The decade officially comes to an end tonight at 12:00 AM. This decade has been kind to us Boston sports fans. Six championships throughout the decade is a pretty great feat to accomplish. If you want more accomplishments besides the championships, sneak a peek at this video.
What a decade it’s been for Boston sports. pic.twitter.com/YGBS5nQZkt
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) December 24, 2019
Looking back on the championships, I want to give my top 5 and an honorable mention (it’d be dumb to keep one of them off!) to wrap up an incredible Boston sports decade. So, let’s get it going!
Honorable Mention: 2011 Boston Bruins
The only reason this isn’t in my top 5 is because hockey isn’t my number one sport. However, it doesn’t take away from how special that Stanley Cup really was for the city of Boston. Tim Thomas became a folk hero for his MVP performance in delivering a Stanley Cup. Remember game three when the Bruins scored EIGHT goals?! They were also down 2-0 in this series which made it much sweeter. With the way this year’s Bruins team is playing, maybe another trophy can be added to the rafters. Stay tuned!
#5 2018 New England Patriots
Relive all your favorite moments from the 2018 @Patriots Championship season with the Super Bowl LIII Commemorative film! 🏆
Get the Blu-ray combo pack today: https://t.co/ENEUGongIW pic.twitter.com/SLp5kefC2h
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) March 11, 2019
The 2018 Patriots weren’t supposed to win the Super Bowl. But, they did! This Patriots team finished 11-5 with tons of people counting them out…shocker! But, they found their stride by first beating the Chargers in Gillette Stadium 41-28. This set up a matchup with the #1 seed Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes just came off an MVP caliber season and the Patriots dynasty expected to end. The game was tied at 31 going into overtime, and then the Patriots did Patriot-like things. Rex Burkhead punched their ticket to the Super Bowl. In that game, the Patriots defense stunned Sean McVay, Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams as the Patriots fought for a 13-3 victory and their sixth Super Bowl title. What a way to cap off what was a great individual year for Boston sports!
#4 2014 New England Patriots
Sticking with the Patriots, the 2014 Patriots were very dominant. A 12-4 record and five Pro-Bowlers led the way to a Super Bowl matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. We know the other details. The Seahawks beat the Broncos the year before. The Seahawks were supposed to be the next big dynasty. Blah…blah…blah! Seattle was up at one point in the game 24-14. But, Tom Brady and the offense came the rescue with two touchdowns to Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. As I was watching this game, I never felt great until the very end (for obvious reason), especially with the way the last two Super Bowls against the Giants went. But at the very end, we all know what happened next:
Malcolm Butler intercepts Russell Wilson and secures the Patriots fourth Super Bowl title. This was emotional for everyone watching and would even be number one on many other people’s lists. Brady coming back against one of the best defenses of the decade along with the Butler interception made this game one of the all-time greats.
#3 2018 Boston Red Sox
One last time before we crown a new champion…
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 22, 2019
This Red Sox team was flat out DOMINANT in 2018. 108 wins during the regular season set them up for an A.L. divisional matchup with the New York Yankees. The Red Sox took care of business, winning in four games. Then came the defending champion Houston Astros. After splitting in Boston, the Red Sox won three straight in Houston to take the American League pennant. Jackie Bradley Jr. had some big swings of the bat to become the ALCS MVP and set up a World Series matchup with the Dodgers.
Realistically, this series was dominated by the Red Sox from the beginning. They should have actually swept the Dodgers, (thanks a lot Ian Kinsler!) but hey, five games works as well. Chris Sale made Manny Machado buckle on a slider to secure the final out and bring another championship to Boston. This team loved playing for each other and was just better than any other team during that 2018 season. What I would give to bring that dominance back for another season!
#2 2013 Boston Red Sox
This speaks for itself. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was a tragic event. But, it brought the city of Boston even closer together. The 2013 Red Sox used it as fuel to motivate them throughout that season. Sure, they had David Ortiz, a healthy Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, and others. But some of the guys they brought in: Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, etc. weren’t exactly game changers. Somehow, someway, it all worked out. The Red Sox made it through the 2013 season with 95 wins. They defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in four games to advance to the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Think of how good that Tigers team was for a second: Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, holy smokes! The Tigers should have easily defeated the Red Sox, but they didn’t.
The Big Events In The 2013 Playoff Run
We know the big events in this series. Ortiz’s grand slam in game two:
Victorino’s huge game six:
I was fortunate enough to be at this game with my mom and let me tell you, Fenway went BANANAS when Victorino’s ball went over the monster to give the Red Sox a 5-2 lead. The Red Sox would win this game and go to the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. We saw it all in that series. A game called because of an obstruction, a game ending in a pick-off at first base, you name it and it probably happened. Nothing was better than seeing Koji Uehara come out and strike out Matt Carpenter to lock down another World Series title for the Red Sox.
What a year that was for everyone involved!
#1 2016 New England Patriots
This 2016 New England Patriots team will always stick out to me for a number of reasons. First off, we know that Tom Brady had to sit out the first four games of the season for all of the DeFlateGate nonsense. Brady responded with a 14-1 total record (including the playoffs) with 35 touchdown passes and five interceptions. That’s just plain silly for a 39 year old quarterback! The Patriots went on to the playoffs to easily take care of the Texans in the divisional round and the Steelers in the AFC championship game.
The Actual Super Bowl Game Against The Falcons
This set up a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons who had a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball. Matt Ryan was having a tremendous season. Julio Jones continued to prove to people he was one of the best wide receivers in the game. Their defense was young and fast. It was poised for a great matchup. We all know the story from here. The Falcons took a 28-3 lead in the third quarter.
I remember my buddy Kevin half sarcastically/half seriously saying “the game isn’t over yet!” I thought he was crazy or just ate way too much buffalo chicken dip. But then, crazy things started happening. The Atlanta offense started struggling. The Patriots were moving the ball and scoring. Next thing you know, we’re tied at 28 heading to overtime. Once Matthew Slater won the coin toss, we could all feel that the comeback was going to be completed. Sure enough, it was indeed finished!
The End Result
The Patriots won 34-28, completing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Tom Brady had his fifth ring and New England partied like it never partied before for a Super Bowl. This will always be number one for me because of all of the events that happened prior to that. The Gostkowski extra point miss, the two two-point conversions that had to be successful and they were, the Julio toe-tap catch, the holding call on the Falcons that took them out of field goal range, the Dont’a Hightower strip sack to set up the Patriots score to make the game 28-20: all of this was just bizarre to see live. In the end, it made for a heck of a story!
This decade has been incredible. We as Boston sports fans were spoiled. Do I think something like this will ever happen again? Probably not. But think about this for a second. The Patriots are still consistently good. The Celtics and the Bruins have bright futures ahead of them. The Red Sox will eventually get back up to being good in the American League. Although the past and present are great, the future still looks extremely bright. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this. If you’ve made it to this part of the article, you’re a champion as well! Happy New Year, be safe, be smart, and let’s hope for another successful decade of Boston sports!
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)