Becoming Our Worst Enemy
Finally pitching in to help Kelvin out, hope to be putting something out on a weekly basis soon. Please read and leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thank you! -Gustavo Mora
It’s the year 2000 in the city of Boston and the fan of all things New England sulks around the city wearing his or her pessimism everywhere they go. The New York Yankees have just come off of another decade of winning at our expense, the Patriots go through another overhaul, the Celtics are irrelevant and the Boston Bruins are not far behind. The cautiously optimistic yet infinitely loyal fan that we embody as a city has seen it all over the years and the desperation for a winner grows year by year. We secretly envy the seemingly carefree life of the Yankee fan who no matter the outcome seems to just point to past success in defeat and celebrate again and again after every success. The curse of the bambino ages endlessly every year along with our dwindling hopes and dreams……………….. Then it happened.
A sixth round draft pick out of Michigan enters the game for an injured Drew Bledsoe in the second week of the season and our future as sports fans is never the same again. We become champions for the first time in a LONG time and we celebrate as if we have never and will never see another championship again. Little do we know that it is about to happen not once, not twice, not three times but six more times over the next decade. The dream that we could not even fathom months ago becomes what we wake up to every morning. We were the David to the Goliaths of sports and played the part to perfection. We took on the “Greatest Show on Turf” and we prevailed. We went down 0-3 to the invincible New York Yankees and pulled off the most miraculous comeback in sports history. Vinatieri for the win becomes an automatic outcome at the end of every super bowl. The lowly Celtics even do the impossible and build a champion overnight. We wake up one morning in 2007 and realize we are 3 time super bowl champions, 2 time world series champions and we even managed to add another banner to the Garden! All of a sudden we aren’t the underdogs that nobody believes in anymore. From seemingly one day to the next we go from a forgotten sports city, from the curse of the bambino, from the constant Bill Buckner jokes to the top of the sporting world. We weren’t ready.
Spygate……….the first domino to drop. The Patriots become nationally hated for the spygate controversy and Boston sports fans everywhere begin damage control and the self defense of our coveted titles. This time we weren’t going to accept moving back into obscurity and we were ready to fight for the respect we had finally earned. Bill and Tom change the culture of our city’s humble ways with one big middle finger of a regular season. We blow teams out by 30 points a game, we go for it on 4th down up three touchdowns, we throw deep with a few minutes left in the game no matter what the score is because we are out to prove that we belong. Then we finally have to pay the price of success and we receive the gift of expectation from the most unlikely of teams. Asante Samuel drops an interception in the 4th quarter to preserve our perfect season and the combination of Tyree and Manning(No not Peyton, F’ing Eli) put the bow on our gift from New York. The city so often just happy to be there goes into a rage after the loss. We point fingers, blame players and act spoiled rotten as if nobody else could have possibly beaten us. There was no way our city could be robbed of another title. We EXPECTED to win for the first time in a long time. We became what we always hated the most, we became the spoiled New York Yankee fans.
How could we possibly become that which we hate the most you may ask? How could a city so traditionally pessimistic and cautious about hopes and expectations become the one with the bulls eye on its back? We were no longer the losers and we didn’t know what it was like to be on the other side. A week ago today I witnessed the diehard Patriots fans(myself included) do what I thought we never would do, become sore losers. I did not speak to one Patriots fan who was just happy we made it or glad that we were able to go this far with such a young team. We were bitter and we let everyone know that we were. We hate Rob Gronkowski now because he was dancing after the super bowl instead of praising him for such an amazing season. We hate Eli Manning as opposed to crediting him because we don’t think he deserves it as much as Brady. We lash out at the people who mock our failure because we feel we shouldn’t lose. We wished this upon ourselves every time Vinatieri stepped back to kick, when Ortiz would come up to bat, and when Pierce would put up the game winner. The kick was good, the ball made it over the monster and the ball effortlessly went through the net. We got exactly what we wished for and know we must accept the consequences. When you ask a New Yorker about losing a championship they will point out the twenty seven times they didn’t lose. When you ask a Boston fan the same question we will point to the plethora of championships that allowed us to own this era. Expectation is fueling our excuses, our bitterness and our downright sore loser attitude. We now have to deal with the weight of expectations always on our shoulders, the fairy tale was fun while it lasted.