In 2001, then-Boston Celtics Head Coach Rick Pitino, in a fit of season-in-the-toilet-fueled frusration, went off on an infamous post-game rant:
"Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish isn't walking through that door."
The (now disgraced) former coach's point?
The glory days are over, pal; the Gods have gone, and we've got what we got.
(Rick Fox and Vitaly Potapenko, alas, never made anyone forget about Bob Cousy or Bill Russell.)
Pitino was a putz.
But his whiny meltdown (he also said the city's negativity "sucks") about the princely past versus the puny present suddenly has an eerie echo.
In the wake of Ted Kennedy's death, and the vanishing of the Lion's long shadow from Massachusetts politics, we are faced with the sobering realization that the next Senator from the Commonwealth will be someone much, much....well, smaller. In stature, influence, hagiography, everything.
And while there may even be another (Joe) Kennedy walking through that door, it will hardly be the same. Not with the potential lightweights and nitwits lining up and eyeing the ballot.
State Sen. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham)?
Can you say "Vitaly Potapenko?"