Boston strong

The Patriots’ season-ending quarter. The Celtics coaching change. The Boston Marathon’s tragic finish. The Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Sox unexpected lead. Luke Knox of The Boston Globe gives us an inside look at what it’s been like to design for such an intense year in Boston sports.

Patriots

We are used to this team keeping us busy late into the season, and they did so in 2013. If not for a bad second half in the AFC Championship Game, they would have made it to another Super Bowl.

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Previewing the AFC title game, playing up some of the war of words between the Patriots and Ravens.

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Our second of two preview special sections. Tried to have fun with my concept here, and hopefully readers dug it.

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Jim Davis photo was very simple, almost too simple … but we felt like his expression did enough to tell the story of the game.

Celtics
It’s been a pretty bad year for the C’s so far, with tons of upheaval and injuries (and not enough wins).

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Point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a knee injury in January, and our next-day coverage focused on who could take his place in the lineup.

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John Vitti designed this front, and we knew going in that something was probably going to happen on draft night. With the era ending, we went with a photo of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett back when it began.

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With coach Doc Rivers gone, the Celtics made a big splash when they hired Brad Stevens from Butler. We wanted to put it in historical context, since he is just the 17th man to coach the franchise and a handful of those are legends. We’ll see how he does this season.

Marathon coverage

Our news sections did a phenomenal job with a number of special sections during the coverage of the bombing and investigation, and sports didn’t take a ton of it. But in the first few days especially, we did devote some space.

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Our preview front on the race, focusing on Kenya’s dominance. I shot the background photo of the road with my iPhone outside my house, then photoshopped in the Africa outline.

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Live coverage from the day of the race/bombing. We made a decision to completely downplay anything about the race and anything else. Yoon S. Byun’s photo shows a mass of runners being held on Commonwealth Avenue immediately after the blast. The secondary shot by John Tlumacki actually shows one of the explosions in the upper right of the frame. A very tough day, but we did what we could to put out a strong paper.

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This was my plan starting on the night of the tragedy, once I saw a few athletes paying tribute to Boston on their gloves, sticks and other equipment. Luckily, sports editor Joe Sullivan bought into the idea and we went for it with a photo collage.

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Marty Pantages designed this front, from a day when the suspects were still on the loose and it wasn’t safe for the Red Sox and Bruins to play home games.

Bruins

They captured the hearts of the city after the marathon tragedy, and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals before falling to the Blackhawks.

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Great photo by Jim Davis and headline by John Carney. Tried to keep the page balanced, lots of elements downpage to fit in.

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Francesca D’Ottavi did an amazing job on the illustration, showing two Original Six teams in an old-school matchup: Bruins and Blackhawks.

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End of the line, with a small graphic breaking down the two late Chicago goals that ended the Bruins’ season.

Red Sox

The team with the lowest expectations going into the season, they have surprised many by holding onto first place for most of the season.

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Team chemistry was a problem the past few seasons, and this offseason the Sox focused on bringing in players who were good teammates and wanted to spread goodwill.

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The team got off to a good start in the Bronx. Fantastic Jim Davis photo.

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Copy editor Sean Smith compiled day-by-day AL East standings for the entire first half of the season, and we charted the division during the All-Star break.

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The Sox locked up star second baseman Dustin Pedroia through 2021 with a huge contract. Cover by Marty Pantages.

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Not a Sox story per se, but this was our front from the day that Alex Rodriguez and others were suspended by MLB in the Biogenesis scandal. Pete Goodwin headline.

Luke Knox is sports design supervisor at The Boston Globe.