BOSTON — When Doc Rivers leaves the basketball arena or practice court, he passes straight into the realm of fandom. With the Celtics, Rivers is a rational individual who understands that winning and losing has everything to do with the gameplan and execution, and nothing to do with whether he wears his lucky tie or took the same route to work as he did the last time the Celtics won.
When he does not have any actual input in the outcome, however, Rivers admits he gets just as tense as any viewer watching from the safety of his couch.
“With us, hell, I just show up and say, ‘Please, guys, make shots,’” Rivers said prior to the Celtics’ win over the Bobcats on Monday. “When I watch other teams that I like, you tend to do the same stuff, turn the beer label the same way, all that.”
That was why anybody who might have caught a glimpse of Rivers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday may have noticed some similarities with the last time the Celtics coach attended a Patriots game. While watching the Patriots’ 41-28 win over the Texans from Bill Belichick’s box, Rivers wore the same shirt and sat in the same seat to avoid disrupting any of the Patriots’ mojo.
That was all the influence Rivers had on the game, though. He did not send a congratulatory text message to Belichick, as he has in the past, or even approach His Hoodieness at any time. Rivers is typically gregarious and talkative on game days, but he knows that Belichick is not.
“I try to stay out of the way,” said Rivers, a Patriots season ticket-holder. “I just like going to the games and sitting in his box. I sit in the same place. I wear the same outfit, the whole same thing. I’m superstitious. I am.”
Whatever Rivers normally does, he will not be around to help out this Sunday against the Ravens. The Celtics play in Detroit, with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and as Rivers noted, “I can’t get thrown out in time” to make it back to Foxboro for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
Because of that, I will humbly volunteer to take Rivers’ place. I can sit in the box, in what is undoubtedly a comfy seat, and root on the Pats while wearing Rivers’ lucky clothes. (OK, this just got weird.) Sure, it might be awkward, but a victory over the Ravens is riding on this, so that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.
Your move, Bill.
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