So, thatís six in six years.
Before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl title earlier this decade, you had to go back to 1972 to count the last six sports titles in town. Thatís 30 years compared to what weíve been privy to in six.
It is a statement so obvious that to but utter takes no more intelligence than it takes to determine day or night. But this is the Golden Age of Boston Sports.
Six titles since January 2002: Three Super Bowls, two World Series, and now an NBA Championship.
Et tu, Mr. Jacobs?
We can begin the argument as to which was the more unlikely title, the Patriotsí first Super Bowl win or this latest triumph courtesy of the Celtics, although Iíd argue fiercely for the former thanks in part to the sudden emergence of a second-string quarterback leading the way. This Celtics team, you had to have at least some sort of inkling about once Danny Ainge re-vamped the roster in a house cleaning that dramatically changed the way we thought about the long-downtrodden franchise.
Last night, the final chapter had its say in a blowout win that allowed the Garden party to start early, continuing into a June night that this town hasnít seen the likes of in 22 years.
Dare to think it, perish to say it, but when does it all end? When does Boston go back to being merely a damn good sports town, yet one that doesnít have the luxury of bathing in an embarrassment of title hardware?
Not any time soon for sure. These Celtics are likely to be in the same position as they were this time around, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, and (hopefully) James Posey back for more. The Red Sox (yeah, remember them?) have done little thus far this season to lose faith in a possible World Series repeat, and have a never-ending influx of young talent that suggests a Brave-like run, albeit with the titles, you know. The Patriots are coming off the worst choke-job in their history, denied the perfect season. You think theyíll have something to prove?
Since 2002, weíve gone just two calendar years without witnessing a Duck Boat parade; 2003, when the Red Sox were on the verge of the World Series, and 2006, when the Patriots were knocked out in Denver. The first year gave us the Patriotsí win over the Rams, 2004 saw another title in Houston. Later that year, the Red Sox broke an 86-year drought in a playoff season to which all others will find themselves inferior. In 2005, another Super Bowl win. In 2007, another World Series.
Now, this. It makes the miserable 90ís seem all the more distant.
Obviously, the next step to take here would have to be the Grand Slam of the four major sports, something Boston has never seen. That would take the Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins all finishing their current or upcoming seasons with trophies. How insanely ridiculous is it that only the Bruins stand in the way of that not only being a serious reality, but something youíd be willing to lay more than a few bucks on right now?
We completely expect the Red Sox and Patriots to be there in the end. Not hope. Expect. No other town in America can even fathom what that feels like.
Boston does. Not Chicago. Not New York. Not Los Angeles. Boston.
Yes, it was a town mostly known for bemoaning in misery, for a woe-is-us culture that defined it as dedicated, yet almost proud in defeat. But that was as about an erroneous assumption as there could be. With heart and passion comes heartache and despair when the object of desire is ousted short of its goal. Misery? Thatís dedication, son, something youíd be hard-pressed more prevalent in any other city than Boston when it comes to sports.
Of course, with victory comes more chest-thumping obnoxiousness from Bostonians, who know theyíre the target of everyoneís jealousy, and wonít stop from letting it be known to everyone else in question. With every title this city stacks up, thereís just a bit more envy, a bit more hate directed toward anything Sox, Pats, or Cís-related. Thatís the price we pay for glory, a small, yet growing annoyance that promises to burst at some point down the road.
Let them hate you. They have not what youíve got to taste, and who knows how much longer youíll have it on the table. After all, the 90ís actually werenít that long ago, you know. The highlight that decade: A Super Bowl appearance.
Yes, kids. Ten years without a title. The horror.
In actuality, it was even worse. The Patriotsí 2002 win over the Rams broke a 16-year title drought. That happened to be, believe it or not, one of the longest in Boston sports history. And yes, some of us are actually old enough to have lived through such dark days.
Sixteen years, can you imagine? These days, a two-year drought is unfathomable.
Itís the Golden Age of Boston Sports. Donít expect it to end anytime soon.