The 2000s have undoubtedly been the best decade in Boston sports history, maybe even the best decade for sports in any city. But do you remember the 1990s? That was, without any question, the worst decade for Boston sports. It was the only decade in the 20th century that a Boston team didn't claim a title. That span saw a football team nearly move to St. Louis, a Red Sox team dominated by their archrivals, and the two winter sports clubs becoming jokes.
The biggest moments for a Boston sports fan in the 90's look pretty lame now: Raymond Bourque hoisting the Cup in the red, white, and blue of the Avalanche. The Red Sox winning one playoff series against the Indians. A Super Bowl appearance dominated by a kick returner. Of all four teams, the Bruins had the best decade. That alone speaks volumes.
I'm only 26, but I did survive the 90's as a Boston fan. We haven't known only success here. We suffered too. And that just makes basking in this glorious time so much more enjoyable. And to fans from other cities (Philadelphia, I'm looking in your direction) who envy our success and think we're spoiled, all I can say is that we went through some tough times before this run, so we're going to enjoy it, bitches.
Let's just compare the 1990s to the 2000s team-by-team, and in four important categories: championships, championship appearances, playoff appearances, and playoff rounds won.
PLAYOFF ROUNDS WON:
Apart from the 7-0 disparity in titles, the most striking difference is the 40 playoff rounds won in the 2000s, compared to the 15 in the 90's. Boston teams did contend for playoff spots in the 90's, as demonstrated by their 22 appearances. But they didn't have enough to capture that postseason magic. Pedro didn't have Schilling, Pierce didn't have KG or Ray Allen. The Bruins didn't have Timmy Thomas.
Just compare the names from the 90's sports scene to the names from today. Pete Carroll vs. Bill Belichick. Rick Pitino vs. Doc Rivers. Mark Portugal vs. Jon Lester. Troy O'Leary vs. Manny Ramirez. Drew Bledsoe vs. Tom Brady.
And then there's the owners and GMs. Kraft takes over the Patriots, hires Pioli, three rings. The Yawkey trust sells the Sox, Epstein gets hired, curse over. Wyc Grousbeck and associates buy the Celtics and bring banners back to the Garden. Jeremy Jacobs still owns the Bruins, but they started spending just before the lockout. Then they hired Chiarelli in 2006.
So people who hate us obnoxious, arrogant, "entitled" Boston fans can go fuck themselves. We put up with Desmond Howard, with the Yankees winning 4 World Series in 5 years, with the choking Bruins, and what we all thought was the end of the Celtics' dynasty. We had to listen to Pete Carroll talk about "having fun" and Rick Pitino rant about the "negativity in this town." We had to endure Jimy Williams' nonsensical lineups. We had to watch an endless parade of mediocre athletes don our teams' uniforms then disappear into obscurity: Jose Offerman, Dino Radja, Jim Carey, Sedrick Shaw, I could go on forever.
We've earned the right to be happy, and to rub it in your faces.