Patriot Pat says-
I've experienced much in my years serving as a United States Reconnaissance Marine. Extreme heat, cold, wet, freezing nights, firefights, betrayal, pain, joy, love, and emotional trauma.
Do I have post-traumatic stress?
I'm a Boston sports fan.
While a Marine, I've been able to be friends with, and live among, a wide variety of fans. Let me tell you, it is never-ending abuse (I always get text messages when any of my teams are losing), especially when I stood by my life-long love when the Spygate situation unfolded.
It was hard not to feel betrayed just a little.
People don't seem to get Boston-area sports fans, though. We are a tough breed. Through many years of Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics failure, we've shown dedication and love for our teams. We've cheered and hoped. Most of us have probably even prayed to our respective gods.
Now, with all the recent successes, we suddenly have enemies? Enemies who ambush us every chance they get about asterisks or cheating? I say to you, this enemy, I can survive your worst.
There certainly have been ups and downs over the years. I remember being in a California desert hurling a beer bottle against an enlisted club wall as Aaron Boone lofted a home run that crushed my heart. It shattered like I thought my dreams of ever witnessing the Red Sox win a Championship had.
Who knew that one year later I would be jumping on a Northeastern University dorm room couch, listening to Joe Buck say, "Back to Foulke! Red Sox fans have longed to hear it, the Boston Red Sox are World Champions!"?
It still makes me teary thinking about it.
Us neighborhood kids would always play street hockey growing up. I was always Cam Neely, even after my dad had to explain to me why he was never on the ice anymore.
My dad always let me stay up and watch the first period of Bruins games on school nights, and the first thing out of my mouth the next morning would always be, "Did they win?"
I have never witnessed a Bruins Stanley Cup victory, but this year seems like they are set up for a potential run at one. Will they rip out my heart? We'll see.
The Celtics were the kings when I was little. They were the dynasty, the winners. My brothers Mike (You forgot when you were four years old watching the Red Sox choke in Game Six in 1986 next to dad, me, and Jim. Remember? Jim threw a trophy across the room?) and Jim were especially obsessed with the Celtics.
The C's fell into a dark hole during the '90s, and it saddened me when I would go to a game at the Garden and half the seats would be fan-less. It was only recently that they have risen out of the ashes of Larry Bird's retirement.
1990—I was nine years old. The Patriots won one game that year. Every year after that until I left for boot camp in 2000, I read every pregame analysis in the Boston Globe, and watched every single game with my father.
1997—I was with my father while Desmond Howard butchered the Patriots' special teams for 244 yards in Super Bowl XXXI.
2002—five years later, I looked at him and said, "We just watched the Patriots win the Super Bowl."
It was so satisfying. They had failed me for so long, I relished in being able to say my team were World Champions. Only, when I went back to California, I was greeted by "Tom Brady fumbled. Don't worry, they'll never win it again."
Then came three out of four. Then came 21 straight wins. The Patriots, whom I had stood by and defended harder than even this nation I have fought for, were a dynasty.
Perhaps it was this constant teasing that made me start to get greedy. I wanted them to win the Super Bowl every year. I would be able to gloat to my friends, and better than that, I wouldn't have to hear about how much they sucked.
I will tell you this about 2006 and 2007. I hate the Manning brothers. Sure, they are great quarterbacks, and perhaps from an unbiased viewpoint their Super Bowl victories would be feel good stories.
But I am biased.
They won the Super Bowl by going through my Patriots. Two last-minute drives. Two touchdowns scored so easily I felt like a sniper had his crosshair's on my heart.
There is nothing in this world that compares to being a Boston area sports fan, besides maybe (just maybe) the birth of my son. It is the bane of my existence, yet still my passion. It is my obsession.
Andrew Cahill is a true Boston sports fan. Visit his website, "Patriot Pat's Patsies."