Both the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots had disappointing seasons after winning their respective championships, are the good times over?
It’s a weird time for Boston sports fans right now as things are feeling pretty bleak. Not only did the Red Sox miss their potential by a wide margin but the end of the Patriots dynasty feels like it’s within reach. Just a year after both teams raised their respective championships neither were able to defend their thrones.
When you take a step back and look at the big picture it eventually had to happen. Right? There was no way that Boston could continue hanging banners left and right without a setback. If we want to really examine what’s happening we could go as far back as the Bruins losing in the Stanley Cup finals. It was all a part of a whirlwind that saw three of Boston’s four major teams fail to succeed.
On the Red Sox front, we’re possibly in the final days of Mookie Betts patroling rightfield as the Dodgers are showing interest. With Chaim Bloom firmly seated in the front office I can’t imagine the team going on a spending spree anytime soon. We’ll most likely see an exodus of players long before any new blood is injected into the organization.
If you’re a fan of the Patriots then you’ve been pretty spoiled as the Brady-Belichick Era has given the fanbase six Lombardi Trophies over the last 20 years. The combination of the greatest coach of all time and the greatest quarterback of all time has provided fans with some of the greatest moments in sports history.
As the seconds ticked off the game clock yesterday evening it felt like we were getting closer to that marriage coming to an end. Each missed throw, each missed tackle, each missed opportunity, all working towards the end.
The Red Sox and Patriots each have some serious questions looming over their organizations. Not only is Betts earning some interest from other squads, but he’ll be a free agent when this upcoming season ends; the same goes for centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr..
Boston’s outfield has been their strength over the last few seasons and when 2021 hits it may be over. Mookie has made it clear he will test his value in free agency but hasn’t shown his hand on where he’d like to go.
Free agency is coming fast and furious for the Pats as well as Tom Brady will be an unrestricted free agent in March. For the first time in his professional career, Brady can test the market and see where he stands with the rest of the league. He has the desire to play for another few seasons and with New England rebuffing his desire for an extension, those final seasons may be in a new uniform.
Both teams have had such a level of success in recent times that it’s hard to believe that things may be trending downward, but that might be where we’re heading. Our beloved Red Sox have all of the components to build another World Series contending squad but it’s difficult to be positive after 2019.
They need to find that confidence that allowed them to run rampant over the American League in 2018, if they can do that then October baseball is coming back to Fenway Park.
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The same could be said for the Pats as it’s clear that the team is missing an identity that they can rely on to combat the league. If Brady finds a new home this spring, it may be the writing on the wall that things are about to get dark in Foxborough.
The Red Sox have been a lock for the AL East over the last few years and the Patriots have had a stranglehold over the AFC for the better part of two decades. 2019 was a serious wake-up call for both squads as things didn’t go as planned. New England struggled to win the AFC East and didn’t get their usual first-round bye and the Sox were in third-place hell all season.
Boston sports fans have had the ability to see their teams win pretty much all year round. Even if the end of the season didn’t result in a Commissioner’s Trophy or the Lombardi, the teams still finished strong. Championship gold has become something that we’re accustomed to seeing in recent times and it’ll be difficult if a drought were to come back to Boston.
As we make our way through 2020 we may also be making our way into a new era of fandom. The Red Sox need to prepare for a world without Mookie and the Pats need to find a way to win without #12 on the roster. The times they are a changing and life as we know it as Boston sports fans are changing as well.