|Posted by B-PAUL on March 16, 2010 at 10:10 PM|
There has been a man during the past two seasons who has been frequently spotted on the jumbotron at the TD Garden. That man is a mysterious man that goes by the name of Gino. During the past two seasons Gino is usually spotted on the jumbotron during blowout, or when the Celtics have clearly wrapped up a victory; in other words he is the Celtics new victory cigar.
When we see Gino on the jumbotron he is usually in a very good mood. He is usually smiling, dancing, and getting the Garden crowd off of their feet to boogie. We are not quite sure when he made his first appearance at a Celtics game, but we do know that he was quickly welcomed into Celtics nation with open arms.
What we do know is that the trend originally started when the Celtics game operations staff played a montage of clips from the 70's dance program, American Bandstand. The montage was set to disco music and before you knew it this bearded man wearing bell-bottomed jeans and a shirt printed with the name "Gino" became the Celtics victory cigar. Once the trend became popular, shirts were made and even a website was named after him (cough cough).
After doing some research I found a Wall Street Journal report on who this guy dancing really is, or in this case was.
Here is a bit of the report from WSJ Online:
Dick Clark Productions, which produced "American Bandstand" until it went off the air in 1989, agreed to help locate the man after being contacted by The Wall Street Journal. The company reviewed old tapes and talked to former dancers to uncover the mystery. One dancer, Terry Izen of East Highlands, Calif., received a call a few weeks ago from another former dancer telling her to check out the Gino video on YouTube. "I was like, 'Oh my God, it's Joe Massoni!'" says Ms. Izen, who says she is the redhead to the right of him in the video.
As for the man on the shirt:
The "Gino" on the dancer's T-shirt refers to the Italian-Canadian pop singer Gino Vannelli, whose 1976 tour paraphernalia includes the shirt worn by the man in the video.
With all of this being said, seeing "Gino" on the jumbotron during the 07-08 and 08-09 became quite regular, and most people expected a sighting of Gino to come with the purchase of a ticket. In these two seasons the Celtics held a very impressive 71-11 home record, and I'm not sure the exact number, but Gino was probably seen during half of those wins (if not more).
Now we fast forward to this year, the 2009-2010 season, and the Boston Celtics have already surpassed the combined home losses during those two seasons with twelve. As a result fans at the Garden have left unhappy and without sightings of Gino.
Leading up to the March 3rd game against Charlotte, Gino had not been seen in over two months. Fans everywhere were putting up WANTED signs and just hoping that one day he would reappear. Luckily on that rainy night in Boston, Gino found his way into the jumbotron at the Garden and danced it up with 18,624 fans.
Following that game Gino once again went missing for over a week as a result of a close win against Washington and a twenty point blowout loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. At this point in time we once again began to wonder, where is Gino? As you could expect the legend returned the following Friday night in a blowout win against the Pacers and then returned for the second straight game in a blowout win against the Pistons.
As a fan I can say that seeing Gino for two straight games is reassuring and gives me hope. It gives me hope that this team can play their potential and can win games in front of the 18,624 people that pay their hard earned money to attend the games.
It is now March 17th and the Celtics have nine home games remaining on the schedule. It is time to kick it into gear and it is time to make Gino sightings a nightly occurrence. So as the season winds down and the Celtics make their journey into the playoffs let's hope that the March 15th sighting of Gino will not be the last time we see Gino at the Garden this season.