While not nearly as fanatical (or fatalistic) as Red Sox fans, supporters of the New England Patriots have certainly had much to cheer about lately. The Red Sox (born in 1901), and even the Bruins (1924) and Celtics (1946), may have longer histories on their sides, but the Pats are the only local pro team that’s actually won a championship—when their 2001 season ended with an unlikely Super Bowl triumph—since the 1986 Celtics. All that tends to make Boston football fanatics a little more hopeful and a tad less disappointed with failure than your average manic-depressive Sox follower after one of the Olde Towne Team’s epic collapses.
Which leads us to this past football season’s historic performance. A nearly unprecedented 14 game (and maybe 15, by the time you read this) winning streak is the longest in the NFL since the 1972 Miami Dolphins went undefeated. No wonder Pats fans are no longer an endangered species. Since the team’s inception in 1960 as the Boston Patriots, we’ve had our shares of highs and lows—mostly lows, including a threatened move to St. Louis in the early 1990s and one to, even worse, Hartford later that decade. Needless to say, expectations have not often been as sky-high as they are now.
But regardless of whether the local gridiron heroes have defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Pats-lovers are less likely to sink into a depression similar to the funk Sox fans descended into following the devastating loss to the hated New York Yankees in last season’s playoffs. If the inevitable has come to pass, though, look out your window, for we will surely witness a repeat of the 2002 victory parade and City Hall Plaza rally. And who’d have thought we’d see that again so soon? A Red Sox fan? Nah, probably not.
Source: The Boston Globe, February 6, 2002