I can’t relate to being a Boston sports fan.
I don’t know what it’s like to be from a city that has won 10 championships over the last 17 years — at least one per major sports team. And I don’t know what it’s like to expect to win, or to be a bully.
I don’t know what compels those from Boston to sling deep-rooted insults at one another — like in Metro Boston’s column from a few days ago.
I think Boston and Philadelphia have a lot in common. They are two blue-collar towns with people proud of their origins. They are cities that have worked painfully hard to better themselves over the course of history and cities that absolutely love sports.
Patriots fans know what it’s like to win. Eagles fans don’t. How that makes one of our cities better than the other is lost on me.
Boston had Bill Belichick, Theo Epstein and Danny Ainge running their teams. Philly got Joe Banner, Sam Hinkie and Reuben Amaro. What role did the fans play in that?
We relate to these teams like they accomplish for us, but we have no role in anointing the leaders or players who represent us on our teams.
And yet sports are a measuring stick. They should be. They have been around for over a century and bring pride in place, competitiveness and provide countless hours of enriching debate. But they are the measuring stick Boston fans use as their bully pulpit to claim superiority.
I don’t waste my time contemplating which region’s beaches are better, what Christmas decorations say about demographics or how ugly some of the city’s alternative uniforms are. Anyone with half a brain knows that societal elites and trailer trash reside in both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
The off-the-field insults are some sort of compensation. But for what?
What’s it matter if people are a little old fashioned here? Have you been to a Mummer’s Parade? It’s special.
And we invite our 75 friends over for a pool party because we aren’t intrenched in de-humanizing society by creating technology to glass ourselves off from one another. What’s it you guys are doing at MIT and Harvard?
Jovial ball-busting is what makes sports great. Personal insults are what elected Donald Trump president and turned nearly half the country into apathetic pessimists.
The city that wins the Super Bowl should celebrate Sunday night. They should feel proud, they should feel better than everyone else. But they shouldn’t take it for granted. Tom Brady is 40. Once he’s gone, you’ll start to remember what it feels like.