after the heartbreaking loss of Super Bowl LII, because, well, five rings deserve five rings. As much time as we have spent talking about internal turmoil and power struggles in Foxboro over the last year or so, the more surprising story may be that the Patriots have been able to keep it all together for as long as they have. Think of it this way: in America, how many marriages have ended since Kraft, Belichick and Brady joined hands?

Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Four calling birds for John Henry, Dave Dombrowski, Alex Cora and the Red Sox, one for each of the World Series they have won during the Henry ownership era. The Red Sox have taken their share of grief over the years (ahem), but their 2018 season was the best by any major league team since Henry took ownership of the club, and they rank second in overall regular season victories (averaging 91 per season) while ranking first in championships.

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora hoists the Commissioner's Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora hoists the Commissioner's Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Three French hens for Brad Marchand, the menacing rooster of a winger who lives on the edge – and too often goes over it. Nonetheless, in the last three full NHL seasons, Marchand scored more goals (111) than any NHL player but Alex Ovechkin and Vladimir Tarasenko, and he has played even strength, on the power play, on the penalty kill. One request, Marchy: keep your tongue in your mouth. No more French kisses.

Brad Marchand (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Brad Marchand (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Two turtle doves for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens, now the longest-tenured tandem of architect and coach in the Boston market. (Sorry, a solo Bill Belichick doesn’t count.) Stevens is now in his sixth season in Boston, Ainge his 16th. The proverbial honeymoon is over, the Celtics are now loaded with talent, and championships are the goal. Lean on each other, gentlemen. The last steps are the hardest.

WALTHAM, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: General manager Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics speaks with the media during Boston Celtics Media Day on Sept. 26, 2016 in Waltham, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
WALTHAM, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: General manager Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics speaks with the media during Boston Celtics Media Day on Sept. 26, 2016 in Waltham, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

And a partridge in a pear tree for the continuation of this extraordinary era in Boston sports, during which the Patriots (five), Red Sox (four), Celtics (one) and Bruins (one) have combined for a stunning 11 championships (and counting?) since 2001, not to mention a mind-numbing 24 trips to the semifinals (conference or American League championship) during this millennium. Quite simply, there has never been anything like in any other city in American sports history.

Happy holidays, indeed.

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.