When President Barack Obama honored the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins at the White House on Monday, he jokingly said “The Bruins, the Sox, the Celtics, now the Patriots. Enough already, Boston.”
In retrospect, President Obama makes a valid statement.
The B’s White House visit came less than 24 hours after the Patriots secured a fifth trip to the Super Bowl in the last 10 years and these two celebrations are a reminder of how spoiled Boston sports fans really are.
Anyone who’s followed the Boston sports scene over the past decade knows about the Titletown label. They have made the fanbases of the four home teams expect nothing less than the best year in and year out. Success is gauged not on regular season wins, or division titles, but by championships. Boston sports fans are a unique breed and they demand perfection. They have the unprecedented run of title runs to thank for that.
But now that the first decade of the 21st century has come to a close, one can’t help but think that the aforementioned nicknames are overused clichés, ones used to dwell on the past. They may even be getting a bit old. However, the Patriots are one win away from continuing to assert Boston’s dominance as the greatest sports city in the country.
The Pats’ Super Bowl XXXVI victory over the St. Louis Rams in 2002 was the spark that ignited Boston’s championship flame. Ten years later, they now have a chance to ignite another one that could potentially start another decade of sports excellence in The Hub.
Not only do Boston’s teams continue to succeed, they continue to improve while doing so. With 10 straight wins going into the big game in Indianapolis, the Patriots are showing signs of their dynasty days, in which the team won 21 consecutive games. The Bruins are playing better hockey right now than they were at this point a year ago. On Jan. 24, 2011, the Bruins’ record stood at 27-14-7, good for 61 points and two points ahead of the Canadiens for first place in the Northeast Division. Currently, the Black and Gold are still in first place, but with a 31-13-2 record and a four-point lead over Ottawa.
Even though the Red Sox and Celtics maybe riding in the caboose of the Titletown train right now, don’t count them out. New leadership in the dugout and in the front office gives the Sox a clean slate for success in 2012. And although the Celtics may be in a rebuilding year, they haven’t had a losing season since the 2006-07 campaign. Some basketball franchises and their fans would consider a stretch like that to be successful, but not here in Boston.
That is what makes the Boston sports world so special. Its fans demand victories, and more often than not, they get them. Sure, at times fans of other teams in other cities may say “enough already, Boston,” but as the Patriots get set to embark on another quest for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, some may respond: “No. We’re just getting started…again.”