Your Friendly Neighborhood Sports Columnist: Just outside Boston

Starting the first day of classes freshman year, one looks forward with curiosity and interest to senior year. There are many things that are worth the wait and others that are not (i.e. “First Chance Dance”). However, one of the many plusses senior year provides is the privilege of living off campus.

Most of the student body is under the assumption that living off campus means two things only: no dining hall and no security. That is partly true, but one of the greatest aspects of life off campus is the self-removal from the biggest majority on campus: Boston sports fans.

Just stop what you are doing, think for a moment and answer this simple question: does there exist anywhere else in the United States a bigger bunch of front runners than Boston fans? The worst part about it is that when I moved off campus I thought I was getting away from obnoxious Sunday afternoon gatherings in the Annex second floor or Gladden third floor common room.

I thought I wouldn’t have to listen to Mike Provost look at me with a straight face and explain to me, “Tim, seriously, ‘Toine’ and Pierce are just as good as Jordan and Pippen were.” I mean, what is that? The Celtics end what seemed like a three-decade playoff drought and suddenly they have ridden to NBA immortality on the back of the “Toine Shake.”

Anyway, the point is that I thought I had left all of this behind; however, this is simply not the case. In fact, I live with one of the biggest F.R.s (front runner) around. You all know him as “The Cannonball.”

F.R. Cannonball resides on Cape Cod, but don’t get me wrong, F.R. Cannonball is really a great kid; he just suffers from the same disease as most of those from eastern Mass. To put this in perspective, last spring the Red Sox had the best record in baseball before we left school. F.R. Cannonball watched every game, knew every player and monitored every statistic. He could have told you what Nomaaaaar was batting in sub-75 degree weather.

However, now that the Sox have experienced their traditional August/September swoon, I bet he couldn’t even tell me how many wins Pedro Martinez has (18, in case you were wondering, buddy). What he can tell me, however, is that the Patriots are the best team in the history of the NFL. Let’s just analyze that for a moment. Actually, it is so ridiculous that I won’t even bother.

It is true that the Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions, yet due to a very questionable ruling it was a miracle that they were even in the league championship game, not to mention the Super Bowl. It is also correct that the Patriots have won their first two games convincingly over two pretty good teams, but at no point does any of this make them one of the best teams in NFL history, and trust me there is definitely no dynasty brewing in Foxboro. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of any Patriots fan, and I lived with a lot of them last year, who even cared about their squad until about week eight and the only reason they started caring at that point is because the Pat’s hadn’t been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, a refreshing feeling for most from out east.

Controversy always seems to surround the management and the fans in Boston. Ninety-five percent of you Pats fans were calling for Bob Kraft’s head after he gave away a draft pick and signed Bill Belichick to a multi-year deal seeing as how in his first year he went 5-11. How the tides have turned, F.R Cannonball now refers to Belichick as simply “God” and Williams’ head football coach, Dick Farley, refers to him as “The Genius.” You donkeys hated him two years ago and all of a sudden he turns your average squad into a Super Bowl winner and he is a modern day deity.

I am from the Washington, D.C. area and am a huge Orioles, Wizards and Redskins fan – have been my entire life. Our teams have recently not been very good at all, but we root for them whether they are good or bad and we support them through the ups and downs. Most of all, we recognize when something special happens and it becomes special because we have been there through all the ups and downs.

Let’s say the Red Sox come back and miraculously make the playoffs, how many of you will say that you followed the whole season, even when they went down eight games with only 20 left to play? Most likely all of you would be lying if such a thing happened. So my suggestion to your “just outside Boston” approach is to follow your team and not only praise them when they are winning, but lift them when they are down and maybe, just maybe, you will find that they won’t choke like they seem to do on a consistent basis. As for you, F.R. Cannonball, talk to me at week 12 when the Pats are climbing their way out of the cellar and see if you can tell me how many touchdowns Tom Brady has thrown for the year. If you can answer that correctly, I might just be persuaded to remove the F.R. from your name.

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