Spoiled … and loving it

My days as a sports fan ended Wednesday night. There’s nothing left.
No more misery. No more wishing.
Every dream has come true.
After what seemed like a lifetime of Charlie Brown moments, something changed when we entered the new millennium. The lights stayed on that night, and the fortunes of all Boston sports teams brightened.
I grew up 15 miles from Boston, and my childhood and early adulthood were filled with one flop after another. I can sum it up in a few words. There was Roughing the Passer (late hit by Patriots keeps a Raiders drive alive in the 1976 AFC Championship before Kenny Stabler snakes in for the winning touchdown); Too Many Men on the Ice (late penalty on Bruins allows hated Canadiens to score tying goal late in Game 7 of the ’79 conference finals before Guy LaFleur wins game in OT); and Game 6 vs. the Mets in ‘86 (no explanation need).
Now I’ve seen all four Boston teams win a championship – in seven years! That has to be a record.
“The Hub” has won seven titles in the past decade. In the same span, New York, which has twice as many teams, has two. That city also has the Knicks (my sympathies), so I’ll go easy on the Big Apple.
Sometimes I forget how fortunate I was to grow up in a city with four professional teams. Around here, people root for the Broncos, the Packers, the Mariners, the Rockies. Teams that are a full day’s drive away.
Maybe I can become a fan of one of those teams, because now that the Bruins have won the Stanley Cup, it’s mission accomplished in my world.
It wasn’t like that just 10 years ago. Boston fans always expected the worst – and that’s what they got. Then Adam Vinatieri split the uprights against the supposedly unbeatable Rams in the Super Bowl; the monkey was off our backs. The Patriots quickly won two more Super Bowls and we wondered how so much good fortune could come our way.
The gorilla came off next: the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
It wasn’t until the final out, however, before I got off the couch and thrust my arms into the air. Even ahead three games to none over the Cardinals and ahead by four runs with two outs in the ninth inning, I still expected something to go terribly wrong.
Then Edgar Renteria hit a one-hopper back to Keith Foulke and … YES!
How times have changed. I knew, well before the puck dropped, the Bruins were going to win Game 7 on Wednesday night. After the second period ended with Boston up 3-0, I called a friend of mine, who lives in Natick, Mass., the town where I grew up. He didn’t say hello, just “don’t say anything!”
Maybe he was expecting another collapse.
Those days are over.
All these championships have spoiled me rotten. Generations passed without the Red Sox winning the Series; I’ve seen then spray champagne twice. The ol’ standby Celtics have played in the finals two out of the past three years. The Patriots won thrice in four years and were called a “model franchise” by many.
And now the Bruins have erased 39 years of Cupless hockey. It’s all so humbling.
But enough subtleness. I’m from Boston. I’m supposed to be obnoxious.
We sure don’t wave at people like Montanans do. And we blast the horn when the car in front of us doesn’t floor it the instant the light turns green.
I want to put on my black and gold Adam Oates Bruins replica jersey and carouse around town with my index finger in the air. Just like millions in Beantown – I mean Title Town – will do this weekend at yet another (ho hum) victory parade.
Boston is the sports capital of America. Pass me the phone so I can order my Super Bowl tickets. Oh, and by the way, which team is it that tops the American League East?
Yes, the Sox. It’s been four long years since they won it all.
Getting tired of this yet?
Not me.


1 Response to “Spoiled … and loving it”

  1. 1 mdipalma
    July 11, 2011 at 2:01 am

    All it took was for you to move out of town and our teams can no longer lose…..The Sox winning was the ultimate, but the B’s are definitely a close second..

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