Saturday, February 07, 2004

Yeah, Well, Brady's No Pedro | Sports performs a vital civic function, I've often argued. It allows people of completely different backgrounds to come together in celebration -- or, often, commiseration -- over the fortunes of a common, unifying entity. Main Line lawyers, South Philly contractors, South Jersey dentists -- regardless of who we are, we all rally 'round our teams. When one of our teams does well, we exchange high-fives with strangers; when it falters, we bitch to each other over beers at area watering holes. Whether our team is the Phillies or Eagles, the Sixers or Flyers, a rare kind of regional union takes place that identifies all of us as Philadelphians -- regardless of zip code, age, gender, religion, or race.

Then there's Boston. The Patriots just won their second Super Bowl in three seasons, and some fans up here can't even give them their due for more than a day, according to a story in the metro section of today's Globe:

"For one brief moment, it was the Patriots' day," said [Susan] Regan while sipping a beer at The Fours sports bar near North Station the evening after the parade. "But you know what? Now we're back to the Red Sox. Today was crazy. Today was great. But it wasn't the Sox."

The Patriots hardly could have done more to captivate New Englanders this season, running off 15 consecutive wins and returning home with their second championship in three years. But while fans proudly thumped their chests for the Patriots this week, the Red Sox's October demise at the hands of the New York Yankees was still eating at them inside.

Sox baseball caps rivaled Patriots hats at Tuesday's parade and rally, while banners and T-shirts featuring a vulgar expression about the Yankees dotted the landscape. Fans streaming out of the Super Bowl in Houston Sunday night erupted into chants of "Let's Go Red Sox, Let's Go!" Back home, one of the largest post-game celebrations in the city took place right outside Fenway Park.

Look, I've been to Flyers games when the "Let's go, Eagles!" chant has swelled up. But that happened during meaningless regular-season games, when the Eagles were churning through the playoffs. When there's success, we close ranks -- you should have seen the number of 76ers flags fluttering from car windows when the Sixers made the NBA finals a few years back. You want to smack these people up here and ask them if they realize what they've got. A second Super Bowl crown in three years -- and they ask what the Red Sox have done for them lately? Stop and smell the roses, folks. After all, some of us haven't gotten a whiff in more than 20 years.


Post a Comment

<< Home