You are here: Home - Philly - The Great Curse of… Boston?

The Great Curse of… Boston?

Posted by on October 10th, 2004 with 0 Comments

True to my commitment to keep this site Donovan McNabb, Philly losergoing, here is the second update in as many days. In order to keep a sense of context and in the interest of placing this string of words into a larger historical framework, I’ve decided to write about the news of the day. Today’s headlines all go on about last night’s Boston Red Sox game 7 victory in New York. Being a history major I know that in time, the significance of Boston’s miraculous 3 games to none come from behind sweep of the New York Yankees will fade into obscurity, eventually being replaced by page 12 bylines that go something like: the international community has once again fallen short on promises to end genocide.

But since the only people that really give a crap about genocide are historians, tree-hugging hippies, limp wrested UN types or the unfortunate ethnic group that happens to be faced with complete and total annihilation, I’ll stick to a good old discussion of sports.

As a sports fan, let me be the first to extend my congratulations to the wonderful city of Boston. What you, or rather what your team has achieved is amazing. Coming back from a 3 game deficit to win a best of 7 series is an outright miracle. Maybe that fabled Boston curse is finally broken. As a fan, let me once again extend my congratulations to the great city of Boston.

As a Philadelphian however, I would like to say, fuck you and fuck your “curse.” Why do I say this? Why does your city’s exultation sit in my throat like a bitter lump of regurgitated cheez-whiz? Well let’s take a look at the numbers.

In all major league sports, Baseball, Basketball, Football and Hockey, Boston has a total of 29 championships, Philadelphia, 13.

To get a bit more specific, let’s take a look at the real American pastime, football. Over the past 3 seasons the New England Patriots have won the Superbowl twice. While the Eagles have made it to the NFC championship in those same 3 years, they have failed appear in, win or even earn the opportunity to appear in and lose the Superbowl. In fact the last time the Eagles won the Superbowl was… wait, they’ve never won the Superbowl. Ever. They did go once 25 years ago, but they lost badly. So it goes in Philadelphia.

Going back to the 1960’s Philadelphia actually played the spoiler for Boston. Was this an example of Philly landing on the winning side of the great Boston curse? No, not really, because playing the spoiler meant that while the Celtics won the NBA championship in 1960, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68 and 69, the Sixers denied them a clean sweep of the decade by beating them in 1967. Go Philly! So here in Philadelphia, even in victory we’re completely overshadowed by extenuating circumstances. Ask a basketball fan who won in ’67 and 9 out of 10 will probably still say Boston. Things evened out in the 80’s with the Celtics winning only 3x as many NBA championships as Philadelphia. In fact, that 1983 some 21 years ago was the last time Philly won a damn thing. Even Smarty Jones, Philly’s Great Equestrian hope choked in his race for the Triple Crown.

But maybe things look up in the world of hockey. The Flyers have had one promising season after another for more than 30 years. Time after time the good old Flyers have made some outstanding runs at the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately those runs usually lead straight into a brick wall, off a ravine, into a river, or they just get hit so hard they suffer multiple concussions. I hate to say it, but the Flyers are the Dick Cheney of hockey. They scare the hell out of you, but they’re heart is weak as a kittens. Whether they’re being swept in the finals, collapsing in semi-finals, or just getting knocked off in the first rounds of the playoffs, Flyers history is marked with some of the greatest underachieving and most frustrating teams assembled in NHL history. They did manage to scrape together some championships back in 74 and 75, but that’s it. This remarkable team, this great hockey town has exactly 2 championship seasons. The Bruins on the other hand have 5.

And finally we go on to the Red Sox. A look at their record shows that since the accursed year of 1918, they’ve appeared in the World Series 5 times, (not including this year). Five Series and five undoubtedly gut wrenching series losses. Philadelphia baseball teams, the Athletics and the Phillies, combine for 7 appearances and 4 championships since 1918. So maybe the Red Sox do have a touch of a curse. It sure is a good thing they’ve had all those other championships in the meantime to ease the pain. Since 1918, Boston has had parades in: 1929, 1939, 1941, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2002 and 2004. That’s more than twice Philly’s total. In fact Boston had a parade this year – just a few months ago. Philly hasn’t had any damn parade for more than 2 decades. Boston is a cursed city? What the hell ever.

Leave a Reply

Featured Post

Your Neighborhood Toynbee Tile

Search this site