By Joe Bianchi, Staff Writer, April 2020
Without any sports to watch in quarantine, here's a ranked list of six championships in Boston over the past 10 years for you to watch from the comfort of your own home. Enjoy!
#6- Red Sox 2018:
Although winning a championship is exciting by itself, the 2018 Red Sox had an unusually dull championship series. They faced little adversity and were just an all-around good team. Going into the postseason, the Red Sox were expected to win the World Series. After two high-intensity playoff series against the Yankees and Astros, their win against the LA Dodgers can only be described as anticlimactic. Yes, it was exciting to watch them win, but nobody was surprised. With a dominant pitching staff of Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, and David Price, anything other than a victory would’ve been a disappointment. Players like JD Martinez, Mookie Betts, and Andrew Benintendi all had record-breaking seasons and kept their streak alive most of the postseason. The best team got the expected outcome. And now, with all of the controversy around sign stealing, it’s hard to look back on this championship with excitement.
Image: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
#5- Patriots 2018-2019:
Similar to the 2018 Red Sox, the 2019 Patriots had a slow championship game to cap off their season. Although they came out on top, the Patriots offense put up a less-than-spectacular performance against the LA Rams. The final score of the game was only 13-3, which made history as the lowest scoring title game in the Super Bowl era. Especially coming off a crazy intense victory over the predicted Super Bowl victors, the Kansas City Chiefs, this game seemed to go nowhere. However, a few aspects make this game more exciting than the 2019 World Series. For starters, the Patriots defense had a phenomenal performance –– holding a team to 3 points is difficult in a regular-season game, but doing that under the pressure of the Super Bowl is worthy of recognition. Secondly, this game proved to critics across the NFL that Brady could still compete. Although he didn’t have the greatest performance, he still got the ring. It recently has gained more significance because it was Brady’s last Super Bowl as a Patriot.
#4- Patriots 2016-2017:
You’ve all heard the story: 2 minutes, 12 seconds left in the third quarter and the Patriots are down 28-3 against the Atlanta Falcons. Some may argue that this is the best championship of all time, but it can't be. Yes, it is the greatest comeback in sports history, but that doesn’t qualify it for being the best game. The issue with this game is that there was not a single moment when both teams were performing at their full potential simultaneously. For the first three quarters, the Falcons were playing the best they had played all season while the Patriots were under-performing. Then suddenly, the roles flipped. The Patriots began playing the best they had played, and the Falcons began under-performing. It's impossible to enjoy rewatching the game because the first three quarters are just painful. However, the game still gets ranked relatively high for the once-in-a-lifetime comeback the Patriots made.
Image: Matthew Slater
#3- Bruins 2010-2011:
Putting the Bruins here may be a surprise to some, but they surely deserve it. In recent years, the Bruins and Celtics have started falling behind on titles. Everyone is also usually focused on the Patriots and Red Sox because they’re typically the teams who end up winning. But in 2011, the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in a seven-game series of the Stanley Cup Finals. This series was exciting for a few reasons. First of all, the Bruins were total underdogs: they were 3rd in the Eastern Conference while the Canucks were 1st in the Western Conference. The Canucks had all of the momentum going into the Stanley Cup –– we had barely snuck by 5th seed Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games, whereas the Canucks obliterated 2nd seed San Jose Sharks in five games. Second, the gameplay itself was nail-biting. Most of the games were decided by one or two goals, and both teams had their share of wins. Lastly, the series was decided in a game 7 matchup. In Vancouver. How much more exciting can it get? The Bruins established themselves as a scrappy team who could still bring home a championship.
#2- Patriots 2014-2015:
This game is arguably the best Super Bowl game of all time and another famous Boston sports story: Malcolm Butler on the goal line intercepting the ball with 22 seconds left. Now this absurd ending to the close game may seem like the reason it's up so high, but there are many more factors. The game was the closest Super Bowl either team had played in. Both the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks played their best game of the season, giving it all the best qualities of a playoff game. It was truly a battle of the titans. Seattle had a great offense led by Russell Wilson and an all-star defense led by “The Legion Of Boom” (Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, and Byron Maxwell). The Patriots had an unmatched offense led by Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and a strong defense led by Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, and Darrelle Revis. This game was exciting, from start to end, with some of the best football either team has seen.
Image: Sport/Getty Images
#1- Red Sox 2013:
How could this not be the best championship in Boston sports history? Over the season, this team overcame adversity time and time again to earn their spot at number one. To begin with, this team was predicted to finish in last place just like the past year. The Red Sox traded three of their top players (Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett) to the LA Dodgers before the start of the season. In return, the Red Sox received a questionable group of players that didn’t seem fit for a championship. This list included Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, and Koji Uehara, who all later became major keys to the team’s success. In addition to the discouraging remarks from the media, the Red Sox fought through the adversity of the 2013 Marathon Bombing. This tragic event brought the team even closer together as now they were fighting for their community as well. The team played off of their incredible chemistry and motivation to win throughout the season and didn’t hold back in the playoffs. David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Jacoby Ellsbury had outstanding postseason performances at the plate while Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy controlled the game from the mound. They won the World Series in six games against the St. Louis Cardinals, securing their championship victory as the greatest in Boston sports.