Popular wisdom recently held that once Boston sports teams started winning titles, their fatalistic fans wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. They’d suffer from an acute identity crisis and pretty much lose their collective reason to live. That’s totally ignorant. I count two Super Bowls and a World Series in the past 36 months, but, like Jackie Childs, I remain shocked and chagrined, mortified and stupefied. If the Patriots lose next Sunday, my list of things to complain about will only get longer, my friends.
For starters, my hat size falls somewhere between a large and an extra large, so all the Sox and Pats championship caps I’ve accumulated look really awkward on me, and I can’t be having that. I had to build a new shelf in my room to store all that merchandise I’m never going to even wear (which is taking a severe toll on my wallet, to be honest). And because I was forced to waste my time doing that, I could only hear the audio in the background from my 2004 World Series DVD. Or maybe it was the NESN Red Sox “Faith Rewarded” one. Gosh, they all just mold together these days, don’t they?
The teams that play in my Chestnut Hill backyard are getting shafted all over the place. The hoops team that blows out UCLA on the road, beats UConn in Hartford for the first time in almost two decades and manages to somehow overcome Yale is only eighth in the country? I’ve never seen such blatant disrespect for a powerhouse undefeated team with the most talented point guard combination in college basketball history.
And the story with the hockey team from the Heights is even more tragic. Amazingly, 11 out of the 40 voters in the latest USCHO.com poll left the Eagles out of the No. 1 slot on their ballot. I guess wins over Yale mean nothing these days. So now they have some thing called Colorado College breathing down their necks.
Back home we got a little thing called four C’s by the sea — Cape Cod Community College — and we will have none of this alliteration being thieved by a school only willing to go halfway. Two C’s? Come off it. Sometimes, the Rocky Mountain regional bias shamefully exhibited by this country’s media is a bit too much for me to stomach.
Honest truth, I’ve never fully recovered from Boston University cutting its football program in 1997. My legs are still in pain from standing in Government Center almost a year ago now for the most recent Patriots parade, and I’m still absorbing the financial and emotional toll the Sox celebration took on me. The World Champions T-shirt I bought from a respectable street vendor shrunk to the point where it wouldn’t fit my nine-year-old brother, and do you even remember how much a gallon of gas cost in October? Between the post-Game 4 celebration in Kenmore Square, the parade a couple days later and the shuttling back and forth between New Haven and Boston, I truthfully believe that if I never saw another million people in the streets of Boston until two weeks from now, that would be too soon.
The deepest pain, though, comes from my one true love: European football. Or futbol to us civilized folk. Let’s get one thing straight: The New England Patriots belong to Boston. The New England Revolution belongs to Portland, Maine. Next time you want to lose in the Eastern Conference final, go explain yourselves to someone else. Personally, I plan to make use of my season tickets and attend each Boston Breakers game on the schedule until the WUSA actually decides to try having a league again.
And don’t even get me started on the Celtics. First Danny Ainge has the guts to deal franchise cornerstones like Chris Mihm and Jumaine Jones, and then we find out that Doc Rivers hates children. I mean, how else do you explain him kicking Ricky Davis out of a practice when there’s a contingent of high schoolers there watching and waiting for Ricky to teach them the subtle nuances of shooting at your own hoop to pad your rebounding stats? I don’t care if Ricky was cursing out Doc for his refereeing during the practice, depriving kids of invaluable life lessons is shameful.
Speaking of which, my high school’s basketball team is only ranked second in Massachusetts. Honestly, how many voters do the Sunnis in Iraq need to scare to make their point? Enough is enough.
I still have nightmares every night about the Bruins blowing a three-games-to-one lead in the playoffs against Montreal of all teams. Montreal, the antithesis of Boston and our city’s most loathed nemesis. Nightmares where my French-Canadian cousins attempt to speak English normally. They crack awful jokes like “Why do people in Boston drink out of saucers? Because all the Cups are in Montreal! Get it? Cups like Stanley Cups! Hahahahaha oh man … Saucers!” Nightmares that convince me that all the pacifists who speak longingly of moving across the border these days should saddle up and stay here or risk forever their love for all mankind.
They had to take down the Pedro Martinez “Keep the Faith” billboard hanging over the Mass Pike and replace it with a Doug Mientkiewicz “Keep the Ball” substitute. With those two now together on the Mets, it’s only a matter of time before a joint Omar Minaya-George Steinbrenner ritual explosion of the Sox Series ball like the one Cubs fans organized last year for the Bartman ball. Aww don’t worry, New Yorkers, you’ll get that next title some time soon.
Worst of all is that I don’t understand Roman numerals. Wait, how is XXXVIII less than XXXIX when it has more letters? And so where does that put XXXVI? All these Super Bowls, it’s all too confusing.
But whatever, this is all nothing compared to what I’ll be feeling when the Pats get clobbered in Jacksonville. For real, this team lost to the Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins. Nice work, Bill Genius Belichick, real nice. The New England Patsies — what a bunch of frauds.