Boston is a city known for its sports, and most notably its passionate and at times ruthless fans. According to a recent study by WalletHub, Boston is the best sports city in the nation, and it’s justifiable. Since 2000, sports teams in the region have enjoyed unprecedented success, accumulating 12 championships between the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots. This has established a standard of winning that young fans have become accustomed to. When asked about their perspective on the Boston sports landscape and how it has changed over time, younger high school students and older faculty had varying perspectives and memories.
Diego Demeo ‘24 recognizes that success isn’t always guaranteed when it comes to sports, and as success builds it actually becomes tougher to maintain.
“I feel lucky to be a Boston sports fan, I don’t think anyone will ever get to experience the golden age of Patriots super bowls like we have,” said Demeo.
While success and passion has seemed constant within the Boston sports landscape for a while now, it was not always assured.
“I was a radio producer[WBZ-AM], and we tried to give away Patriots tickets to a game against the Dolphins, because the Patriots were so bad,” said John Brown, Athletic Director at the high school, “we were trying to sell them for charity but nobody would buy them, and then we tried to give them away and nobody would take them, and then we had to pay for people to go.”
There have been many memorable Boston sporting moments over the course of twenty years, with the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins, all winning at least one championship during that time. But there have been painful moments as well.
“The Red Sox struggled quite a bit, ‘75 was a heartbreaker. I was a kid at the time but I remember them losing the world series. The Red Sox went such a long time without winning. The Bruins won during the Bobby Orr era, and then they had some really tough times against the Canadians,” said Brown.
Even through these difficult sporting moments and heartbreaking losses, Bostonians’ love for their sports teams has only grown over time.
“No matter what the situation is, we [Boston sports fans] all have that same connection of energy,” said Demeo, “as in the love for a sports team, because they have been symbols of Boston.”
Boston sports fans’ passion and interest is what makes the region stand out from other sporting cities, said Jesse Davis, the head coach of the Wellesley football team.
“Boston is one-hundred percent a sports city. Once you get out and see other cities and their passion, or lack of, for their teams you can really appreciate the sports atmosphere here in New England,” says Davis.
I talked with Stephen Goehringer ‘24 on the difference between Boston and other so-called sports cities.
“I went to an Angels game in Los Angeles, and there were more Boston fans than there were Angels fans, even though it was an away game. There are a lot of cities that don’t have as much pride in their sports,” said Goehringer.
According to Goehringer, sports are an important aspect of Boston tradition, since it is ingrained within many people’s daily life.
“Sports in Boston act as something in which a lot of people share beliefs on, and even people who aren’t into sports know about the Patriots and Tom Brady because it’s just a part of the culture.”
In 2020, Boston teams faltered in their pursuit of championships, specifically the Patriots, who finished the season with seven wins and nine losses. But, that is not stopping fans optimism about a potential playoff run for the Patriots this year.
“I’d like to see the Patriots in the playoffs because it’s always fun to be a part of that. We didn’t start off well, but I think we’re going to end up pretty good if we keep playing the way we are right now,” said Demeo.
The Red Sox received a lot of local media coverage with their promising playoff run to the American League Championship Series, but ended up falling to the Houston Astros at the last hurdle before the world series.
“I thought they had a shot when they were in the playoffs. I didn’t think that the pitching was strong enough, but they certainly did the job,” said Brown, a former pitcher at Boston College. “Let’s see if they can keep a lot of the team together if they can.”
With the Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots seasons underway, along with the playoffs for the Revolution, fans will have enough sources of passion and enjoyment over the next couple of weeks and for upcoming winter and spring. We will see if the expectation of success correlates to wins for each of these teams.