By Jim Churchill
With the Patriots win in Super Bowl LI, it is now 10 titles since 2001: for the Pats (5), Red Sox (3), Celtics (1) and Bruins (1). That is 10 championships out of a possible 63 (or 16%) in the big four professional sports of the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL over the last 16 years. (There was no Stanley Cup in 2005 due to a lockout.)
Teenagers and 20 something’s have no clue what Boston fans endured in decades gone by. The Celtics were the one shining light with 16 NBA championships from 1957 to 1986. The Bruins garnered a couple Stanley Cups in the early 70’s. We know the Red Sox “1918” story and the Patriots were but a footnote in the NFL until a couple of appearances (and losses) in Super Bowls XX and XXXI. From title number 16 for the Celts in 1986 thru 2000 there were zero championships for the Boston teams.
Can the run of success continue for the Boston Four? Why not! The Patriots play in the AFC East and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are still around. The Red Sox have one of the biggest payrolls in baseball and should be reaping the benefits of a productive farm system over the next 3-5 years. The Celtics are deep in young talent, own the Nets #1 pick in the upcoming draft and have a tremendous coach in Brad Stevens. The Bruins… Well, let’s take a wait and see approach with the Boston hockey franchise.
I envision a couple more championships over the next four years from some combination of the Pats, Sox and Celts. That would be twelve over a 20 year stretch. Not bad if it comes to be, but we must remember how difficult it is to “run the table”. There are so many variables that come into play over long seasons in each sport. In total, the Boston franchises are up against 118 other organizations trying to achieve the same thing – winning it all!
For now though, Boston and its trophies are the envy of the sports world.
Here is the complete list of championship cities since 2001:
Boston – 10 (Patriots 5, Red Sox 3, Celtics 1, Bruins 1)
Los Angeles – 6 (Lakers 4, Kings 2)
Chicago – 5 (Blackhawks 3, White Sox 1, Cubs 1)
Pittsburgh – 4 (Steelers 2, Penguins 2)
Miami – 4 (Heat 3, Marlins 1)
San Antonio – 4 (Spurs 4)
Detroit – 3 (Pistons 1, Red Wings 3)
New York – 3 (Giants 2, Yankees 1)
San Francisco – 3 (Giants 3)
Anaheim – 2 (Angels 1, Ducks 1…the Angels were simply the Anaheim Angels in 2002)
Denver – 2 (Broncos 1, Avalanche 1)
St. Louis – 2 (Cardinals 2)
Tampa – 2 (Buccaneers 1, Lightning 1)
Baltimore – 1 (Ravens)
Cleveland – 1 (Cavs)
Dallas – 1 (Mavericks)
Green Bay – 1 (Packers)
Indianapolis – 1 (Colts)
Kansas City – 1 (Royals)
Newark – 1 (Devils)
New Orleans – 1 (Saints)
Oakland – 1 (Warriors)
Philadelphia – 1 (Phillies)
Phoenix – 1 (Diamondbacks)
Raleigh – 1 (Hurricanes)
Seattle – 1 (Seahawks)
Of course, we should be reminded that several cities have more than 4 professional sports franchises and many have less than four. New York has eight! San Antonio has only one!
Jim Churchill is the host of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.