Monday, January 17, 2011

Back to expecting the worst?

Many of us, including yours truly, who grew up in New England as sports fans developed a very negative, fatalistic perspective.  It's almost a mirror image of my personality -- the eternal optimist who doesn't expect positive results and sometimes expecting the worst in the midst of the best.  No idea what I'm talking about?  Research Red Sox and Bruins playoff history, particularly in their best years when things looked their brightest; when salvation was tantalizingly in reach, the Sword of Damocles would fall.
The point of this?  New England sports fans have had it great the last 10 years, in fact we've been spoiled -- three Patriot Super Bowl wins, two Red Sox World Series titles and one Celtic NBA title.  This served to wash away most of the fatalistic expectations of New England fans but not entirely.  I think that would be impossible.
But now in the last three plus years we have the Red Sox losing playoff series to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Celtics losing a game 7 of the NBA Finals to the Lakers (a game they had in hand and to a team they always owned in this situation) and now the Patriots, the team most responsible for our confidence, has lost three straight playoff games, two of them to New York teams where they were the overwhelming favorite.
Are you still as confident and comfortable watching your team when the season's on the line as you were a couple of years ago?


ADO said...

I agree with Heidi, I feel like I've been dumped...I guess there is a reason for football 'season', so we forgive and forget. All will be right with the world by the next football season. I still LOVE the Pats and football.

bashfulbanana said...

I totally agree with your comments. I also have the feeling that as a New Englander fan that I am having my feelings toyed with, just when I am getting pumped up thinking that we have turned the tide of self destruction and I start to get encouraged the bubble gets burst. And it seems that the build up of feeling more confident gets destroyed with a "game" of such dissapointment that it hurts more so because of the double edge of build up with total dissapointment.

Brent said...

Get over yourselves, New England fans. The Pats won in 2008. The Celtics won in 2008. The Red Sox won in 2007. The only major team in the market that has had a tide of self destruction is the Bruins.

I could understand if you are a fan of hometown teams in Seattle, Washington DC, St. Louis, Kansas City, and a host of others. Having 6 World Championships in the past decade is worth celebrating. And for those fans in New England that are being fatalistic because there wasn't another 5 championships in that region, you need to change. Because not all the time will your team win when they come close.

If you take my regional teams, there hasn't been a championship here in 20 years. The Vikings haven't won the title. Neither have the Wild or the Timberwolves. The Twins last title was 1991.

Zebster said...

I knew I should've written another paragraph because I worried I'd get a response like that, Brent. That's not the point. Yes, as I said, we have been spoiled of late and we've always had the Celtics; but no fan base can understand the psyche of NE fans because no other fan base, in a baseball and hockey town, has been tortured similarly. Yes, even prior to these championships, we had a lot of good teams but that's part of the point. Get so close so many times only to have it snatched from you in some of the most historic ways, especially when your 2 biggest rivals (Yanks and Habs) are the 2 most successful and seemingly the ones always responsible for unbelievable heartbreak.
So I don't expect anyone outside of NE to understand, not even Cub fans. And would we trade that history for that of a region that never gets its heart broken because it never gets close? No, of course not. The point of the piece was just wondering out loud if these latest monumental collapses make that emotion resurface.