Patriots

The most memorable Boston sports moments of the decade

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The most memorable Boston sports moments of the decade

The New England sports scene has been quite eventful over the last 10 years. In an effort to let your thoughts be heard, we took to social media to see which memories stood out the most: 

Here’s what you said: 

1. “This is our f--king city, and nobody gonna dictate our freedom.”

In a moment that transcended sports, David Ortiz took the mic at Fenway Park to proclaim that Boston would not back down despite the terrorism it faced during the 2013 Boston marathon bombings. 

Fast forward to the 2013 ALCS, Ortiz would hit a grand slam in Game 2 that tied the game in the eighth inning before a Jarrod Saltalamacchia over the Tigers. The Red Sox would eventually go to win the World Series at home.

If you want to re-live more of the 2013 Red Sox team, here’s a fun story about that squad and their beards from our Camera Guys.

2. Isaiah Thomas’ 53-point performance on late sister's birthday

On April 15, 2017, Isaiah Thomas' sister, Chyna Thomas, died in a car accident at the age of 22. Her passing had a big impact on Isaiah Thomas, but he continued to play for the Celtics during their playoff run.

On May 2, 2017, Thomas put forth one of the greatest single-game efforts in Celtics postseason history. He dropped 53 points on the Washington Wizards and scored 29 combined in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the Celtics to victory.

The significance of that day? It was Chyna's birthday.

Following Thomas' epic performance, Thomas gave a heartfelt interview and said of his performance, "The least I can do is go out and play for her."

And Avery Bradley said of the effort: "That's what Isaiah Thomas does, he's special."

The C’s would eventually make it to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to LeBron James and the Cavs in a five-game series.

3. Malcolm's Butler's Super Bowl-clinching interception... and his Super Bowl benching

Perhaps no Patriots player has experienced higher highs and lower lows in a Super Bowl this decade than Malcolm Butler

In Super Bowl 49, Butler was the hero for the Patriots, as his iconic interception of Russell Wilson on the goal line sealed the deal for the Patriots and gave them their fourth Super Bowl title.

 

However, in Super Bowl 52, Butler was inexplicably benched for the game despite being the Patriots' best cornerback. He played a grand total of one snap and it came on special teams in the team's 41-33 loss to the Eagles.

Much has been made of the decision to bench Butler in the time since then, but in truth, only Bill Belichick holds the answer. And every time he was asked about it, it was a dead end.

4. The Patriots 28-3 Super Bowl 51 comeback vs the Atlanta Falcons

With the Falcons up 28-3 on the Patriots past the midway point of the third quarter, Arthur Blank and the Falcons front office looked pretty happy and confident that they had things wrapped up.

The Patriots, however, had other ideas.

The team came storming back behind strong efforts from the defense, Tom Brady, and James White. Eventually, they were able to force overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history and White managed to find the end zone.

That play gave Brady his fifth Super Bowl title, the most of any quarterback in NFL history, and it also gave the Patriots the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.

5. Patrice Bergeron’s series-winning goal in Game 7 vs. the Canucks

The 2011 Bruins went on a big-time run full of long, thrilling series en route to their first Stanley Cup since 1972. They took the Vancouver Canucks to Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final and Bergeron's series-winning goal secured the cup despite the Bruins being on the road.

Honorable [Twitter] mentions: 

The 2008 Celtics because apparently a few of you struggle with math. It’s ok, I do too sometimes. 

@SRubinroit: Meb [Keflezighi] winning the 2014 Boston Marathon a year after the bombing. @KGBligh agreed.

@shane5361: “Drafting Jaylen Brown.” We’ll just skip over the part when some people booed Wyc for announcing that pick. 

@BostonSport12: “Kyrie Irving, the whole thing”

Honorable IG mentions: 

@itsryanotoole: “When the Revolution beat the Red Bulls in New Jersey 2014 nothing else Is even close & if you think so you don’t know one thing about SPORTS OR BOSTON.” @dan_faynstein 2014 agreed by saying, “revs playoff run”

@truth_seek3r369: “A rookie Jayson Tatum putting lebron james on a poster 🔥” Legend has it that he was only 19.

There are so many moments that it really feels unfair to just pick one as you can see from this thread from @MikeDynon:

Instagram user @alexdonn41 sums it up best, “Perhaps all of our sports teams doing great over the past 10 years?”

*mic drop*

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @NBCSBoston and at @NBCSCeltics, @NBCSPatriots, and @NBCSRevs on Twitter for your team-specific needs!

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Rob Gronkowski may be done with football, but he continues to find ways to entertain us on our television screens.

The former New England Patriots tight end is hosting WrestleMania 36 this weekend alongside WWE star Mojo Rawley. And as one would expect, Gronk brought the energy to start off the two-night event.

“[WWE] picked the right guy [to host WrestleMania], because I know how to start a party on a Saturday night and end it 30 hours later," Gronk quipped in his introduction.

Watch below:

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Between the WWE and his various other ventures, Gronkowski seemingly has been everywhere these last few weeks. He appeared on SmackDown, was revealed as White Tiger in "The Masked Singer," and participated in a virtual beer pong tournament for coronavirus relief.

In other words, retirement seems to be treating the future Pro Football Hall of Famer well.

Stephon Gilmore seems to think covering new Bills WR Stefon Diggs will be 'light work'

Stephon Gilmore seems to think covering new Bills WR Stefon Diggs will be 'light work'

Does New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore think covering new Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be "light work?" 

It certainly seems that way. Gilmore defended Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper after former Bills and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan called Cooper a "turd" on ESPN's "Get Up."

The 29-year-old called Cooper one of the "toughest receivers in the league to cover," but when a fan responded saying Diggs will be tougher, another fan said he'd be "light work" and Gilmore liked that tweet. 

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Will Diggs really be that difficult for the Defensive Player of the Year to handle? It's tough to say, but Diggs put up some impressive numbers with the Minnesota Vikings before being traded to the Bills.

Listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast here: 

In five seasons with the Vikings, Diggs has 4,623 yards and 30 touchdowns -- he's had 1,000-plus yards receiving in back-to-back years and has never played a full 16-game season. On the other hand, Gilmore had six interceptions last season with two touchdowns, 44 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. 

With the Patriots and Bills set to meet at least twice next season, it'll be interesting to see how things shake out.