We’re proclaiming the October 18 a sacred day in Celtic History and the Quest for Banner 18.
In this, we’re inspired by the sisterly love of Anna Horford, and her response to putdown-artist Lou Merloni of WEEI.
But most especially, by the quality of Horford’s contribution to the Celtics in the box score and outside of it.
Apparently, Merloni, a former baseball player and aspiring-average wag, has been mockingly referring to Al Horford for some time as “Average Al.”
We weren’t aware of this until yesterday (October 30), when Anna Horford tweeted an aptly saucy reply and the whole thing became, well, A Thing.
But we did a little digging, and realized the real WEEI campaign appears to have picked up steam a couple of weeks ago, following a Celtic loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The earliest print reference we can find to the tag was an Oct. 18 post following the Celtic loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Everyone is saying the young guys have to step up because of the injury to Gordon Hayward,” WEEI grumbled. “But nobody is saying that about Average Al Horford.”
Two nights later, the Celtics beat the 76ers for their first win of the year. Horford scored, efficiently, 17 points on 16 shots, pulling down 9 rebounds to lead the team, and dishing out 3 assists. (Joel Embid scored 11 points on 16 shots.)
5-0 since October 18
Which brings us to today. With the Celtics in the midst of a 5-game win streak, no Gordon Hayward at all.
This was led (in large part) by “Average Al” and his young running mate, Kyrie Irving, to whom WEEI likes to refer as “Coasting Kyrie.” (October 26 tweet by WEEI, which doubled and tripled down in the days that followed.)
Hence we’re also launching our regular “Average Al Report,” highlighting the all-star center-forward’s contributions inside and outside the box score.
WEEI seems to be digging in deeper and deeper on the “Average Al” thing. They’re stepping up the campaign like Donald Trump logged on to his twitter account.
But as absurd as it may sound, we’re kinda hoping they persist.
You’ve gotten us 5 wins in a row, during which Al has “Averaged” 18 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4 assists in just 32 minutes a game.
Keep it up fellas. The Celtics average result since October 18 seems to be… victory.