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Being A Boston Sports Fan Author: Jason OConnor Copyright: 2005
Being a Boston sports fan sometimes reminds me of battered-wife syndrome. You get beaten down, but you keep coming back. You’re given just enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, just enough to ensure your devotion, but then you’re inevitably and sorely disappointed. I don’t know why a woman would ever go back to a coward who hits her, and I often don’t know why I remain a Boston sports fan. The Pats, Celts, Sox and Bruins make you want to like them, but it’s sometimes painful to remain a devoted fan throughout all their turmoil.
I grew up in a hockey family and my dad was particularly faithful to Bruins. From a very early age I can remember him watching Bobby Orr and Esposito skate circles around other teams. By time I was old enough to actually understand what was going on, Bruins were comprised of some more awesome players like Middleton, O'Reilly, Pederson, and Milbury. I used to love to watch Boston play Montreal with my father, but it seemed like Boston lost a lot more than won.
It was great to see Terry O'Reilly beat heck out of other players, and it was cool to watch all these veterans a few years later skate around without helmets while rest of players had to wear them. I guess it was some sort of grandfather clause or something. They just looked tough. When Cam Neely and Ray Bourque started playing I enjoyed Bruins just as much. But after Orr and Esposito were gone, none of these more recent players won Boston Bruins a Stanley Cup, quite frustrating.
But not to fear, The Celtics around this time were hot. Like Bruins/Canadians, Celtics/Lakers rivalry was a blast to experience, especially when Celts won. And they did. I remember probably one of greatest NBA teams ever to exist, Bird, McHale, Parish, DJ and Ainge. They weren’t prettiest bunch of guys around, Bird being particularly funky looking, but they were so fun to watch. It was wonderful to see them beat L.A. Lakers in 1983-84 championship and Houston Rockets in 1985-86 championship.
Unfortunately last few Celtics’ seasons lately have been dismal. They don’t even make it to playoffs regularly any more. How many more “building years” do we need? Watching Pierce take off his shirt and wave it around his head while being ejected from one of playoff games against Pacers this year was sad.
But 1986 was end of Boston championship teams for a long while. In fact, it was sixteen years until Patriots finally won Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. That’s a long wait. That’s a lifetime for crying out loud.
The New England Patriots were another difficult team to watch and remain devoted to. Grogan was a decent quarterback and many would argue Drew Bledsoe was even better, but they never brought a championship home. Watching Drew throw numerous interceptions and trudge off grid iron with hunched shoulders was disturbing. I like to think of Bledsoe as an ‘almost’ kind of player. He was almost awesome, was almost a championship quarterback. He almost won game. Bledsoe actually drove me crazy. He was New England’s franchise player, but he just didn’t seem to ever do quite enough to win. It was so frustrating to watch him play. All big and gawky, shuffling out of pocket like my nana.