I am a spoiled sports fan of Boston, the greatest sports city in America. Borrowing a phrase from my friend Bob Halloran’s book “Count the Rings”, ten professional championships over the past 17 years is admittedly gluttonous for any city. Perhaps it is the sports Gods way of evening up the disappointment of losing so many heartbreaking games and suffering with losing teams, while growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in the Boston area. As a child, I idolized athletes who could perform the skills I was being introduced too at the highest levels for their professions.
Being born in 1957, the Boston Celtics were my favorite team because they seemed to win a championship every year I was alive. Watching Bill Russell swat basketballs away from opponents into the hands of teammates that started a fast break up the court took my breath away, and fed my burgeoning fanaticism for sports. Seeing Red Auerbach light up a cigar when every victory was secured in the old Boston Garden, added to the aura of their dominance under a shroud of smoke that hovered in the rafters of the old building. Earning 11 NBA championships during my first 13 years of life put green in my blood, and a chip on my shoulder when it came to bragging rights about the best basketball team in the world.
Now 60, I am spoiled and have lost my competitive edge when it comes to being a sports fan in Boston. Don’t misinterpret this, I will still be rooting for the Patriots on February 4th when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles for a number of reasons. One is obvious, the Boston Sports fan may be arrogant and spoiled, caused by this unprecedented run of success here in the hub, but we pale in comparison of the ugly barbaric nastiness that describes the fans in Philadelphia. Pelting Santa Claus with snow balls, throwing full bottles of beer at the Vikings team bus after beating them for the NFC championship, sending death threats to the families of past Phillies managers (see Terry Francona), is enough of a rap sheet to condemn the entire city’s sports fandom forever.
Don’t misunderstand where I stand on sports, I still love sports entertainment. I make time to watch because I want to see something I’ve never seen before in a competition. I always love the best story based on the outcome of the event whether that’s watching international curling or an NFL Superbowl. That’s why I’m emotionally neutral to this SuperBowl since I’ve seen the Patriots win 3 out of 4 SuperBowls before.
I know I will be thoroughly entertained by the game on the field, and by the commercials that fill up the unending breaks in a game. I know I will be surrounded by friends who are rooting for the same team I am, but really, how many times do the Patriots have to prove that they are a modern day dynasty dominating a sport that is supposed to be built on parity and limited by non guaranteed contracts and a hard salary cap?
I tire of defending the team’s unprecedented preparation for games that some uneducated fans have called “cheating”. Speaking of “uneducated,” I tire of some fans from other cities who can’t stand the Patriots success and their so called political alignment with an unpopular POTUS. At least some of these uneducated fans have admitted that Tom Brady is the greatest QB to ever play the game whether you like him or not. Can a sports fan become tired of too much winning? Hard to believe, but I confess that may be true. Go Pats!
Jimmy Toscano and Trags warn Patriots fans that the Philadelphia Eagles are not to be under estimated
(Full Write-up from Trags here.)