Since 2001, no sports city has been spoiled quite like Boston.
When the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53, it marked Boston’s 12th championship between the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB since 2000. If the Boston Bruins manage to defeat the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC; live stream), they’d push that ridiculous total to 13 titles, and end a “drought” that only started in February.
Let’s zoom in a bit to the dominance Boston has enjoyed since Tom Brady and the Patriots shocked the then-St. Louis Rams and “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
Bruins championship: One (2011)
Boston stunned the Canucks in the most recent Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final, and Vancouver rioted.
The Bruins also made it to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks as they rattled off a stunning 17-second spree to win Game 6. Boston players discussed the highs and lows of their two previous Stanley Cup Final experiences as they ready for Wednesday’s Game 7.
While the Bruins missed the playoffs in 2014-15 and 2015-16, this team has been competitive for quite some time, as strong moves like drafting David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy really gave this Bruins team a shot in the arm.
Patriots championships: Six (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018)
It’s interesting to consider the Patriots’ ascent from Tom Brady shaking his head in disbelief at upsetting the Rams to becoming almost Terminator-level winning machines in more recent years, to the point that the Eagles and Giants were the teams who were shocking the sports world when they beat New England.
Another element of the Patriots’ dominance – and thus Boston sports fans being spoiled – is that they’ve been great for so long that those six championships only tell part of the story. Again, they’ve been upset in those big games too, as they also made the Super Bowl in 2007, 2011, and 2017. So, they’ve appeared in nine Super Bowls since 2001, and have only missed the playoffs twice during that span.
Many adult Boston sports fans have only known a winning Patriots team. Wild.
Red Sox championships: Four (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018)
The Patriots’ unlikely story was something, but any hint of Boston being a tragic sports city was scuttled in 2004, when the Red Sox broke their many curses and went on an improbable World Series run. By the time they won their fourth contemporary championship in October – mere months before the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl – it almost felt clinical for some sports/baseball fans.
The Red Sox have been a competitive team for a long time, and their championship teams have seen some different iterations, giving Boston fans the joy of having many different heroes.
Celtics championship: One (2008)
The Celtics have had multiple dynasties over the years, and while they didn’t quite reach that level during this resounding run, Boston fans still enjoyed one title.
The Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen (not to mention Rajon Rondo) combined to win a title, taking advantage of a short window of time where those veterans were all still at or near their peaks as NBA players. In teaming up, they were part of a trend of superstar team-ups that continued with LeBron in Miami and, really, just look around the NBA at the latest bits of speculation.
As you can see in the video above this post’s headline, the latest, Kyrie Irving-powered iteration of the Celtics fell short this past postseason. Still, Boston sports fans still had the pleasure of watching an NBA team with legitimate aspirations, while celebrating championships by the Patriots, Red Sox, and possibly the Bruins depending upon how Game 7 goes on Wednesday.
Yeah … that’s ridiculous. It’s tough to imagine a major sports city matching this anytime soon, so as spoiled as Boston sports fans have become, they should do their best to cherish this. Granted, it’s tougher to savor things when you’re at a buffet …
Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday (stream here).
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.