By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s been a pretty decent run for Boston sports teams in the 21st century. The city has been the undisputed champion of professional team athletics, winning in all four major sports and featuring the single greatest run of any team ever seen.
Which makes it all the more hilarious that on Dec. 12, 2000, the Patriot Ledger led out with the now-infamous headline: “Welcome to Loserville.”
If only the paper waited a year or two before making this declaration. Because a calendar year later, the Patriots were contending for the playoffs and on their way to one of the most magical Super Bowl runs in NFL history. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s budding partnership helped kick off what’s been an unprecedented level of ass-kicking by a single city in pro sports. So you can’t help but laugh at the front page of the Patriot Ledger sports section from 19 years ago today, which you can see via Darren Rovell on Twitter.
Let’s be fair to the paper, though. On that fateful Tuesday in 2000, Boston really did feel like Loserville. The Patriots in Belichick’s first season as head coach were 4-10 and coming off a loss to the Bears. The Rick Pitino-led Celtics lost to the Knicks that day to fall to 10-9. The Bruins got shut out 3-0 against the Sabres to fall to 10-15-3. The “best” of the bunch was the Red Sox, who were coming off an 85-win season and their 82nd year in a row without a World Series. Nobody made the playoffs.
Since then? Twelve championships in 19 years, led by the Patriots’ six Super Bowls. The Bruins just missed another Stanley Cup last summer and the Celtics have a talented young core capable of a deep playoff run. The Red Sox are just a year removed from their fourth World Series title since 2004. It’s still going. This run is almost old enough to legally drink alcohol and buy weed at the local dispensary.
To call Boston spoiled would be an understatement. We might need to invent a new word to describe the good fortune that’s been bestowed upon Boston fans in the 21st century.
All the Patriot Ledger can do is laugh when they look back on this incredible headline and cartoon. Perhaps they can take credit for breaking the curse in the first place. But regardless of how acceptable the take looked at the time, it’s long gone ice-cold. We’re talking nuclear winter cold.
Can only imagine how the rest of the sports world would feel if this were only the beginning of another two decades. Loserville feels millions of miles away now.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.