Would winning more in pro sports change Minnesotans into Bostonians?
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The Boston Red Sox won the World Series Wednesday night, which brought up an on-air discussion Thursday on 1500 ESPN:
If Minnesota were to go on a four-sport championships binge, how would it change the attitude of Minnesota fans?
Which in turn got me to revisit the list of Boston championships in each of the four major sports, specifically those won since Minnesota won its most recent title. I've also included college hockey, since it's a point of pride in both areas.
As you might expect, it's sort of staggering.
Editor's note: I went through the four major sports for this list. Yes, the Lynx have appeared in three consecutive WNBA Finals, have won two of them, and have ardent followers. So you won't hear me arguing against their relevance. For the sake of this list, though, it's unfair to include them. Boston does not have a WNBA franchise.
We'll start in Major League Baseball, since the postseason just concluded.
The Twins last won the World Series in 1991.
Since then, the Boston Red Sox have won in 2004, 2007 and 2013.
Next up is the National Football League, in which the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl. They're 0-4 in such games, the most recent of which came in 1977.
Since then, the New England Patriots lost in 1986 and 1997. They established their dynasty when they won in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Then they lost in 2008 and in 2012.
The Wild, an expansion franchise, have never won a Stanley Cup. The club formerly known as the Minnesota North Stars, however, lost in the Finals before it left for Dallas in 1993.
Since then, the Boston Bruins won the Cup in 2011 and lost in 2013.
The Minneapolis Lakers were the first NBA dynasty. They won the title in 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1959. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and won again in 1962. The expansion Minnesota Timberwolves played their first season in 1989.
Since then, the Boston Celtics won the NBA Finals in 2008 and lost in 2010.
This category helps balance it out a bit.
The University of Minnesota men's hockey team won back-to-back national titles in 2002 and 2003.
Since then, Boston University won in 2009 and Boston College won in 2008, 2009 and 2012.
On the women's side, the Gophers are the best team in NCAA history and it's not even up for debate. The Gophers are currently on a 57-game winning streak - which includes two consecutive national titles - the longest in NCAA history. They won the national title last season over Boston University. They also won in 2012. They lost in 2006, and won another set of back-to-backs in 2004 and 2005.
Since 2001, when the first NCAA women's hockey championship was held, Boston College has not won one. Boston University lost in 2013 (to the Gophers) and in 2011 to Wisconsin.
Many fan bases seem to project an air of athletic fanhood arrogance. An unfettered optimism unheard of in these parts. There seems, to me anyway, to be a fear for the worst among Minnesota sports fans. Perhaps rightfully so. But to draw a parallel, it's like dating someone and constantly dreading the day they'll break your heart.
What do you think, readers? Would making a successful run in the four major pro sports change our zeitgeist as Minnesotans? Or maybe just the way we view sports franchises.