The Greatest Fanbase of All Time
Boston sports are on the top of the world. Not just the Northeast or the United States or North America, but the entire world.
When it comes to a place with professional sports teams, none are as consistently successful as the teams from the greater Boston area. That got me thinking, why is that? Is there some sort of correlation or is it one huge coincidence?
With the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, that makes three Boston teams to be in their league championship in the last seven months.
The Red Sox and Patriots were able to take home the title, and the Bruins are favored to do so as well. The only major sports team in the greater Boston area that will not be making a run at the championship this year are the Boston Celtics.
Funny enough they were the team before the season that if you had to bet one Boston team to make the championship, would’ve easily been anyone’s choice.
How crazy is it for one city’s teams to have so much success? It seems almost unreal. It can’t be that much of a coincidence, especially because Boston sports have been great in every sport for almost the last 20 years.
Folks I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t just some good luck. It’s a culture that has been built over time that no other city in the world has when it comes to sports. Boston lives, eats, breaths, sleeps, drinks (always), and dies (sometimes) by sports. If you walk down a street corner and don’t see five people in a jersey, you’re probably in Baltimore not Boston.
Boston fans can be the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet when the teams playing well, and the biggest jerks to ever walk this earth when you start playing shaky. Part of that is what makes Boston so special, they care so much. Part of it is what also makes it such a difficult place to play.
Only special players can coexist in Boston. They have to be mentally tough, work hard, and have heart. Those are the guys that always last in this city, and the fans always fall in love with them (Kevin Millar, Brad Marchand, Marcus Smart, Julian Edelman). The “divas” are usually the players who hate playing in Boston, because everyone and their mother has a strong opinion.
Boston fans can negatively impact a team’s morale, but more times than not they help it. Boston sells out almost every game for every sport. They’re known to have raucous crowds that are difficult for opposing teams to play in. Most importantly they bring the energy, and have a high sports IQ on what’s going on in each particular game.
Places like San Francisco pride themselves on technology, Boston prides themselves on sports. That’s just how it is, and it’s what makes Boston the best place to play.
Boston fans expect greatness. Making the playoffs isn’t enough. Usually it's championship or bust for every team; every season. Or else.
Those expectations put so much pressure on ownership, the front office, coaches, and players to perform up to that high standard. Teams know that they will hear it if they’re not doing well, and understand how easy it is to fall out of the good graces with their fan base.
That pressure is what has led so many of these Boston area teams to be great for so long. The fans and media expect the teams to be great, so the teams have fell in line and got the best of the best when it comes to players, coaches, scouts, and talent evaluators.
All this being said, it might sound absurd to give some crazy fans so much credit, but there’s a lot of truth to my claims.
Teams from New York, Chicago, Houston, and LA always seem to have a few successful organizations at any given time. Teams from Phoenix, Memphis, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay always seem to have crap teams. Is that a coincidence or is it because people set winning expectations in these places and not in the other?
There are many great sports cities, and many terrible ones too; but none are as great as Boston. Just in the last 18 years Boston teams have been to 19 championships, and have won twelve, possibly thirteen of them once the B’s year is over.
Yes, that is over one championship appearance each season, it blows my mind just to think about. Some could argue that could be a fluke if it only last for a few years, but two decades of sustained success is more than enough of a track record.
This amazing run will never be matched by another city in sporting history, too much winning too often, and by every organization makes it improbable. Boston fans don’t deserve all the credit of course. They’re just fans and don’t play the sport or make any important decisions. That being said, it’s no coincidence that every Boston team feels the pressure to rise up to greatness.
They’re a fan base that lives and dies with every game, and expects the best from every organization. You can give Boston a hard time or call it names, because sometimes the city is deserving of that; but you can’t deny how much the fans mean to each teams success.
Boston is what every other fan base should aspire to be, and that’s why Boston is the GOAT sports city of the world.
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