It’s a bit frightening to be a Boston sports fan as we enter this next decade. We don’t want to say goodbye to Tom Brady or Bill Belichick or Zdeno Chara or Patrice Bergeron or Dustin Pedroia or Chris Sale, but we will have to in the 2020s.
The big question now is, can Boston sustain this unprecedented run of glory? Let’s take a look.
1. The 6-6-6 formula
The rest of the country thinks we’re devil worshipers for rooting on Bill Belichick, Bob Kraft and Tom Brady anyways. Might as well embrace it.
Take a look: Boston won six major sports championships in the 2000s, six more in the 2010s and (great news, guys!) we will win another six titles in the 2020s.
This city’s sports success has been absolutely absurd over the past 18 years, for sure. But there is still great reason to believe all four teams will continue to be elite – at least early into the decade we just entered.
We can thank the Patriots for the brunt of the city’s success, with six championships in the past two decades. The Red Sox helped out greatly as well, with four. But this could be the decade in which we see the Celtics and Bruins step up to the plate with multiple titles.
2. Belichick outlasts Brady
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This one is fairly obvious by now. We are firmly in the final days of Tom Brady in a Patriots uniform. In fact, we could see the G.O.A.T.’s swan song this Saturday if the Pats lose to the Titans.
But Bill Belichick is going nowhere.
The hooded one recently backtracked and said he was now open to coaching into his 70s (he’ll be 68 at the start of the 2020 season). So let’s pencil him in for an exit in 2025 … which leads to this:
3. Stephen Belichick takes over for Bill
Ahhh … nepotism at its finest.
No, really, Stephen Belichick might just be the best man for the job in five years. Young Belichick was a major force in making the Patriots’ defense into an elite force this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if Daddy Belichick actually stayed on Stephen’s staff in “retirement” … maybe even as Stephen’s defensive coordinator?
Bill is sounding like he’s going to coach in some capacity until he’s deceased, so it’s either something like this or he takes over as the head man at Nantucket High School.
4. Brady plays against Pats in the playoffs
Ryan Tannehill has been great for the Titans this season, but if Mike Vrabel has a chance to snag his former teammate this coming off-season he’ll do so. The Titans are operating in a “win-now” mode, and it wouldn’t be a shocker to see them try and lure Brady to Tennessee by signing Antonio Brown and/or other big name receivers.
It would kill people around here to see Brady play for another team, let alone play against them in a meaningful game. But we absolutely could see it.
5. The Celtics own the decade
The only Boston team that did not win a championship in the 2010s was the Celtics, who will more than make up for it in the roaring 20s.
The C’s will go through different iterations throughout this next decade, but the young core of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will remain.
Danny Ainge has somehow made Boston a desirable place to play basketball again when it comes to free agency, so when Kemba Walker’s contract or Gordon Hayward’s contract comes up, Ainge won’t be panicking to replace them. Elite free agents will be wanting to join Tatum and Brown – both of whom will be in their early 30s and will still be playing in Boston in 2030.
6. Ruthless Red Sox
The Red Sox are ruthless with the way they operate, as there’s no guarantee any of their young core (Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr.) will be around in 2022 – let alone 2030.
The next great Red Sox team will feature maybe Devers and maybe Bogaerts – but will be mostly comprised of guys that are currently in farm systems or in high school.
7. Henry sells the Sox
It also wouldn’t be too big of a surprise to see John Henry sell the Red Sox in the 2020s.
Henry is now 70-years-old, and he has done everything imaginable in renovating Fenway Park.
He is also very much worried about the overall future of the sport of baseball though, with declining ratings and attendance across the league. That trend hasn’t really affected the Red Sox yet, but they are now a distant second (possibly even third behind the Celtics) in terms of popularity in this town. When Henry took over in 2002, the Sox were number one in terms of popularity in the Hub – even ahead of the Pats.
Henry, a brilliant businessman, has to be looking at his franchise as a stock that has been slowly sinking for years.
8. Two Cups for the B’s
The Bruins have the perfect blend of young and old on their roster right now, and this early season has proven that their run to Game 7 of the Cup Final last year was no fluke.
The old guard (Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask) will disappear over the next 10 years, but the new blood (led by David Pastrnak) will keep the B’s at an elite level.
Don Sweeney is proving to be one of the more underrated executives in sports, and he will supplement Pastrnak with a roster that will bring home two Stanley Cups in the 2020s.
9. Brady’s replacement
Jarrett Stidham is not the answer here.
Instead, the Patriots will bring in a veteran quarterback or two over the next few years to try and keep the Pats’ offense respectable.
Belichick will target a “bridge QB” in free agency or via trade and will surround said QB with elite weapons at receiver.
The Pats will draft their next franchise QB in the 2020s, but he will have to wait behind a Cam Newton, or a Jameis Winston or even a Ryan Fitzpatrick for a couple of years.
10. Six score, six more
Here’s the breakdown of championships by decade:
2000s: Patriots 3, Red Sox 2, Celtics 1
2010s: Patriots 3, Red Sox 2, Bruins 1
And here’s what it will be in the 2020s, so that we get back to that magic number of 6 for the decade:
2020s: Celtics 2, Bruins 2, Patriots 1, Red Sox 1
The Patriots will win one Super Bowl without Tom Brady in the decade, but era of year-to-year dominance will sadly come to an end.