Matt’s Minute

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2013 has the potential to be a great year for New York sports fans but not for the reasons you may think.

If there is one thing New Yorkers love more than watching their local team bring home a championship, it is watching the pain and suffering of our sports neighbors to the north: the dreaded Bostonians. It is no secret that New York and Boston have an intense sports rivalry. Simply put, New York-Boston matchups feature a high level of competition and intensity no matter the teams’ positions in the standings.

The 2000s were a mixed time for New York fans. The Yankees’ dynasty had just ended, and New York only totaled two championships among baseball, basketball and football (the Yankees in 2009 and the Giants in 2007). While New York floundered, Boston flourished. The Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino, the Celtics returned to relevance and the Patriots forged a dynasty. 2013, however, is a turning point. For the foreseeable future, Boston fans will have to deal with living under the shadow of their superior New York counterparts.

In baseball (without doubt the fiercest New York-Boston rivalry), the Red Sox have completely fallen from grace. With the exception of a handful of players left over from the championship years, this Boston team is a mere shell of its former self. I actually feel bad for the Red Sox, and part of me wishes they were good again so the two teams could return to the epic battles they fought in 2003 and 2004. Don’t get me wrong; during baseball season, it will be fantastic to glance at the standings and see the Red Sox wallowing in the basement of the AL East.

In basketball, New York fans had to suffer through a painful and embarrassing decade of irrelevance while Boston made yearly appearances in the Conference and NBA Finals. The tides, however, have certainly turned now. If Ray Allen’s departure to Miami signified the end of an era, then Rajon Rondo’s torn ACL set it in stone. From now on, the Knicks, with superstar Carmelo Anthony leading the way, will be looking down at the Celtics in the standings instead of the other way around.

The New England Patriots are not nearly as bad as their baseball and basketball brethren. Since their last Super Bowl win in 2004, however they have had a history of choking in the playoffs. Brady (who is 35) does not have many years left in him; as soon as he retires, the makeup of the Patriots will change just like the Celtics and Red Sox. Even with Brady still playing, their recent playoff performances cannot inspire much confidence in the Boston faithful.

Last year, the Red Sox finished last in their division. The Patriots got knocked out of the playoffs by a supposedly inferior team. The Celtics will have to fight just to get the eight seed. The power struggle in the New York-Boston rivalry is shifting right before our eyes; I must say, I could not be happier.
-Matt McCormack