Look, everybody knows that one of the godfathers of sports blogging, whether he wants to admit it or not, is ESPN’s Bill Simmons. One of the most amusing parts of Simmons’ columns is how he often finds the “real life equivalent” to various sports and pop culture phenomena, and if I tried to pass off this column as anything but a direct import of that concept, it would be idea plagiarism. So let’s just call it an homage. Thanks, Bill.
While I was watching game five on Wednesday night, I randomly blurted out, “God, I hate the F-ing Celtics.” My roommate asked me why I hated the Celtics so much, knowing full well that not five years ago I (being a good descendant of the Emerald Isle) owned a piece or two of Celtics gear (sweatband and baseball cap). He also knew that I had twice made the C’s my franchise on NBA video games (NBA 2k2 and NBA Live ’03; the Cavs’ jerseys were just too ugly back at that time to consider using them). What, he was curious, could make my opinion swing so violently against a team I had once considered to be one of the two NBA teams I liked outside of Cleveland)?
It took me maybe a second–but likely closer to .0000001 seconds–to answer: Boston fans.
You see, Boston fans used to be a sort of kindred spirit to we Cleveland fans–even overlooking the Celtics’ titles of the 80’s and 3 Patriots’ Super Bowls–because of their long, tortured history with the Red Sox. Even the Indians had won two World Series since 1918, so you had to feel a little bit for a fan base so hungry for a championship… hell, I freely admit that I was rooting for Beantown in the 2004 MLB playoffs because, hey, if they can win a title then surely there’s hope for all of us on America’s North Coast.
Then they won, and everything changed.
Boston fans became the biggest jackasses in sports. No longer were they the long-suffering fan-base; they were in everybody’s face telling everyone how great their teams were and how great they themselves were. They were freaking intolerable. They had become the… the…
Then it hit me. Boston fans had become exactly like my buddy who we’ll call John. More to the point, actually, they had always been like him.
You see, John spent the majority of our high school, college and post-graduate years as the butt of our jokes because, well… oh, there’s no easy way to say this. John was a virgin… until age 25.
His lack of “Business Time,” however, was not for a lack of trying. No, he spent weeks, months and years seeking sex. He never shut up about it. It drove us crazy on occasion, but we were always rooting for it to eventually happen for the guy. Noone should go so long without experiencing it, you know?
I felt the same way for Red Sox fans even though they’d had recent Boston championships from the Patriots and, to a more distant extent, with Larry Bird’s Celtics teams. Boston so closely identified with the Red Sox, though, that the other teams’ titles didn’t mean nearly as much to them; sticking with the analogy, those other titles were mere drunken hook-ups for them in light of their holy grail– the World Series.
Like Boston fans, we always assumed John would finally calm down about the whole thing once it finally happened for him. We viewed him, and them, like the dog Colossus in Van Wilder: once the frustration was relieved… well… you know.
But we were wrong. So horribly, horribly wrong.
Once it happened for John, he became twice as annoying; he would regale us in countless tales of his bedroom experiences; he left graphic instant messenger away messages about what exactly he’d done the night before; he was never afraid to brag on what a monster in the sack he allegedly was. That exact same sort of pat-yourself-on-the-back-until-you-fall-over, tell-everyone-how-great-you-really-are mentality is exactly what turned Boston fans from a sympathetic crew into one of the most reviled groups of sports fans nationwide.
Act like you’ve been there before, ya know? I’d like to imagine we will if we ever win a damned title in Cleveland (the scene after last year’s Eastern Conference Finals in the Gateway District was a good indicator of that).
Now the Celtics have become the latest vehicle for the pure hubris of the Boston sports scene, and the latest reason for the rest of America’s sporting public to become bored with their fans. We don’t want them to have any more nice things, lest we have to hear about it anymore.
Yes, Bill Simmons, Boston sports fans are like that one friend everyone has who is a virgin forever then finally has sex and never shuts up about it.
Like John, all we can do is hope Boston fans get used to it soon… because everyone else is sick of it.