Pardon us if we didn't have a whole lot of sympathy for New England Patriots fans after their team' 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos last weekend. Rather, we quite enjoyed hearing them whine about blown pass interference calls, and moan about how the Pats wouldn't win their fourth Super Bowl in five years. Boo-hoo.
And pardon us if we didn't feel bad seeing the Chicago Bears have their Super Bowl hopes dashed by Steve Smith and the Carolina Panthers. Bears fans' cries that the refs blew it by not calling a delay of game penalty on their own quarterback
were particularly pathetic.
Nope, no sympathy at all for these Boston and Chicago fans. We'd tell them to stop whining, but whining has been a trait endemic to Boston and Chicago sports fans for as long as we remember.
How many years were we forced to listen to Boston fan cry about the Curse of the Bambino and the woebegone ways of the Red Sox. So the Red Sox didn't win a World Series for 88 years, so what? The 16 NBA titles the Celtics won in the last 50 years-including 11 out of 13 during one stretch-weren't good enough?
Now, the pity-us refrain comes from Chicago fan, who jumps out of his chair at the first opportunity to talk about his sad sack Cubs, and the fact that they haven't won a World Series since 1908. Awwww, poor Chicago fan. Never mind the fact that in the 1980s and 1990s he had a front row seat to the greatest athlete in a generation, Michael Jordan, and cheered him on to six NBA titles. Never mind that the 1985-86 Bears not only won a Super Bowl, but also recorded "The Super Bowl Shuffle," still the greatest-well, actually, the only-rap single produced by a professional sports franchise ("
We're not doin' this because we're greedy/The Bears are doin' it to feed the needy
." Yeah, OK).
Here' some advices
for Chicago fans-and Boston fans-and any other fan who wants to sell a bill of goods about how difficult it' been growing up a sports fan enthusiast in his particular town. Try being from Cleveland.
That' right, baby, the Mistake on the Lake. Without a doubt, Cleveland sports fans have endured more misery than fans from any other city. Out of all the American cities that have at least three major sports franchises-and for the purposes of this exercise only, we'll still call the NHL major-Cleveland has gone the longest without winning a title in any sport. Cleveland last celebrated a sports title 42 years ago-in 1964, when the Browns won the "NFL Championship." It wasn't even called the Super Bowl back then. The last time a Cleveland squad won a title that still exists today was 1948, when the Indians won a World Series.
Boston and Chicago' recent sports histories are rich with the names of legends-Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Red Auerbach; MJ and Scottie, Sweetness, Ernie Banks.
Cleveland? Well, let' see. We've had Bernie Kosar, Craig Ehlo, Cory Snyder. And who can forget Kenny "The Mouse" McFadden, John "Hot Rod" Williams, Charles Nagy, and Andre Thornton. We've also had The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, and "Metcalf up the Middle." One of our proudest moments came when we hosted the infamous "Nickel Beer Night" at old Cleveland Stadium, where for one evening cheap beer and drunken riots triumphed over the national pastime, disgracing both a country and a sport.