General Sports

It’s a Boston Sports World- and Everyone Else is Just Paying Rent

By Ryan McGowan

Vin has been heckling me for the lack of quantity of my writing lately.

And by “lack of quantity,” I mean I haven’t posted a column since February 2007 when I wrote some diatribe about how NASCAR, and by extension the South in general, sucks.

Even though I’ve been a loyal and regular contributor to Poor Man’s PTI, my absence from the printed word has been somewhat unexplained.   So I think I owe it to the readers and especially to my colleagues Vin, Trevor, R.J., Billy, Kris, et al, to explain my writing void.
Quite simply, there wasn’t anything to say.

Now, granted, there was plenty to talk about during the last year and a half.  There was plenty to debate.  And yet there was nothing to say.  How could there be, when the dominance and ultimate supremacy of Boston sports has left nothing else that needs to be said by the self-proclaimed “BostonMac”?

When the Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams in February 2002, the nation smiled and uttered a collective “Isn’t that cute” in the direction of the six New England states, pitying us and letting us enjoy our first championship since 1986 with the condescending aplomb of a dad who lets his eight-year-old son beat him at basketball to boost his confidence.  Wasn’t that a nice story, the national media said.  How quaint.

Unfortunately, something sinister was unleashed in that classic Super Bowl XXXVI game.  The collective, repressed arrogant entitlement of Masshole Nation was let out of the bag after nearly two decades of being buried under a supposed New York-inferiority complex.  And when the Grady Little-Aaron Boone incident happened in a chilly Yankee Stadium in October 2003, the nation assumed that the long-standing tradition of Boston chokejobs was simply continuing.  They couldn’t have been more wrong.  Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, like Super Bowl XLII, turned out to be simply the exception that proved the rule.

In fact, Game 7 turned out to be the sports equivalent of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, an event which didn’t exactly start an era but is usually pointed to as the defining moment which jump-started one.  The results of that game set in motion a series of events that ended up with the Red Sox winning a feel-good World Series in 2004, then retooling their entire franchise and emerging dominantly triumphant with a wire-to-wire ass-kicking of the rest of Major League Baseball in 2007.  

It’s amazing to think about that 2004 season and imagine a scenario in which the Yankees were actually rivals with the Red Sox.  These days, Tropicana Field in St. Pete has become the new Red Sox House of Horrors, while a stop-in at the House that Ruth Built is seen as a breather, a soothing respite for a few days against a mediocre, heartless Yankee team that is a shell of its former self.  But can you blame them?  How can the Yankees have any spunk left when the Sox have systematically destroyed their will to play the game over the past four years?  As for the Rays, well, they’re just too young to know better.  It’s a Red Sox Century, and we’re getting used to it here in Boston.  I have to admit, it’s pretty fun.

But of course it hasn’t ended with the Red Sox.  The Patriots rolled through the NFL in 2003 and 2004, becoming a dynastic franchise and a model for excellence and awesomeness in life in general.  Whine about “Spygate” all you want.  There used to be a Facebook group called “Quit your bitching, the Patriots beat you because you suck.”  I couldn’t sum it up any better.  

Pipe down about the last three seasons.  Again, these have been the exceptions that prove the rule.  The 05, 06, and 07 Patriots were each one play away from FIVE consecutive Super Bowl titles.  In 05, it was Champ Bailey’s interception return that should have been a touchback and Patriots ball, leading to the inevitable Tom Brady touchdown to beat the Broncos, followed up by yet another playoff trouncing of the Steelers and a complete non-referee-aided dismantling of the Seahawks in SB XL.  2006 found the Patriots a mere 12 feet away from converting a first down which would have toppled the Colts and set up a Revenge Game for Super Bowl XX against the Bears, only the league decided they didn’t want Peyton Manning to take the hemlock so the powers-that-be made it a No Effin’ Way game for the Pats.  And we don’t have to get into the Eli Manning-David Tyree miracle that sabotaged the Perfect Season.  All I can say for that is, beware the Revenge Season.  A local Boston fan site has produced t-shirts that say “02/03/08.  Never forgive.  Never forget.”  Be afraid, NFL.  Be very afraid.

Championships are becoming so commonplace around here, I didn’t even find myself resenting the fact that I had to work on the day of the Celtics’ rolling rally last month to celebrate Banner 17.  I just figure we’ll have another one in October, commemorating the Sox’ second straight title, probably in an anticlimactic sweep of the Chicago Cubs or the Philadelphia Phillies, representing the JV Division, aka the National League.  Hell, I didn’t even go out for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.  I figured it would be more fun to watch this one at home, just for a change.  I’d gone out for all the other clinching games and, frankly, it was getting kind of boring.  I wanted to see what it was like to watch a title clincher in the comfort of my own living room.  I got to see KG basically mauling Michelle Tafoya live in the Greatest Postgame Interview of All Time.  I got to hear the splendor of the loudest “Nah Nah Nah Nah” chant of all time with five minutes left in the embarrassing (for the Lakers) fourth quarter.  It wasn’t bad.

So as you can see, there wasn’t a whole lot to say over the past few years.  The facts and evidence speak for themselves, and really require very little commentary on my part.  Yes, I’m a writer, but how many different ways can one man come up with new ways to say “Boston sports are on top of the world like no other entity since Alexander the Great ruled the entire Mediterranean world?”  I guess there are a lot of ways, but you don’t need me to keep reiterating these same themes to you all the time.

So that’s the story behind my hiatus.  Maybe I’ll be back for more now, maybe not.   All we need to know is, the sports world belongs to Boston; the rest of ya’ll are just paying rent.  Tell me how my ass taste.

By BostonMac

Ryan is a teacher, writer, journalist, basketball coach, sports aficionado, occasional real estate agent, and political junkie. He graduated from both the College of the Holy Cross (bachelor's) and Boston College (Master's), and knows anyone who has never heard of Holy Cross probably would never have gotten in there anyway. He is an unabashed Boston sports fan and homer who, according to lore, once picked the Patriots to win for 25 straight weeks on the "NFL Picks Show," which he co-hosts with Vin Diec, R.J. Warner, and Burton DeWitt. He is also an original co-host of SportsColumn's "Poor Man's PTI." He is married, lame, and a lifelong Massachusetts resident (except for a brief sojourn into the wilds of Raleigh, NC) who grew up in North Attleboro and currently lives and works in Everett.

6 replies on “It’s a Boston Sports World- and Everyone Else is Just Paying Rent”

Nice… But I would be more interested in your argument as to why and how Boston Sports will stay on top? Free Agency in the NFL and NBA could swipe some of your role players as well as stars (everybody wants more money!), and The Red Sox aren’t exactly getting any younger, and… well I guess I don’t even need to mention the Bruins. I’m a huge Celtics fan, but I’m also a Yankee fan, so I can drink at any bar in both cities! Very enjoyable to read.

Thanks Thanks PHiCTiON.  You should call into the podcast Wednesday night to discuss your points.  718 664 6869, 8:00 – 9:30.

Holy Crap RJ Warner is still alive!

By the way, Ryan, there are 10 things men shouldn’t do and asking another man “tell me how my ass taste” is 9 of them.

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