Sports Commentary: Lost-on Bost-on

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Darn Bean eaters win everything

By Mike Forster

  Great.  The Boston Bruins won this year’s Stanley Cup.

That’s just great.  Great as in, “I’m bummed.”

The reason that I’m down is that I’m sick of Boston winning things.  They win Super Bowls and World Series and NBA championships.  Now they’ve taken the NHL title.  What’s next?  Will Boston College win the BCS?  Could Harvard nab the Men’s Basketball crown?

It didn’t used to be this way.  Fact is, Boston used to be pretty lousy in just about everything.

As a Chicago Cubs fan, it was always nice to have the Red Sox hanging around, to help take some of the heat.

Sure, the Red Sox had last won a World Series back in 1918, while the Cubs last realized that glory in 1908.

But, really, you were pretty much splitting hairs when it came to long-term ineptitude.

Then you had the White Sox.  They hadn’t won the Series since 1917.

So, while the Cubs did have the longest drought in all of sports, it had some esteemed company in the form of the two Sox clubs.

Then, Boston had to go and take the World Series in 2004.  (Wouldn’t you know it?  The White Sox won it the following year.)

Now, you have the Cubs with a 100+ year dry spell.  And they stand alone.  The next longest drought?  That belongs to Cleveland, which last won the Series in 1948.

So, Boston abandoned my beloved Cubbies.  That’s something I’d never do.

Boston also has a football team that had always been pretty middlin’.  The Patriots made it to their first Super Bowl after the 1985 season.

In that Super Bowl, New England was pummelled by the Chicago Bears, 46-10.

The pity I once felt for New England is no more:  The team has won three Super Bowls in the last ten years.

The Bruins, another Beantown entry, now have won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.  All I heard about last week was how long the Bruin fans had suffered the absence of Lord Stanley’s trophy.  C’mon, lets face it:  That 39 year hiatus is a mere hiccup when measured in Cub years.

Of course, the Boston Celtics are the most storied franchise in the NBA (or at least one of the top two).  

Nevertheless, taking the Celts out of the mix, Boston had suffered some pretty miserable  teams until the turn of this century.

I grew up about 150 miles from Boston.  As such, a lot of my pals were fans of teams from that city.  I had a swell time making fun of their teams.  Well, at least I had plenty of ammo to fight back with, when those same pals made fun of the Cubs and the Bills.

The best part was you always knew the Boston teams would either a) stink or b) collapse at crunch time, breaking the hearts of their fans.

Here’s a true story on how bad things were for the Boston faithful.  A friend of mine was a die-hard Brahmin.

One October night, he lay on his couch with his beloved wife, watching the Red Sox head into the ninth inning with a nearly insurmountable lead.  The assumption was that the Sox were on their way to clinching their first Series title in 58 years.

My friend looked into his wife’s eyes and said, “Honey, this is the happiest moment of my life.”

This was the famed 1986 Series, which the Sox would squander in an epic defeat at the hands of the Mets.  My pal’s happiest moment became his darkest.

Many television sets across the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts were smashed that evening. 

But that was just a taste of how bad things could get for Boston fans back then.

And today, the case can be made that Beantown is the best sports city in the U.S. of A.

And my friend?  For not listing as the happiest moment of his life, things such as, oh, his wedding day or the day he met his wife or the birth of his child? I believe that, at bedtime, he still camps out on that same couch.