The way I always saw it, if there was one town that seemed like a particularly good fit for me if I had to abandon my home, it would be Boston. It has lots of history, a good proportion of young people and an even better proportion of Irish people, not to mention plenty of baked beans. Plus, the greatest sitcom of all time is set there. (I’m referring to “Cheers”, not “Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place.”)
Despite these many endearing qualities, it is time to wake up and realize that the Boston of today is no longer the sweet, lovable Beantown of the ’80s, ’90s and early ’00s. In every sport, it seems that the Boston machine can no longer be stopped. If you cut off one head — or injure Tom Brady’s knee — another is bound to sprout up. Even the most widely read sports guy on the internet has an unabashed Boston slant. (I don’t have the exact numbers, but I’m assuming Bill Simmons is more read than us. But probably only by a few million small handful.)
Unfortunately, I’ve been left with no other choice but to say this about Boston’s sports teams: Fuck ‘em. They’ve become every bit as dirty to root for as teams from New York City. And it was the strangest thing that finally pushed me over the edge.
This weekend, several dozen of you may have watched the NCAA hockey championship game. I’m pretty sure we’re the only blog on earth to now have multiple posts on its existence. But no matter. Point is it was one of the most incredible finishes to any championship game in any sport at any level. Ever. Period. And of course it was a Boston team that pulled it out.
Trailing 3-1 heading into the final minute against upstart Miami (Ohio), which was looking for its first championship in any sport, Boston University miraculously managed to score two goals in the final minute to send the game into overtime — all while their net sat empty at the other end of the ice so they could have an extra attacker.
Again, not once, but twice. The odds of this happening are right up there with coming back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 series or throwing a Hail Mary pass into heavy traffic.
Wait, Boston teams have already done that? (Ironically the Hail Mary was between the other major Boston school, Boston College, and the other Miami — the one that’s actually in Miami
Of course, with the momentum already built up from the comeback, it goes without saying that BU won in overtime. But not in the immediate manner you’d think. Miami buckled down for the first 12 minutes of OT before giving up one of the flukiest goals you’ll ever see — the puck deflected off the leg of a defenseman trying to block the shot near the faceoff circle and over the shoulder of the Miami goalie, who never saw it coming.
Coming from a completely neutral perspective, you couldn’t help but feel the heartbreak of the Miami kids. To see an underdog lose a championship to a five-time winner on a one-in-a thousand play… well, it turns you decidedly un-neutral.
There was a day where I enjoyed pulling for Boston teams as a neutral observer. The Patriots’ first Super Bowl title was a thing of splendor. And who outside of New York didn’t delight in watching the Yankees choke away that series in ’04? One of the top 10 sports moments of all time. (I’m still working on the other nine.)
Those days are long gone, though. Everyone in that city damn well wins at everything. (Last year’s Frozen Four champ? Boston College.)
Even the previously hopeless Bruins enter the playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Fortunately, they’ll have to go through the one franchise that’s owned them throughout history, the Canadiens, to get out of the first round.
The way the bounces have gone the past few years, one can only logically assume that the Bruins will finally exorcise those demons though. In this decade, the B’s are the only franchise in the Hub City not to get a ring. Is it a bit petty of me to hope that they don’t?
If Bostonians read this, they will certainly discern that I am retahded and just jealous that I’m not them. They are probably right. I’m jealous in the same way that we’re all jealous when a goofy-looking dude ends up with a supermodel… kind of like Bostonian Ric Ocasek. I’d vouch that all of us here at Rumors and Rants are slightly less goofy-looking than The Cars frontman (I’m really going to bat for you here Baker), and nonetheless we’re still supermodeless. And our teams are largely titleless. Outside of starting up a new wave band or moving to Boston, I’m not sure if it’s possible to attain either one these days.
All I’m saying is everyone deserves a sip every now and then (I’m really going to bat for you here St. Louis), but no one — not even dudes who make awesome music videos — should be able to drink from the cup so damn often.
If Bostonians end up drinking from the Stanley Cup too, well, then it’s time to start working on the screenplay for the movie “The Monster that Shat On Boston.” If nothing bad is ever going to happen to Boston in reality, we can at least pretend.