As a Boston sports fan I've ended each decade of my life with mainly pain. Remember the end of the 70s, 80s and 90s? Not much to really celebrate. Of course the Celtics' championships in the 80s stand out and the Patriots, one of the laughable NFL franchises at the time, reaching the Super Bowl as a wild card in 85 and 96 were highlights. But when you think of the past decades you think of losing one-game playoffs, ball through the legs, locker room scandals and more negatives.
Well, we sit on the cusp of a new decade and this time we get to look back and nearly laugh with glee. Three Super Bowl Championships, a perfect regular season, two World Series Championships and a NBA Championship. Hell, you could add in the fact that the MLS team in New England has gone to three of their championship games, Boston College went to a bowl game nearly every year (and was even ranked #2 in the country at one point) and won a hockey NCAA Championship, as did BU and UCONN.
On the eve of the '10s I ask you, what was your favorite MOMENT from New England sports during the past ten years. Tell us the story of the moment, not just "when the Sox won it in '04". I'll start us out:
Climbing up into our truck parked out on Beacon Street my wife and I both looked at each other with pure amazement. The snow was coming down hard, there had to be at least five inches on the ground already. The street was completely covered, on a Saturday night, yet there was not a person around who really could be bothered to be bothered. The snow was the reason we were happy, the snow was the reason that what we just witnessed was so amazing, the snow was the reason we now have something we can call "the snow bowl".
Watching the game we had little expectations at the time, just happy that we had some playoff football to watch on this cold Saturday night in Boston. Only a small sampling of the typical Sunday crew had made their way out to my friend Mike's apartment for the game, the pending snow a deterrent. During the first quarter the snow was already starting to fall and cover the now ripped up field at the old Foxboro (Schaeffer Stadium to some of us) and the snow really made the game a spectacle. Not to mention that the New England Patriots were facing one of their long-time rivals, the Oakland Raiders.
Band-wagon jumping fans (you know who they are) of the Pats probably don't realize the enormously bad blood between these two franchises. But let's just say, when your owner gets in fist-a-cuffs with an opposing player after a game...there is some bad blood. That bad blood would not only continue after this monster game, but it would mark the end of a great franchise in Oakland and the blossoming of a new dominant NFL force in quiet little Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The game is a blur at this point, minus the tuck and the kick. But it was the snow outside after we left the celebration that is my favorite sports moment of the '00s. A fresh snow had blanketed the entire city and people were just running around high-fiving each other, realizing that what we had just witnessed after so many sports disasters was perhaps an inkling of some much needed luck. This moment, standing in the snow, I called my Dad, like I do after every game, and he immediately blurted out:
"Boston teams don't win those games!"
And if you are a fan, you know he is right. But in that moment we knew a Boston team HAD won one of those games, and it was the Patriots who had made it happen. The team that had been relegated fourth in the pantheon for decades. A few weeks later they would cement the foundation of a dynasty in New Orleans, but the shift in Boston sports started that one Saturday night in the snow when we all started to believe that our teams could start winning "those games".