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Become a Boston Sports Fan

Being a Boston sports fan sometimes reminds me of battered wife syndrome. You were beaten, but you kept coming back. You were given enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, only enough to ensure your devotion, but then you were sure and deeply disappointed. I don’t know why a woman will ever return to the cowardice of hitting her, and I often don’t know why I’m still a Boston sports fan. The Pats, Celts, Sox and Bruins make you want to love them, but it can sometimes hurt to remain devoted fans throughout all their chaos.

I grew up in a hockey family and my father was very loyal to the Bruins.

From a very early age I can remember him watching Bobby Orr and Esposito skate circles around other teams. By the time I was old enough to really understand what was going on, the Bruins were made up of some of the more amazing players like Middleton, O’Reilly, Pederson and Milbury. I used to love watching Boston play Montreal with my dad, but it looks like Boston is losing more than winning.

It’s great to see Terry O’Reilly beat other players, and it’s cool to watch all these veterans a few years later skate barefoot while the rest of the players have to wear them. I guess it’s some kind of a grandpa clause or something. They just look tough. When Cam Neely and Ray Bourque started playing, I enjoyed Bruins just as much. But after Orr and Esposito left, neither of these newest players won the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup, frustrating enough.

But fear not, the Celtics were hot around this time.

Like the bruins / Canada, the Celtics / Lakers competition was a blast to experience, especially when Celtic won. And they did. I remember maybe one of the greatest NBA teams ever, Bird, McHale, Parish, DJ and Ainge. They’re not the prettiest bunch of people around, very funky birds to look at, but they are a lot of fun to watch. It was great to see them beat the LA Lakers in the 1983-84 championship and the Houston Rockets in the 1985-86 championship.

Unfortunately the last few seasons of the Celtics have been dismal. They don’t even make it to the playoffs regularly anymore. How many more “building years” do we need? Watching Pierce take off his shirt and wave it over his head as he was dropped from one of the playoffs against the Pacers this year is sad.

But 1986 was the end of the Boston championship team for a long time. In fact, it was sixteen years until the Patriots finally won the Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. That’s a long wait. It’s a lifetime to cry out loud.

The New England Patriots are another team that’s hard to watch and stay devoted to. Grogan is a decent midfielder and many would argue Drew Bledsoe was even better, but they never took home the championship. Watching Drew throw multiple interceptions and toss the grid iron with hunched shoulders is annoying. I like to think of Bledsoe as the ‘almost’ type of player. He’s almost awesome, almost a champion midfielder. He almost won the match. Bledsoe really drives me crazy. He was a New England franchise player, but he never seemed to do enough to win. It was so frustrating to see him play. All big and gawky, whipped out of pockets like my nana.

But the tide turned. Third string midfielder Tom Brady replaces the injured Bledsoe, and takes the championship home to the Bostonians. The 2002 NFL playoffs are absolutely awesome to watch if you are a Boston sports fan. Watched the Vinatieri blow him up despite the blizzard to beat the Oakland Raiders, and once again to win the Super Bowl beating St. Louis Rams was monumental. Thank God for Pats. They bring respect back to Boston. They show what true grit is, what the word “team” actually means, in a day when everything in sport seems to center around individual achievement. I love it when they run out on the pitch together as a team instead of being introduced one by one at the start of the Super Bowl.

Sadly enough, most people thought Pats would never win it all again. They thought it was a coincidence. The Pats have been lost for so long that few have had faith in them. But they won it again two years later and people started taking notice. The word “dynasty” crept up the New England vernacular. When the Pats won their third Super Bowl in four years, they were finally accepted as the dynasty. This victory will take me for years. SEkali again, thank God for Pats.