7 Reasons Boston Is the Best Sports City in the World
There are many sports-savvy cities in the world, but Boston, Mass., is the No. 1 place for sports fans to be.
In a single decade, Boston's franchises have claimed seven championships—at least one in every major sport.
However, the recent success of the city's professional teams is only part of what makes Boston the greatest sports city on earth.
Here are seven reasons why Boston is Titletown USA.
The Boston Marathon
For 116 years, the Boston Marathon has been a Patriots' Day spectacle in the Greater Boston area.
According to Infoplease.com, the world's oldest annual marathon attracts well over 20,000 runners from all over the world. Meanwhile, roughly 500,000 people attend just to take in the 26-plus mile trek from the edge of the paved streets.
The event is a New England tradition that only adds to the sporting culture of this illustrious city.
The History of College Sports
The collegiate athletics in Boston have been responsible for some classic moments in sports history.
The Beanpot ice hockey tournament held at the TD Garden between Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern and Harvard may just be for a silver bowl, but it means much more.
The winner has gone on to win the National Championship in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2001 and 1995, according to Ricky Doyle of NESN.com. The trend continued in 2012, as the Boston College Eagles were crowned national champs.
Not all the college sports excitement in Boston needs a Zamboni. On Nov. 23, 1984, there was a football game between Boston College and the University of Miami.
A 5'9" B.C. quarterback named Doug Flutie changed the face of college football with one pass at the Orange Bowl: a 60-yard "Hail Mary." The deep ball was caught by Gerry Phelan, and the Eagles came back to defeat the Hurricanes, 47-45.
Not long after, Flutie was a Heisman Trophy winner and the face of college football. His last-second bomb against the defending champions will go down as one of the greatest plays the game has ever seen.
The New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have the winningest quarterback-coach tandem in NFL history with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Yet, the Patriots have earned more than just individual achievements, they've earned championships.
Since the 2001-2002 season, New England has appeared in five Super Bowls and won three of them, two of which were decided on clutch Adam Vinatieri field goals.
Yes, the Patriots have fallen just short to the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012, but they're still one of the most consistent teams in all of the NFL. Since 2001, the Patriots have only missed the playoffs twice and set a record for most wins in a decade with 126.
For vanity's sake, Tom Brady broke the NFL's single-season passing touchdown record in 2008 with 50. In addition, ex-Patriot wide receiver Randy Moss was on the receiving end of 23 of those passes—another single-season record. Unfortunately that perfect 16-0 regular season ended 18-1. Nonetheless, those numbers cannot go unnoticed.
With that said, the Patriot way has never been about relishing in past statistics or records, but about winning football games. As long as coach Belichick is telling his players "do your job," then the organization is in good hands.
After another strong offseason of acquisitions via free agency and the NFL draft, the Pats are poised to make another Super Bowl run next season. Although it's only June, the team is currently notched second in ESPN's post-draft NFL power rankings.
The Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are in a class of their own.
The franchise's 17 NBA championships are the most of any team in the league's history. Between 1959 and 1966, Boston won eight straight NBA Finals. And besides the Larry Bird-less 1990s, at least one banner has been raised to the rafters in every decade since the 1950s.
When it comes to the C's players, coaches, executives and contributors—they too are the cream of the crop. In fact, 33 Celtics have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in nearby Springfield, Mass.
Prestigious names like Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Bob Cousy, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and the aforementioned Larry Bird have established a legacy. Now, it is up to current Celtics like captain Paul Pierce and point guard Rajon Rondo to uphold the team's history of greatness.
In 2012, the Celtics' hunt for banner 18 ran out of gas in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. The loss likely spells the end for the modern 'Big 3' era, with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen no longer under contract. Yet, just four years ago, the squad defeated their rival Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Without a doubt, there will be some more Celts enshrined in the Hall of Fame very soon.
The Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox endured an 86-year championship drought. Ever since Babe Ruth was traded to the New York Yankees, the Sox were cursed. There were Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone, all of whom became infamous in the team's history.
Then came the 2004 American League Championship Series against the arch-nemesis Yankees.
Down 0-3 in the series, there was no reason to believe the Red Sox would win a single game. Then Curt Schilling stepped onto the mound, wearing his bloody sock. Pinch runner Dave Roberts stole second base, and somehow Boston eliminated the Yanks and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
Reversing the curse. That is what it means to be a Red Sox.
In 2007, the Red Sox won it all again versus the Colorado Rockies. Some went their entire life without seeing the Sox win a World Series, and then it happened twice in four seasons. It's a story for the ages.
Ted Williams became the most recent player to hit for an average over .400 in 1941, Cy Young captured the most victories for a pitcher with 511 and Carl Yastrzemski was the last player to bat for the triple crown in 1967.
It's not all about the records, however. There's something to be said for Fenway Park's baseball ambiance.
Fenway may be cramped and without all the modern amenities. But, at age 100, it is the oldest active ballpark in the Major Leagues. There's Pesky's Pole in right field and the Green Monster in left; it's a place of noble history and character.
The Red Sox and Fenway Park have been vital in making Boston a unique place in the sports world.
The Boston Bruins
The iconic image of Bobby Orr soaring through the air after scoring a goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals is still ingrained in Bostonians' memories. It's safe to say that goalie Tim Thomas's brick-wall defense during last year's playoffs won't be forgotten either.
In total, there are 47 Bruins in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and there will be more to come.
In 2012, the Bruins failed to repeat and were bounced out of the postseason by the Washington Capitals. But, with young talents like 20-year-old Tyler Seguin, 24-year-old Brad Marchand and 25-year-old Tuukka Rask, the future is bright for the B's.
Boston sports teams would not be successful without their loyal fans. As most Boston sports lovers know by now, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
There's Pats Nation, Celtics Nation, Red Sox Nation and B's Nation. All of which are equally important, depending on the season.
Boston fans stick to their guns through thick and thin. Suffering through Super Bowl slip ups, an NBA Finals loss, a devastating Red Sox September or a playoff-eliminating overtime goal, these fans have seen it all.
They may voice distaste for their team's misfortune, but that's only because they care. It doesn't matter if it's a technical foul call on Kevin Garnett or a called third strike on Kevin Youkilis—Boston fans let their opinion be known.
One thing is for sure: New Englanders know their football, basketball, baseball and hockey. As a result, they're willing to shell out serious cash.
According to SeatGeek.com (via NESN.com), people in Boston pay a higher price for tickets than anywhere else in the country. The average price for a ticket is $118. That's not good news for faithful fans, but Boston fanatics are willing to pay whatever it costs to see their teams play.
Every year, the people of Boston want to see a Duck Boat parade commemorating a championship victory.
And, usually, they do.