Is Boston’s 18-Year Stretch Of Dominance Just Reaching Its Peak?

When the Bruins took home the Stanley Cup back in 2011, it marked the first time in American sports history that a city had won a championship in all four major sports within a 10-year span.  Three from the Pats, two from the Sox, one from C’s, one from the B’s.  It was an unparalleled level of dominance.

As a result of all the duckboat parades, Boston became despised by the rest of the sports world, and rightfully so.  They had successfully dwarfed every other city in the country.  While other teams either spent consecutive years as basement dwellers, won a title or two and then faded back into mediocrity, or struggled to graduate from contenders or champions, Boston’s teams were starting to be in the hunt every single year, and they were winning A LOT.

Eight years later, nothing has changed.  The Patriots have won three more and the Sox have won two more.  Meanwhile, the Bruins returned to the Finals in 2013 and have only missed the playoffs twice in the past 11 years.  They’re currently considered cup contenders after a first round win over Toronto and dream matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Celtics have only missed the playoffs three times since 2002, less than any NBA team besides the Spurs.  Even after their title in ‘08 and Finals appearance in ‘10, they’ve still managed to make the Conference Finals three more times.  Once more with Doc Rivers and an aging Big 3, once with Brad Stevens’ Isaiah Thomas-led squad, and once with a team of young guns last season after losing two of their three most accomplished players to injury.  Now, after a disappointing regular season, they’ve finally found their elusive identity in the playoffs and are back in the running for a Finals appearance.

As great as life has been in the Boston sports world for the last 18 years, there has never been a year in which all four teams had a shot at a title.  Until now.  The only one that came close was ‘07-’08 when the Red Sox and Celtics both won championships and the Patriots were undefeated in the regular season and went to the Super Bowl.  The Bruins also went to the playoffs and took the Canadiens to seven games in the first round but didn’t advance.  This year, for the first time in the history of Boston sports, all four teams have won a round in the postseason.  Following the Bruins’ Game 7 victory over the Maple Leafs, Boston has now won eight straight playoff rounds dating back to October when the Sox beat the Yankees 3 games to 1 in the ALDS. 

The Red Sox eventually took care of business and the Patriots followed suit.  Three months later, the Bruins have as easy a path to the Finals as they’ll ever see and are currently tied 1-1 with Columbus in the second round.  The Celtics shocked the basketball world by blowing out the Bucks on their own floor in Game 1 to steal home court advantage and restore faith in their title hopes. 

The idea of a “Boston Apocalypse” might sound far-fetched, but we’re halfway there and our winter teams are giving us reason to believe that it is indeed possible.  It’s almost like the more people hate Boston, the better Boston gets.  Sorry, rest of America.

 

Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour

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