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Top Boston Sports Stories Of 2013

December 19, 2013 6:20 AM

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(Photos by Rob Carr and Jared Wickerham, /Getty Images)

(Photos by Rob Carr and Jared Wickerham, /Getty Images)

Tebow Signs With Patriots, Gets Cut Before Season

Love him or hate him, Tim Tebow is one of the most popular sports figures in the world (and he doesn’t even play anymore).

Need proof? Look no further than the stir he created in New England as a third-string quarterback.

A large group of reporters surround Tim Tebow on his first day with the New England Patriots. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A large group of reporters surround Tim Tebow on his first day with the New England Patriots. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

When he first made it to Gillette, a massive crowd of reporters were waiting. When he caught passes in his first practice, most of the sports world exploded with speculation he would be a tight end. When he played poorly in his first preseason game, it was the top story until the following week.

Even when Tebow didn’t play in the preseason (you know, letting Tom Brady get tuned up to do his job) it was a bigger deal than most other stories on the national stage.

In other words, Tebow Mania was just pure insanity.

And then he was cut before the regular season, and it all disappeared.

It’s hard to knock Tebow though, who was the consummate professional during his brief time as a Patriot. While the story was all about Tebow, Tim Tebow was not all about Tim Tebow. In true Patriot fashion he continually said all the right things, focusing on helping the team and becoming a better football player.

He just wasn’t very good at football, and didn’t earn a spot on the roster.

Tyler Seguin Traded To Dallas

Fireworks are expected on the Fourth of July, but they don’t usually come from a hockey team.

Tyler Seguin was supposed to be the future of the Bruins franchise, but Peter Chiarelli and Co. shipped him to Dallas along with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith Brandon Morrow and Matt Frasor.  The move shocked many, confused others, and led to weeks of speculating about Seguin’s off-ice activities (which got Mama Seguin very upset).

The Bruins saw the move as one that gave them a better chance to win now. Just 21, Seguin still has some growing-up to do, and Boston didn’t want to waste the finals years of their established core waiting for the talented forward to do so.

Dallas clearly got the better player in the deal, but time will tell who comes out on top in the long run.

Celtics Begin Rebuilding Period

When the Boston Celtics fell to the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs last May, it was the end of an era.

Just a few months later, both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were in Brooklyn, Doc Rivers was in Los Angeles, and Brad Stevens was plucked from the college ranks to lead the rebuilding of the storied franchise.

Pierce, Garnett and Jason Terry were sent to the Nets for a slew of contracts and plethora of draft picks, but the best part of the trade is we got this photo out of it as well:

At least Brad Stevens is smiling. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

At least Brad Stevens is smiling. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

With Rajon Rondo out until the new year while recovering from an ACL injury, “tank talk” dominated the chatter leading up to the season.  The Celtics weren’t so much a team, but rather a collection of players expected to finish somewhere near the bottom of the league, and visions of Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker sporting Celtics green next season danced in the minds of many fans.

But Stevens, as he did at Butler, has made the most with the rag-tag roster he was given, and the Celtics find themselves near the top of the Atlantic Division.

Most of the Celtics success has to do with the struggles of the rest of the Eastern Conference (and the Atlantic in particular), but so far Stevens has showed that he can indeed coach the NBA game and can get the most out of all of his players – no matter how little the expectations are.

Wes Welker Heads To Denver

Welker blessed all of New England with his super hero-like catch-and-run abilities for six years,  catching 672 passes from Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. But he wasn’t feeling the love from Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft when he hit free agency, and decided to head for greener pastures in Denver.

All it took was a two-year, $12-million offer from the Broncos to get Welker to agree to catch passes from Peyton Manning, sending most Patriots fans into a tizzy. But when the team inked Danny Amendola to a five-year deal (either shortly after or shortly before the Welker announcement, depending on who you ask), it was fairly clear they didn’t really want #83 back in the first place.

Fans fell in love with Welker, who gave it his all for every play on every Sunday. He returned from a devastating ACL tear in a matter of months, and became the first player in NFL history to record five 100-catch seasons while wearing a Patriots jersey.

Now, he is with the enemy and doing what he does best for Manning and not Brady. (Continued…)

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