A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Why I’m sick of Boston
ST. LOUIS — At first it was kind of cute. When the Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series at Busch Stadium, I was happy for their fans. Boston is a passionate and traditional baseball town, and Red Sox Nation endured considerable angst through the decades, ever since some apparently intoxicated fool concluded it would be a swell idea to trade Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
So after the Red Sox and their fans cavorted on the field at Busch, I wrote a column of congratulations. Earlier I had been a good sport following Super Bowl XXXVI, after quarterback Tom Brady orchestrated the first of his many epic, fourth-quarter drives to lead the New England Patriots to a shocking upset over the Rams.
Sure, the Rams should have won. But the underdog Patriots opted to be introduced as a team that day, compared to the individualistic, prancing, showboating Rams.
That earned respect points. And the Super Bowl was played only a few months after the horrific national tragedy of Sept. 11. And the team had that name … PATRIOTS. And those colors, red white and blue. It was a neat story. Not quite Paul Revere’s ride, but it struck the right theme for that snapshot of American culture.
I’m over it now.
Enough already with Boston area teams winning championships.
Since 2001, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls, the Red Sox finally terminated the nonsense of that sorry, no-account built-in excuse (“Curse of the Bambino”) to win the World Series in 2004 and 2007. And now the Boston Celtics are NBA champs after a long drought.
Which means we had to read 5,000 references about how ol’ Red Auerbach was smiling upstairs on that bench in the sky, lighting up a victory cigar. No, he wasn’t; actually Red was out there, somewhere, trying to swindle Ben Kerner again. (“Can you believe I got this moron, Kerner, to trade me Bill Russell?”) Enough with the preening and gloating and this nonstop Boston “Me” Party.
I’m a big guy, so it pains me to say this, but I’m tired of seeing those chunky, pink-faced white guys wearing Celtics throwbacks, straight out of that stupid House of Pain video (“Jump Around”) shouting “We’re No. 1″ at TV cameras with distorted faces.
Hey, Sully — I didn’t see you kick the field goal. That was Vinatieri. So quit rolling around in the end zone. Yo, Murph yeah, you in the Bird jersey, bum-rushing the floor at the Garden on Tuesday night when the Celtics destroyed the Lakers to win the NBA championship.
Yeah, you. That’s right. You aren’t even Eddie Bird (Larry’s brother), so get off the basketball court and let the Celtics players celebrate.
They should rename Boston’s “Big Dig” and call it “Dig Me.”
And I can’t take another column/blog by relentless Boston sports homer Bill Simmons on ESPN.com. Most guys in our business can get a column done in 800 words or so, but every time a Boston team wins a game, Simmons feels compelled to cluster bomb about 27,438 words on innocent sports fans.
The dude takes himself more seriously than Thomas Paine did in writing “Common Sense” during Revolutionary War times.
Hell, I can’t even watch “The Departed” anymore. It’s one of my favorite films.
But it’s set in Boston.
And of course, it won the Oscar for best picture in 2006.
You can have Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, too. And Keith Tkachuk, for that matter.
Why am I so bitter?
For starters, because St. Louis has been way too generous to Boston over the years. That’s one reason. Bobby Orr scored the famous Stanley-Cup clinching goal for the Boston Bruins against the Blues in 1970 while (seemingly) flying through air.
The NBA St. Louis Hawks had the No. 2 pick in the 1956 draft, then Kerner got suckered by Auerbach and traded the pick to the Celtics, who took Russell.
Russell, of course, centered a dynasty that won 11 NBA championships in his 13 seasons. It was one of the all-time dunderhead transactions in the history of sport.
Even St. Louisan James Busch Orthwein played a key role in the Patriots’ resurgence; he bought the team when no one wanted it, hired Bill Parcells as coach, got the Pats into a Super Bowl, then sold the franchise to Robert Kraft.
If Orthwein doesn’t hire Parcells, then Kraft never buddies up with a Parcells assistant, Bill Belichick. Together, Kraft and Belichick teamed for those three Super Bowl champions.
St. Louis born-and-trained soccer stars Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston and Pat Noonan made the New England Revolution an MLS regular-season power.
I’m jaded because we’ve learned a few things over the years. I didn’t know about Spygate when I wrote those gracious words about the Patriots taking down the Rams for their first Super Bowl championship.
I didn’t know that the Patriots were devious cheaters — more like Cold War Soviet spies conducting espionage than true American patriots. I thought I was watching a feel-good story in Super Bowl XXXVI; it didn’t occur to me that I was witnessing a crime being committed.
It also bugged me to discover that Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were running around the field at Busch Stadium when the Red Sox won in 2004, filming the final scene for the sappy, vapid, typically self-absorbed Boston-experience film, “Fever Pitch.”
Do I like anything about Boston?
Bob Ryan, the sportswriter.
Sam Adams, the beer.
The Dropkick Murphys, the band.
The song “Roadrunner,” by the Modern Lovers.
JFK, the first U.S. president elected in my lifetime.
Dunkin Donuts, obviously.
That’s about it. Just some minor relief from this “Hub of the Universe” domination.
When the Post-Dispatch hired a new sports editor recently, we brought in some guy from the Boston Globe.
Hey, at least we didn’t give up Russell for him.