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The best and worst of Boston's pro teams over the past 25 years:

Overall winning percentage: .544 (3rd)

Best year: 1986

As you can tell by that overall winning percentage, Boston sports teams have been very successful over the past quarter-century. Sometimes this is forgotten with that constant reminders of 1918.

Anyway, 1986 was quite a year -- the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Red Sox, umm, nearly won the World Series. The Patriots played in the Super Bowl early in the year and then made the playoffs again in the 1986 season. The Bruins made the playoffs as well.

Worst year: 1997

The Bruins had made the playoffs 29 consecutive years but slumped to 26-47-9 record to miss the postseason. The once-proud Celtics were suddenly the Clippers of the East, going an embarrassing 15-67. The Red Sox had a losing record at 78-84. The Patriots went 10-6 and even won a playoff game, but it wasn't enough to erase the misery of '97.

Worst moment: You know the answer to this one.

Best team: 1986 Celtics (67-15)

Bostonians will tell you this is the greatest NBA team of all time -- and it may be. Led by MVP Larry Bird's 25.8 points per game and Kevin McHale's 21.3, the Celtics owned a huge homecourt advantage, going 40-1. In the playoffs, they went 15-3, including a six-game Finals win over the Rockets.

Worst team: 1997 Celtics (15-67)

OK, we could have picked one the Patriots' awful years -- 2-14 in 1981, 1-15 in 1990 or 2-14 in 1992. But when the Celtics, who won three NBA titles in the '80s, became one of the NBA's sad-sack franchises, it was a sad day in Boston. Rookie Antoine Walker led the way with 17.5 points per game, but defense was the team's big problem -- their opponents shot over 50 percent from the field.

Best individual season: Pedro Martinez, 1999

Lots of candidates to choose from. Pedro went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts. But maybe you disagree. Since we Larry Bird is the Boston icon of the past 25 years, vote for the best individual season in the poll to the right.






Overall city standings: 1979-2004

City standings: Seattle

City standings: Chicago

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City standings: Denver

City standings: Washington, D.C.

City standings: Minneapolis

City standings: Dallas

City standings: Houston