In the sports universe, Boston earns its nickname as 'The Hub'
The city's dominance in football, baseball, and basketball has fans in a rare feel-good mood.
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Rivers likens the current excitement in the town to what it was like in New York in 1994 when the Rangers and Knicks were playing in the NHL and NBA Finals on alternating nights. "The big difference being that the Rangers won but we didn't," says Rivers, who was a guard on that Knicks team.Skip to next paragraph
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Waiting for next year certainly is not in the cards for Garnett and Ray Allen, who after years of coming up short in Minnesota and Seattle believe that they finally have a chance to be part of something really special this season.
Garnett, who received a standing ovation after he threw out the first pitch before a Red-Sox Orioles game the day after he was traded to Boston, has become a fan of all Boston sports. He even made the trip to Foxboro to throw a ball with Randy Moss.
"Management here appreciates talent," Garnett says. "In Boston that's what it is."
Most Boston fans realize the rarity of their situation, Celtics announcer Mike Gorman says. They know they are more likely to see Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the sideline in a tuxedo than a stretch of winning by three teams like this again. "You go anywhere in this city and it's just electric," Mr. Gorman says. "I think the fans understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Even one native New Yorker couldn't help but be impressed by the way sports have unified the town, how everything seems to stand still on Sunday afternoons in Boston when the Patriots are on television.
Still, old habits are hard to break. And WEEI, a sports-talk radio station with a potty-humor bent, still gets plenty of calls to its infamous whiners line.
These days, whines have very little to do with the home teams. Instead, whines focus on Jets Coach Eric Mangini, Roger Clemens's steroid use (this, predictably, is a particularly popular subject in Boston), and the personal hygiene of a particular radio host.
Suffice it to say, few fans in Boston have any sympathy for the drought New York fans are experiencing. There were no words of encouragement for Yankees and Mets fans, who endured very Boston-like disappointments in 2007. And no tears are being shed for the hapless Knicks.
Instead, Boston fans are focusing on themselves, looking inward at how to adjust to their newfound good fortune, replacing their trademark whine with, dare we say, a bit of gloat.
"I've never experienced winning of this kind," says Hemenway. "Actually, it's pretty easy to adjust to."