New England Sports Fans’ Embarrassment of Riches

During Sunday’s Super Bowl, a friend said to me, “you know, we really don’t have to win.”   We all knew people who died never seeing a Red Sox or Patriot championship, but today the concept of New England sports fans as long-suffering is an anachronism.

It once was very real (in fact I vividly recall replaying many past Boston collapses in my head while the Rams were driving to tie Super Bowl 36), but those demons were exorcised by the Patriots winning the Super Bowl and the Red Sox finally ending the Curse of the Bambino by winning the World Series in 2004.

In this new millennium, New England sports fans have had an embarrassment of riches – now 4 Super Bowl Rings, 3 World Series, along with an NBA and NHL title.  Only the New England Revolution has missed out on the fun, losing 5 MLS Cups (including three in a row).  Even during the dark days of the last century, however, friends rightly pointed out that there is a huge misery gap between losing in the World Series or Super Bowl and never having a prayer of being in it.

You be the judge.  The table below provides a balance sheet of joy and misery.



 72  1972 BRUINS

BRUINS win StanleyCup

RED SOX lose division to Tigers by 1/2 game,
after base running error in final series
 74  1974 CELTICS

CELTICS beat Bucks 4-3 in NBA Finals



BRUINS lose to Flyers 4-1 in Stanley Cup Finals

 75 giffffr (10)

 RED SOX lose World Series to Reds 4-3

 76  1976 CELTICS

CELTICS beat Suns 4-2 in NBA Finals


PATRIOTS lose AFC Divisional Playoff to Raiders
after controversial roughing the passer call.
The call is often on the list of worst penalty calls in
NFL playoff history and the reason why
Pats fan have zero sympathy for Raiders fans
over the “Tuck Rule” call.

77 giffffr (13)

BRUINS swept by Canadians in Stanley Cup Final

 78 giffffr (9)

RED SOX lose tie-breaker game to Yankees after blowing 14-game August lead.

giffffr (15)

BRUINS lose to Canadians in Stanley Cup Finals 4-2

 79 giffffr (11)

BRUINS lose conference semifinals to
Canadians 4-3 after too many men on ice penalty


1981 CELTICSCELTICS beat Rockets 4-2 in NBA Finals

84 1984 CELTICS

CELTICS beat Lakers 4-3 in NBA Finals

 85 giffffr (36)

LAKERS beat Celtics for first time in NBA FInals 4-2.

1985 SUPER

 PATRIOTS crushed by Bears in Super Bowl 46-10

 86 86 CELTICS

CELTICS win 16th Championship.


RED SOX collapse one-out away from World Series win.

 87 giffffr (37)

 CELTICS lose NBA Finals to Lakers 4-2,
with Magic’s “Baby Sky Hook” in Game 5
being the turning point


 giffffr (16)

 BRUINS swept by Oilers in Stanley Cup Final


giffffr (18)

 BRUINS lose to Oilers 4-1 in Stanley Cup Final

 96  giffffr (22)

PATRIOTS lose to Green Bay 35-21 in Super Bowl


giffffr (24)PATRIOTS beat Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl


yjP4kNI REVOLUTION lose 1-0 in MLS Cup
at Gillette Stadium.


giffffr (25)

PATRIOTS beat Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl

 04 giffffr (33)

RED SOX sweep Cardinals for first World Series since 1918
giffffr (26)

PATRIOTS beat Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl


Nro7Nkb REVOLUTION lose 1-0 in Overtime in MLS Cup

 06 NOVMZ8W REVOLUTION lose on Penalty Kicks in MLS Cup
07 giffffr (34)

RED SOX sweep Rockies in World Series.

 giffffr (28)

PATRIOTS lost to Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl,
dashing quest for perfect season.


REVOLUTION lose 3rd Straight MLS Cup

08 giffffr (38)

CELTICS beat Lakers 4-2 in NBA Finals.

10 giffffr (39)

 CELTICS lose to Lakers 4-3 in NBA Finals
after blowing lead in Game 7.

giffffr (21)

 BRUINS blow 3-0 lead against
Flyers in Conference Semifinals

 11  giffffr (19)
BRUINS beat Canucks 4-3 in Stanley Cup Final
giffffr (29)

PATRIOTS lose to Giants 21-17 in Super Bowl rematch

 13  giffffr (35)

RED SOX beat Cardinals 4-2 in World Series.  First close-out win at Fenway since 1918.

 giffffr (20)BRUINS lose to Blackhawks 4-2 in Stanley Cup Final. Two-minutes from forcing a Game 7, the Bruins gave up two goals to give Blackhawks the win.
 14  giffffr (31)PATRIOTS beat Seahawks 28-24
in Super Bowl

REVOLUTION lose 2-1 in MLS Cup


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