The Boston sports storm has come and gone over the last two decades, but now, it’s a full apocalypse hitting New York City.
Brad Marchand walks through the unrecognizable ruins of 7th and 33rd with a smug, job-well-done smirk on his far-too-satisfied face. For good measure, he spears a helpless man wearing the remnants of what looks to be a New York Rangers t-shirt.
There are no five-minute majors and game misconducts for the man suspended more frequently than John Rocker by the MTA. On this dark day in New York sports history (speaking of Mr. Rocker), the Boston sports apocalypse has leveled Manhattan.
Since 2002, the four major professional Boston sports teams have captured 12 championships.
- Patriots (2002)
- Red Sox (2004)
- Patriots (2004)
- Patriots (2005)
- Red Sox (2007)
- Celtics (2008)
- Bruins (2011)
- Red Sox (2013)
- Patriots (2014)
- Patriots (2016)
- Red Sox (2018)
- Patriots (2018)
New York, a city that possesses nine such teams (including the New Jersey Devils), has come away with four.
- Devils (2003)
- Giants (2007)
- Yankees (2009)
- Giants (2011)
Over that same span, Boston’s four clubs have combined for 18 championship appearances, including the Boston Bruins most recent Stanley Cup Playoffs triumph.
- Patriots (2007)
- Celtics (2010)
- Patriots (2011)
- Bruins (2013)
- Patriots (2017)
- Bruins (2019)
New York? Well, a measly 10 title appearances have been realized since the year in question, 2002. (Remember, we’re comparing four teams against nine.)
- Nets (2002)
- Nets (2003)
- Yankees (2003)
- Devils (2012)
- Rangers (2014)
- Mets (2015)
The final hydrogen bomb on the five boroughs (and Northern New Jersey) has just been dropped. The Bruins have a shot to complete a three-peat in three of the four major sports. First, the Boston Red Sox collected their fourth of the century last fall, the New England Patriots took home their sixth in February, and now the Bruins have only the St. Louis Blues, the championship-starving franchise look for its first Stanley Cup, in their way.
Since New York’s last title, the Giants 2011 (2012 Super Bowl) trump over the Pats, Boston has collected five titles. “These people” are more spoiled than Hilary Banks. It’s disgusting, completely ridiculous and just plain wrong.
Souls have been sold to the devil. No matter how it unfolded, (perhaps in a Montgomery Burns-type evil genius fashion) it matters very little. New Yorkers should have seen it coming a mile away.
October 2003, Aaron Boone.
The greatest (I mean, most notorious) curse in sports history was still alive. Yankee Stadium still had juice. And the Yankees were still Pedro Martinez‘s daddy. (Sure, the Patriots stole a measly Super Bowl, but it wasn’t like the next dynasty had just birthed itself. Besides, it was a great New York-connected story following 911: the “Patriots” got it done during the country’s most dire time.)
“Unfair,” while it’s a mere common English-speaking word, was the way of Boston sports life. In what world does a bench player hitting .125 with no postseason home runs smack a first-pitch knuckleball with his brother looking on as the meat of a Joe Buck-Tim McCarver sandwich for an ALCS walk-off dinger?
The Yankees, winners of four of the last seven World Series and five of the last seven AL pennants, did it again; they crushed the souls of our enemies who pronounce words so strangely without the “R” ending.
In fact, from the moment the Mets knocked off those tortured souls up north in 1986 in the most torturous fashion, up until the first Tom Brady-Bill Belichick conquer job, it was all New York. The City tallied 10 championships to Boston’s egg job.
- Mets (1986)
- Giants (1986)
- Giants (1990)
- Rangers (1994)
- Devils (1995)
- Yankees (1996)
- Yankees (1998)
- Yankees (1999)
- Devils (2000)
- Yankees (2000)
The Giants, Devils, Yankees, Mets and Knicks (twice) added six more championship appearances to the mix.
- Knicks (1994)
- Mets (2000)
- Giants (2000)
- Yankees (2001)
- Devils (2002)
New Jersey would add another title in for good measure in 2003 while the Nets back-to-back NBA Finals appearances rounded out the good times.
Times were right and joyous. Only the Celtics could save Boston’s horrid title history pre-1986.
- Red Sox last title: 1918
- Bruins last title: 1972
- Patriots last title: N/A
What happened? Is Boston’s resurgence more a collection of the four organizations coming together with some perfect, unknown recipe for success, or does New York need to take ownership of its decline?
For one, success had been taken for granted. Out with the old and in with the new. Out with the diehard and in with the upper-class.
Never will the Jets or Giants enjoy the same noise level it used against the opponent during the Giants Stadium run. MetLife, for all its new-age hospitality, just doesn’t offer the juice.
Never will the Yankees put the fear of God into opponents in new Yankee Stadium. From Don Mattingly‘s lone postseason home run to Joe Girardi‘s triple to Tino Martinez‘s grand-slam, the hallowed-ground of that ballpark offered something so unique it’ll never be matched again.
Not only is the noise deafening, but the stadium actually shakes. Did New York’s keeping-up-with-the-Joneses act catch up in the long-run?
Sure, the TD Garden and Gillette Stadium are newer buildings, but Boston’s way of handling the situations felt more natural. Boston Garden was done, on its last legs. The Patriots needed a stadium so badly they weren’t long for Foxborough.
Giants Stadium and Yankee Stadium, on the other hand, didn’t need to be replaced. Sure, Madison Square Garden still stands, but the Knicks and Rangers have other pressing issues standing in the way.
And here we are, all these years later, with Fenway Park as the last building standing with the Sox responsible for breaking the curse and beginning all this madness.
If only it can go back to the way things were.
But alas, times have changed. The world is different and feels as though it’s coming to an abrupt end. Clinging to Kyrie Irving‘s double-agent nature in ruining the Celtics title hopes is New York’s lone pleasant thought at the moment. After all, he’s a New Jersey native.
Throughout history, it’s evident only the most tortured can turn the tide. From Mookie Wilson to Aaron Boone, the
grand despicable Boston sports stories now serve as an epilogue to current dominant times.
Unfortunately for New York, the Bruins and Blues won’t turn the tide. A New York team is required on the greatest stage to take one for the team. A Sox 11th-inning ALCS walk-off against Adam Ottavino this fall might serve as the essential turning point in this story that’s reached its heel-turn climax.
As New Yorkers, we can only wish to turn out so fortunate in five months. But then again, Buckner’s “one for the team” lasted another decade and a half. That puts New York in-line for dominance around the year 2030, if history repeats itself.
For now, while everybody in the five boroughs sings the Boston blues, they’ll cling to the only hope they have: the (St. Louis) Blues.