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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sports Opinion: Are Boston Sports Fans Spoiled?

Title Town?

Yeah, that’s us.

We’ve had more titles in our city in the last seven years than most have had over a generation of fans. I couldn’t be happier about the prime of my young adult life filled with World Series titles, Lombardi trophies and an NBA Championship. As I write this, even the Boston Bruins (yes, the NHL still exists) are rifling off wins like it’s the 1970’s all over again. It’s everything a fan could dream of.


It’s great. I know it. But I feel spoiled. Like a kid who just experienced the most prosperous Christmas of his young life and now doesn’t know what else to pine for.

I feel like the losses that used to bother me for weeks now roll off like a rain drop. When Aaron Boone walked off in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, I immediately turned my TV off and sat in the dark. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. But when Jed Lowrie grounded out to end the 2008 ALDS, the emotions were different. ‘Oh well,’ I thought. ‘The Red Sox should do it next year.’

The Celtics were so dominant in last year’s regular season that by the time they won I knew it was inevitable they would smash Kobe and the Lakers back into the Stone Age. I enjoyed it, you bet. But if it had been the first title in Boston in 20-plus years, I would have been painting shamrocks on my ass and high-fiving strangers on my street. Instead I just sat back on my couch and put another notch in my Title Town Belt.

Aside from the heart-wrenching Super Bowl loss the Patriots endured (I was too drunk to remember how I felt at the time), this season has been blasé for me. So they’re stumbling because of injuries. I’m ok with that. And that is not good.

As Deadspin founder and WEEI.com blogger Will Leitch wrote recently, the grueling years between titles is what creates the euphoria for fans when their team wins. And with too many wins too close together, complacency seems to set in.

“We spend hours and days and weeks and months and years watching sports, building up, slowly surging toward some sort of release. We need something to prove that those years of devotion, of pain, of frustration, actually means something. And then, when it happens, we explode. It’s relief, but it’s also pent up energy. It must be released somehow. And then, when it’s released, it takes a while to build back up again.”

Once Boston’s teams starting winning titles at the rate rabbits multiply, I became complacent. Too many titles, too little time between.

I know. I’m actually complaining about winning too much. But I really think that (gulp) the city of Boston needs to start losing again in order to appreciate what has happened over the last seven years.

When the Patriots got drubbed by the Steelers at cold, misty Gillette Stadium recently, it bothered me for half an hour. I got over it fast. If that game had occurred with the exact playoff ramifications seven years ago, I would have been legitimately scarred for at least a week; total zombie mode.

I want the doldrums of losing back, just for a little while.

Actually, let the Bruins win a Cup. Then I’ll go into hibernation.

About the Contributor
Ryan Thomas served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2007-2008; 2008-2009