New England children are inducted into the growing family of fans at an early age, the tradition being passed down by grandparents, and parents, who have seen some of the most amazing games, plays, players this country has ever known. Loyalty is unwavering as well. Sure we have Yankee's fans up here, but we mainly use them as target practice. Serves to keep the local population in check. Rooting for a New England team is something that never leaves a native of the region. There are collective memories each of us share, holding the great moments i.e. the Snow Bowl between the Pat's and Raiders in '02, and we all share the bitter, heart wrenching moments as well. 1986 never happened, got it? Boston went right from 1985 to 1987, nothing happened in-between. But it is those moments that bound us to the region and to each other, that collective wince whenever they show Bucky Dent's homerun on TV. One can instantly pick out a New Englander in the crowd by showing Buckners error, the screams of torment should alert you to their presence.
Cheering for the local team isn't a hobby in New England, as I mentioned above. Its a job, a profession, one all New Englanders hold dear to their hearts. We will whether any conditions just to watch a game, think of the crowd at the Snow Bowl. Each fan knows that he can make a difference, whether that difference comes from brushing his teeth a different way, praying to the right gods, or dressing up as the Green Monster. Its all good. Just making the playoffs is reason enough to riot in the streets of Boston, or go gallivanting down the small towns and cities that dot the Massachusetts coast. Red Sox nation is just as real as any other country; if Pedro were to run for Governor he'd be a shoe in to win. Our sports heroes are real heroes to New Englanders; Tom Brady can do no wrong in this region. Being a fan is like being part of an exclusive club, one with a long shared, bitter, history that only excepts a select few diehards. You can see these club members across the country, wearing Sox caps, or Pat's jerseys.
Superstition surrounds all of the New England teams but most of all: The Red Sox. Since 1918 the Sox have been unable to win a World Series, due in part to the sale of Babe Ruth, the greatest Baseball player of the time, to the New York Yankees. It became the House that Babe built and a dynasty was born in New York, while in Boston a former all star team became languid and slowly died out. Time after time the Boston Red Sox have been unable to win a World Series, despite having some of the best teams in Baseball history. This curse has fostered a sense of superstition in New England, to the point that we've developed a combination between voodoo and fandom. While this has started with the Sox and remains undeniable the strongest among the fans of that particular team, it has also spread to the Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics. During the 2001-02 Football Season Tom Brady was blessed, there was absolutely nothing he could not do with the football. The Patriots were a team mixed with destiny to us fans. Nothing was going to stop them, we had supreme confidence in our players and coaches.
A New England fan is one in a league of his own, no one else even comes close. We revere our teams and hold each on deep in our hearts. Our failures and loses have long since taken their toll on the fans, we are stronger because of them. It cannot get much more heart wrenching then 1986. We hold our sports teams just as high as we hold our religion and our politics. We don't root for teams, we live for them. They define our lives and bring us together as a region. Nothing stands for New England more then the Patriots or the Red Sox, the Bruins or the Celtics. That's a New England sports fan for you, our motto: Yankee's suck!