Celtic pride in Modi’in at 3:30 a.m.

I made aliya last year and brought my Boston sports triad with me.

celtics 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
celtics 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Modi’in, 3:30 in the morning.
That’s when I proved my mettle this Boston Celtic playoff run.
I made aliya last year and brought my Boston sports triad with me – the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots.
This, of course, has been the case ever since I left New England 21 years ago. The nation, the legion, the fighting minutemen of Boston sports – we continue to spill our guts for our hometown teams wherever we are.
I established my personal record in 1986, in the NBA Finals. I hitchhiked four hours three separate times over land, bears, and other natural and man-made obstacles in television-less Yellowstone National Park, to watch Larry Bird and company defeat Houston in six games. Ah, youth.
I’m a lot older now, but still foolish.
It’s the graveyard shift for me now. Do or die. I’m a medical resident in my own personal insane asylum. One night on, one night off. 36- hour no-sleep stretches.
Awakened when I don’t want to be – lest I miss an “emergency” when (Coach) Doc Rivers needs me.
It’s not like watching the endless Red Sox-Yankees thrillers of ’04, which went late into the night Statestime.
At least I could get five hours of sleep in before work.
But a 3:30 a.m., start time? I can’t say I’m getting up early in the morning to watch the game, because it’s the middle of the night.
So the pressure builds at 10 p.m. to go to sleep, but I’m a night owl. I haven’t gone to sleep before 10 p.m. since I was 14.
So, what’s the point?? Let’s just stay up till game time, and let the next day be damned.
I can still appreciate Rajon Rondo’s dive-scoop-and layup at 3:30 a.m., but a Paul Pierce isolation play, when Ray Allen and everyone else are wide open on the wing? I’m more agitated than I’d be in reasonable time and am reminded of the dark days before Kevin Garnett and Allen arrived in Boston.
My cereal gets soggy as I silently scream at Pierce.
“Pass the ball!” And, Kendrick Perkins, don’t waste my waning energy complaining about another foul call….
With overtime comes the sunrise, a reminder of where I am and that soccer is truly king. If the incessant noncommercial World Cup commercials fed to us by ESPN International haven’t already drained that reality down my hoop. Oh well.
From this side of the Atlantic and Mediterranean, it’s even worse when the Celtics lose, as they did in Game 4 against Orlando. I was the 13th man, played well more than the full 48 minutes, in the middle of the night, and had children wanting to know what clothes to put on a half-hour later.
And I had no one to commiserate with over my morning Diet Coke. A game “last night”? Maccabi Tel Aviv? So, Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots (the 8 p.m., Israel-time starts are delicious), thank you very much for all that you make me do for you.
Just beat the Lakers, please. We’ve got to stay at least two championships ahead of them….
I’ll be watching you.
Mark Robbins is a writer, personal historian, and founder of jewishlifestory.com.

He can be reached at markrobbins67@gmail.com He blogs at virtualaliyah.blogspot.com.