The Red Sox are the reigning World Series champions. The Patriots are less than four months removed from confetti landing on their helmets. The Bruins are four wins away from winning their second Stanley Cup this decade, and yet the most discussed topic in the city is “What in the blue hell went wrong with the Celtics this season and how in the world does Danny Ainge fix it?”
There’s a good reason for this, of course. No, basketball is not the favorite sport in Boston.
It’s just that the Celtics messed this whole Boston sports pursuit of perfection up royally.
The Boston Slam (winning the four major sports titles in consecutive order) is no longer possible thanks to the apathetic play of team Green.
Where did it all go wrong?
Seriously speaking, though, Boston can still make history in the next few weeks.
If the Bruins do pull this thing off against either the Sharks or Blues in the Stanley Cup Final, Boston will become the first city in the history of the United States to win a pro sports trifecta in consecutive order since Detroit was a champion in MLB, the NFL and the NHL 83 years ago (1935-36).
That will be the list: Detroit and Boston. No one else.
Of course, what’s happening these days here in the Hub is much more impressive than what happened in the Motor City back during the Franklin Roosevelt administration (wonder if ol’ Franky served up Chick Fil A to the Tigers during their White House visit?).
Back in the ’30s there were only eight teams in the NHL, only nine teams in the NFL (those Boston Redskins stunk up the joint, huh?) and only 16 teams in Major League Baseball. Obviously there was a much easier path to a title back then in all of those sports considering each of today’s pro leagues all have 30 teams or more.
What’s taken so long?
Not to dabble in braggadocio, but it’s actually surprising it has taken Boston this long to be this close to accomplishing the consecutive title trio. The Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics have all had several multi-season stretches in the past 19 years in which they’ve firmly been in the championship mix.
The best shot at this next-level glory came back in 2007-08 when the Josh Beckett – Jonathan Papelbon era Red Sox won the World Series in October. At that time, the Patriots were in the midst of an undefeated regular season – with another Lombardi trophy almost being an afterthought – and the Celtics were just opening up their first season with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen on board.
Oddly enough, it was the Patriots who interrupted the string of Boston excellence here as they lost that infamous David Tyree game to the Giants.
Things were also promising back in 2013-14 when the Red Sox unfathomably won the World Series with dudes like John Lackey and Mike Napoli playing key roles. The Patriots were thought to be sure-fire title contenders at the time, and the Bruins had just come off a run that got them to Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final (a loss to the Blackhawks).
But that Boston sports run quickly fizzled out when a banged up Patriots team fell to the Broncos in the AFC title game. The Pats would win the Super Bowl over the Seahawks a year later, but by that point the Sox were again cellar-dwellers, the Celtics were in a post Pierce and Garnett rebuild, and the Bruins were just entering a brief period of mediocrity.
Here we are just a few years later, however, with the stars seemingly aligned. The Bruins will have home ice advantage against either the Sharks or Blues starting next week, and they have the best goaltender on the planet at this particular moment in Tuukka Rask.
A Boston sports Triple Crown has never been this close.