For nearly my entire time on this planet, the Patriots and the Red Sox have dominated the landscape of Boston; The Celtics had a run in the late 2000s, and the Bruins took the cup in 2011, but six Super Bowls and four World Series titles is a lot to contend with.
But almost invisibly, the tides may have turned.
The Norm In Boston
I’m about to turn 26, and it seems like the sports scene is changing in front of our very eyes. Tom Brady is gone, and the Patriots have been mediocre since 2018. Belichick is looking his age more and more each season, and the talent level isn’t what it used to be on this team. As a result, the team plays with much less of an edge than we have seen from then, even ten years ago. Winning the penalty game, the turnover battle, letting teams beat themselves, and redzone efficiency are all staples of a Bill Belichick team that hasn’t stuck the way they have in the past.
The team hasn’t won a playoff game in three seasons. For a fan base accustomed to the annual AFC championship matchup, that’s just unacceptable. The Pats were supposed to be different from all the other great dynastic runs and rebuild on the fly to contend again. However, we have had seasons ruined by Cam Newton, Bill himself, and Matt Patricia. I know most fanbases aren’t shedding tears, but the fall from the top hurt more than some here in Boston care to share
The Red Sox
John Henry and Chaim Bloom are gutting this team from the inside out. It all started with the Mookie Betts trade, in which the best player we received was probably Alex Verdugo, who is just an equal to or slightly worse than Andrew Bendentindi. Next, we didn’t sign Kyle Schwaber and traded Hunter Renfroe, who combined for nearly 70 home runs this season. Then came the Christian Velaquez trade, which wasn’t a huge deal to me but was a significant factor in Xander leaving town. That and the insult was the Red Sox extension. This team got the buzz back and made it to the ACLS when they had no business being there and didn’t get any support.
John Henry is more interested in owning the Pittsburgh Penguins or possibly trying to sell off Liverpool for him to make a bid on the Commanders when they officially go up for sale. The point is he won his four World Series rings, and it isn’t his primary concern anymore. Ratings and interest are insanely low for Boston, which lives and breathes for the Sox. Just because we, as fans, will always love the Red Sox in Boston doesn’t mean they can cheap out or treat the team like the Tampa Bay Rays. This is one of the biggest baseball markets left, and we will not tolerate mediocrity.
They may have finally begun to understand that they were losing fan support because the Boston Red Sox made a massive move verbally extending Rafi Devers for 11 year $331 million deal. This at least shows us there is a cornerstone to this team. I feel like management is waiting for the next group of young stars to come out of the system, but that may take a few years to hit their stride.
The Switch Seems Inevitable
The Sox and the Pats don’t seem to have the in-it-every-year factor they once did. But then, all of a sudden, the TD Garden is home to Boston’s brightest stars.
The green teamers have been waiting for this period since the mid-80s during the short shorts and stash era. Jayson Tatum is the new face of Boston sports, and to some fans, Jaylen Brown is right behind him. However, the team has been in a tough stretch since the beginning of December. I’m glad they got lit up by the Thunder 150-117, which could be the wake-up call they needed because they held Luka and the Mavs to 95 points. Still, the truth is they were just in the finals and started the season off as one of the hottest offenses units in the history of the NBA.
The team is gushing with young and hungry stars; they just need to get over the final hump this season. If they do that, it could cement the shift to the Celtics being the most critical show in town. They are the closest to winning a championship and the most well-built of the four teams. They have the highest ceiling if they can get out of their own way and lift the trophy. Once they have that experience, the Celtics could go on a nice run.
The addition of Malcolm Brogdon is going to mean volumes come playoff time; he can create his shot, distribute, and play solid perimeter defense. As well as making sure Timelord is fully healthy. Those two pieces will be massive if they want to finish the race.
The Bruins are red hot right now, they might be the most dangerous team in hockey, but most of their firepower is older. Many in Boston think the Celtics have a higher ceiling in the long run, but this year could be everything. Boston is supposed to be a hockey city, but with the unprecedented success of the Sox and Pats, the fans shifted focus. But now, with scoring coming from almost every angle, top-tier talent, and a goalie tandem that has been dominating.
Jake DeBrusk got put on the long-term IR for four weeks with a fractured tibula, but this team has been nearly unstoppable. Krejci and Pasta have unlocked something together on the second line, and Taylor Hall looks more like the 2015 MVP than ever on the THIRD line. The trade deadline is still looming, and it would be nice for them to pick up another bruising defensemen to do the dirty work and keep people away from the net.
This was thought to be a final run for the likes of Bergeron and Krejci, but the way they play together, why would they stop? The only real question is whether they can keep this up and bring the Stanley Cup back home and re-establish hockey as the dominant sport in the city of Boston.
I feel like many people are getting fed up with the actions of the Patriots and Red Sox. They can get a few passes because of the history they have given recently. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t strive for championships. The Bruins and Celtics can take control of the Boston sports power vacuum.