A city at the heart of New England, Boston has a rich history dating back to the founding of the United States. While it was incorporated in 1822, the town was first settled in 1630, making it one of the oldest municipalities in the country. Along with an amazing living history of architecture and cultural sites, Boston has an iconic past rooted in sports. Even the racetracks in Boston are part of the city’s collective story, with Suffolk Downs having seen such famous horses as Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, and Funny Cide. The Massachusetts Handicap in 2008 was the last big event at the track, so if you’re looking to place your bets you might want to check this map of casinos in Boston from Casinos.us.
This major Commonwealth city is home to the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins, and the nearby New England Patriots, just to name a few. You can also find the oldest active MLB baseball stadium in Boston: Fenway Park. It’s no wonder Boston sports followers have garnered a reputation for being intensely committed and even a little over the top when it comes to team pride. Luckily for fans, the past couple of decades have been some of the greatest for major league teams, earning the city the nickname “City of Champions”.
The City of Champions, for Champions
Some American cities could match Boston for sheer number of titles, but the connection that the city has with its sports teams is unrivaled. That’s what makes these moments the best moments in the history of Boston sports since the turn of the century.
Celtics vs. Lakers Comeback
Playing against the Lakers in LA during game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals, the Celtics made a historic comeback that gave them the advantage they needed to ultimately win the championship. After the first quarter, they were down by 21 points–by the final six minutes of the third quarter, the Celtics managed to put together a 21-3 run against the Lakers to put the score going into the final quarter at 71-73. At the end of the game, the visiting team had sealed the deal with a finishing score of 97-91, making this comeback the largest NBA Finals comeback victory since 1971.
Aly Raisman’s Olympic Gold
In 2012, Aly Raisman of Needham, Massachusetts, led the “Fierce Five” U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team as team captain at the London Olympics. There, she won the gold medal on floor making her the first American woman to do so. The Fierce Five managed to clinch the team gold medal as well.
In 2016, Raisman represented the United States, and Boston, once again at the Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Again, she was team captain of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, but this time they donned the name the “Final Five”. They took the team gold medal for a second time, and Raisman brought home silver from the all-around and floor competitions.
Interception by Malcolm Butler
With 26 seconds left on the clock during Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks Russell Wilson lined up to throw the ball to a surefire Marshawn Lynch from the 1-yard line. Then New England Patriots Malcolm Butler came through for a game-winning interception. The final score was 28-24, giving the Patriots their first Super Bowl win in ten years.
2011 Stanley Cup Final
The 2011 Stanley Cup Final Game Series had plenty of memorable moments (like when Alex Burrows bit Patrice Bergeron) but Bruins fans got the game of lifetime at Game 7. The Canucks were anticipated to take home the trophy, but Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand gave the Bruins a quick lead to start and it all went downhill from there for the blues. They kept ahold of that strong lead for a winning score of 4-0 after Bergeron came crashing into the Canucks net, carrying the puck with him. It was the very first time the Bruins had won the Stanley Cup in 39 years.
Dave Robert’s 2004 Steal
The 2004 Championship Series was off to a bad start for the Boston Red Sox. They were on an 86-year losing streak for the World Series and their lifetime rivals, the Yankees, were certainly not helping the situation. That’s when Dave Roberts made the steal. Managing to slide in past Derek Jeter, despite the near clockwork movements from Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, Roberts brought the 3-4 score to a tie. Afterward, David Ortiz brought the win home in the extra innings and the team turned their luck around, going on to win the 2004 ALCS.
Curt Schilling’s Bloody Sock
During the same 2004 ALCS, Curt Schilling found himself briefly becoming the image of the Red Sox’s perseverance and intensity during the Championship Series. He was pitching with a torn tendon sheath, pushing to make it through the season with the help of the team doctor. But during Game 6, even before the first inning, Schilling began to bleed from the sutures in his right ankle. His soaked, bloody sock was a sensation, as was his performance on the mound.
After the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 7 and went on to play in the World Series, Schilling wrote a message for the cameras he knew would be fixated on his ankle. In silver marker, he scrawled the letters “K ALS”–a short abbreviation that meant strikeout amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Lou Gehrig, first baseman for the Yankees, died from ALS in 1941.
Super Bowl XXXVI
Coming to the end of the game with a tied score and just seconds left, Adam Vinatieri kicked for a 48-yard field goal. It sailed straight down the center for a 20-17 first-time Super Bowl win for the Patriots. This win is viewed as the start of an era of victories for Titletown, leading to eight more championships for the Patriots. This century alone, Bostonians have 12 Championship titles under their belts!