Murphy’s Law – City of Champions


Joel Murphy

On Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics pantsed the Los Angeles Lakers, winning game six of the NBA finals 131-92 and winning their 17th championship.

Now, I’m not here to talk about the game (I leave the sports columns to Note to Self). But I am here to talk about the city of Boston, which has become a sports powerhouse in the past decade. Since 2000, Boston sports franchises have racked up an impressive six championships.

In just the past year, the Red Sox won the World Series; the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season, but lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl and the Celtics ended a 22 season draught to become NBA champions. (The Boston Bruins may have won a Stanley Cup in the past year – I’m not really sure, I don’t get the Outdoor Life Network.) By any measure, Boston has become a force to be reckoned with. It’s a great time to be a sports fan living in Boston.

Except …

I’m a sports fan living in Boston and I actually couldn’t care less.

As all of you longtime readers should already know, I moved from Maryland to Boston in December of 2006. Since moving here, people often ask me what it’s like living in a city with so many successful sports franchises. I think people assume that when I moved here, I instantly forgot about all of my teams back home and just jumped on the Boston bandwagon, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Like many people around the country, I can’t stand the New England Patriots. I think Bill Belichick is classless and a cheater and I think Tom Brady is an annoying pretty boy who enjoys taking sexy photos with farm animals. Even though I am a die hard Washington Redskins fan, I still got a sense of satisfaction watching one of my team’s rivals, the New York Giants, beat the Patriots on the grandest stage.

I feel ambivalent towards the Red Sox. I openly rooted for them to first beat the Yankees, then win the World Series in 2004. (During my best friend’s wedding reception, I even risked the wrath of an angry bride by watching part of the Yankees-Red Sox series with a group of wedding guests.) Hating the Yankees and loving a good underdog story, I was happy to see Boston finally break the supposed “Curse of the Bambino.” But since 2004, the Red Sox have become dominant (while the Yankees have struggled), which has made them no longer interesting to follow.

I have nothing against the Boston Celtics. Out of the three franchises, they are probably the Boston team I like the best. The Celtics have such a rich, impressive history (and a name that plays right to my Irish roots), which makes it tough to dislike them. But, the NBA itself irks me these days. David Stern’s refusal to deal with shady officials puts a taint (tee hee, I said taint) on the entire league, which makes it hard to take seriously. I have more faith in the officials of the WWE than I do in the likes of Tim Donaghy and Dick Bavetta.

So while the Celtics were crushing the Lakers in game six at the TD Banknorth Garden, I was a few miles away in my apartment brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed. I didn’t watch a single moment of the game. Of course, I didn’t need to watch the game to know the outcome. The cheering and offkey singing of “We Are the Champions” from the obnoxious drunks in the apartment building next to mine let me know that the Celtics had won.

The screaming was quickly followed up by fireworks from the people in the apartment building behind me. I swear, these people have an arsenal of fireworks stashed away in their place, ready to break out at any occasion. New Years, Fourth of July, Bunker Hill Day – no matter what the occasion, they are in front of their building lighting up sparklers and launching bottle rockets into the sky. A few weeks ago, the power went out on our entire block for several hours. Our neighbors decided to pass the time by – you guessed it – lighting up fireworks.

As if yelling and fireworks weren’t enough to properly celebrate the big win, every car that drove down my street (and I live on a major road) felt the need to honk their horn to let the drunken fans singing “We Are the Champions” know that they too were happy that the Celtics won. This went on until sometime after 2 a.m. The whole time I showed my support for the Celtics by lying awake in my bed, covering my face with a pillow and mumbling under my breath, “Some of us have to work in the morning.”

So if you want to know what it’s like being a sports fan in Boston these days, there’s your answer. Somehow the Celtics victory turned me into a 70 year old man sitting on my porch and cursing at any damn whippersnapper who dared to walk across my lawn.

Look, I love living in Boston. But honestly, I think it’s time to share the good fortune with some of the other great sports cities out there. Perhaps instead of seeing the Patriots have another dominant season next year, the Washington Redskins could end their 17 year slump and win another Super Bowl. That way, I can be the one keeping my neighbors up all night with my loud cheering and obnoxious singing.

I think I’ll go stock up on fireworks just in case.

Random Thought of the Week:

Whoever invented roundabouts should be forced to circle around one in Hell for all eternity.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.


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