for photographs, i know a lot of folks prefer vinatieri's winner over the rams in the actual super bowl if not something with tom brady's name on it, and the ball in mientkiewicz's glove from foulke to clinch the series on top of everything pedro and manny, but they don't capture for me the moment when the crowns became possible. subtract one tuck rule, and the pats never make it out of the first round. leave out papi's back-to-back game-winning hits over the yankees, and the sox never make it back to new york, let alone st louis. if vinatieri doesn't make the greatest kick in the history of the nfl, the rams cruise to yet another super bowl. if david ortiz doesn't complete the greatest clutch hitting performance in the history of major league baseball, the yankees beat up the cards for yet another title. those moments, though not the ultimate, are the most enduring to me.
so it is that i remember the reebok logo emblazoned across tim thomas' hockey stick, turning aside yet another sure goal, and delivering each and every series in turn as his team marched on with him towards the cup, and i wonder, will that be the picture that is added to the collection? no, i think it will be the one of him with the cup raised over his head, with the smile of decade upon decade of loving to play the game all over his face. tim thomas, playoff mvp, and the giver of the greatest stanley cup goaltending performance in the history of the stanley cup.
boston salutes you, and i salute you. welcome to the pantheon.