The Boston Red Sox just won the World Series, their third in 10 seasons. If you ignore a certain 86-year gap in the team's history, Boston has won eight of a possible 25 titles. Last spring, the Bruins were mere minutes away of forcing a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final, which would have been their second in three seasons. The Celtics won a championship just five years ago and played for another in 2010. Although the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl since 2005, they've played in two in that time span. Every New England loss still feels like an aberration.
No matter how you spin it, Boston's sports teams, and therefore their fans, have had a pretty stellar decade. And I haven't even mentioned the multiple national titles won by Boston University and Boston College hockey.
Success breeds passion, but it also lures in the nefarious fair-weather fans. It's these fans that often absorb the most derision. ESPN and others carry the banner of "Red Sox Nation" for all citizens with even the loosest ties to New England to rally behind. Now it's hard to think of the Red Sox, and frankly the Celtics, Bruins and Patriots as well, without the word bandwagon coming to mind. This is unfortunate.
While I dislike Boston teams, it is only because my family roots are in Philadelphia. It's in my DNA. I have respect for Beantown's fans because they clearly care about their franchises. This isn't a Stanley Cup going to Tampa Bay or a World Series going to Miami. These are championship teams winning in a city that truly embraces tradition, hard work and above all success.
And after all of the titles in the last 10 years, you'd think that Bostonians would ease up a little. Like, maybe you wouldn't hear so much discussion about Tom Brady's decimated receiving corps. Maybe the citizens wouldn't panic over the loss of KG, Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers and the seemingly imminent trade of Rajon Rondo.
I won't say the fans have been spoiled because that's incredibly shortsighted, especially in the wake of terrorism and a brutal homicide. The Boston Marathon bombings cast a temporary pall over the city that was jointly lifted by the inspiring play of first the Bruins and later the Red Sox. But there's still much healing left. The same can be said of the Aaron Hernandez case. I don't want to ignore those events. I just want to suggest that Boston should enjoy its run instead of indulging in the kind of nitpicking that is reserved for more incompetent sports cities.
Case in point: Here's Bobby Orr recently reflecting on the first time he met Ted Williams.
Orr and Williams fishing together would constitute most city's greatest sporting moment. For Boston, I would imagine it's pretty far down the list (probably still in the top 10 though).
So celebrate another World Series while you can, Bostonians. And remember as things inevitably go wrong in the near future that you've had a very good run. There's little to bemoan.
Hey, reading material!
A World Away, the Seventh Game; Close at Hand, Condemned Nazis from The New York Times
We still miss you, Payne from Pinehurst Resort Blog
10-25-99 from Golf Digest
Remembering Allen Iverson's career from SI.com
Philadelphia born. Raised in God's country aka Duluth, Minnesota. Give me a frozen pond and an open pitch and I'll be happy. Follow me on twitter @noclassfriday