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Nobody* Does Hyperbolic Self-Pity Like Boston Fans

 

Remember “Black Sunday”?

That was Oct. 11, 2009—only a wee month ago. The Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Sox when the bullpen blew a late-inning lead. Then the Patriots coughed up a lead (or something) against the Broncos, and all was lost. Dreams were shattered. Bill Simmons deemed it “Black Sunday,” and the rest of the world mocked Boston’s self-pitying sports fans (which, I contend, are a small but vocal minority of Boston’s mostly well-reasoned sports fans. I think.).

Flash forward 38 days and we get this headline from NESN:

Boston Fans Endure Worst Weekend in Memory

Some excerpts from the piece:

The Celtics kicked off the weekend from hell with an uninspired effort against the Hawks

And:

Just like that, the Celtics — who were picked by many to flirt with the Bulls’ 72-10 record for the best in NBA history — had dropped two in a row to non-elite teams.

Impossible.

And:

It was as bad a weekend as there could have been in Boston sports. Though the stakes weren’t high in the sense that the seasons of the Bruins, Celtics and Patriots still have a long way to go, the effect was devastating. There was undoubtedly a lot of coffee sold on Monday morning and there were a lot of anytime minutes spent waiting on hold on talk radio stations.

After such a horrific weekend, it’s hard to blame fans for feeling that way.

Look, I don’t want to come off as Mr. Self-Hating Boston Sports Fan Guy, but this is getting sort of ridiculous. I understand that NESN is different from Bill Simmons, and that it’s not as if the same media outlet has declared two Dark Days in Boston Sports in the span of barely a month. I get that columnists in other cities probably play this sort of angle up now and then. I also get that a columnist’s job is to get people riled up, and my hunch is that there is some wink-wink-I’m-in-on-the-joke stuff going on with this NESN piece.

Because if there isn’t, well, I just don’t know what to do. The city’s three sports teams lost some regular season games. Yes, one of them was a gut-punch in which the infallible (and cranky and arrogant and jerky) coach made a controversial call that back-fired horribly. But “horrific”? A “weekend from hell”? The “worst weekend in memory”?

Come on. This is the sort of crap that gives all Boston fans a bad name. Next time I get into a debate about which city has the worst fans (answer: all of them), someone is going to bring up this groundless self-pity and I’m going to have to respond with something lame like, “Well, yeah, but Yankee fans threw food at me once!”

Maybe the column is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Even if that’s true, a good chunk of the audience won’t take it that way. And even if it’s a semi-joke, aren’t there more valuable ways to use precious column real estate?

*Hyperbole intentional

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