Which Team Really Rules Beantown

Can history and tradition trump two Super Bowl victories?
by Christine Celli and Scott Roberto

Bay Staters love sports so much we follow every local team regardless of how well they’re doing. But when it comes to the Patriots and the Red Sox, the bar is raised towards total obsession. But which fans are more rabid? Last year Sox fans were featured in the documentary Still We Believe and are the subject of an upcoming feature film, Fever Pitch. On the other hand, rallies held after the 2002 and 2004 Super Bowl wins by the Patriots attracted more people to the Hub than even the Pope. But who has the upper hand in locals’ hearts? Here’s a look at the facts to help you decide.



  • THE CURSE: Forget about it. Fan loyalty has only grown stronger after 86 years of waiting for a World Series win.
  • THE PLAYERS: Nomar Garciaparra may be gone, but the players that remain—from the hefty bats of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, to the one-two punch of pitchers Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez—blend hard work, fun and crazy hair styles, to boot.
  • THE OWNERS: Popular opinion says that John Henry and his group of fellow owners have vastly improved both the team and the park. Is a championship next?
  • THE STADIUM: Fenway Park is the oldest and most storied ballpark in the majors, not to mention the smallest. But we like it that way.
  • THE FANS: Sox fans are everywhere you look these days, even numbering in the thousands at opposing teams’ ballparks.
  • THE TRADITION: Since 1901, New Englanders have been raised as Red Sox fans and spend the entire year obsessing about the team.
  • THE STREAK: The Pats currently boast a record 18-game (and counting, as of this printing) winning streak, going back to September of last year.
  • THE PLAYERS: Playmakers like quarterback Tom Brady, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, defensive end Richard Seymour and kicker Adam Vinatieri (pictured below) are not only great performers on the field, but quality, likeable individuals off it.
  • THE OWNER: Speaking of which, owner Robert Kraft has kept the team here through thick and thin, reviving a once-moribund franchise.
  • THE STADIUM: Gillette Stadium, built with Kraft’s own money, is a state-of-the-art facility worthy of a championship team and its fans.
  • THE FANS: Who but Pats fans would paint their heads silver and go shirtless in 20 degree weather? Alcohol-fueled or not, you have to admire that kind of dedication.
  • THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: This might say it all: Two Super Bowl victories in the past three years. That tends to win over the hearts and minds of a lot fans.