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BenFred: Beating Boston and Boston would make Stanley Cup even sweeter Ben Frederickson





D demolition southbound toward downtown on Interstate 93, the reminder hits your windshield like a bug.

There is the city skyline. There’s the Zakim Bridge. And then, splat, there is the blaring billboard that makes any sport not from here want to politely ask his or her Uber driver to launch the car into the Charles River.

"THE DROUGHT!" letters, all uppercase. "1

12 DAYS SINCE LAST BOSTON TITLE." This is actually a second-edition model of the sign, it turns out. Boston's last prodigy team to their next title during that horror between the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2013 and the Patriots winning the Super Bowl in 2014.

The Red Sox celebrated just one more World Series. The Bruins, the big slackers, have been in the Stanley Cup since 2011. Throw in the pathetic Celtics, without a ring since 2008, and Boston has been limited to just 12 parades in the last 17 years. The torture!

Weathermen here think confetti is a form of precipitation. Kids here think it's nice to see duck boats in the water. Sports fans here think we can stand them

"It's great to be Bostonian," said 42-year-old Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, a seven-time All-Star and one-time Stanley Cup champ. “I'm sure fans are really enjoying these years. I would, too. Jeg er stadig. I am a fan of the Pats, the Red Sox, the Celtics. The teams have played well. For fans, it must be super exciting. ”

For the rest of us, not so much

And for those of us in St. Louis, it's actually quite depressing.

We have Boston luggage. Big time

The Blues third and final – until this one – trip to the Stanley Cup Final turned into a Bruins sweep. They're having a grand time revisiting that week. Bobby Orr is making the rounds. They say you never want to wind up on the wrong side of a poster. The Blues wound up on the wrong side of a statue

That football team we used to have been the same after the release of the Super Bowl to the Patriots in 2002. if Adam Vinatieri missed. Maybe the Rams would have stayed. Maybe, because the Bruins said they consulted the Pats on how to prepare for this series, the Blues should check their dressing room for recording devices. Does the NHL destroy tapes?

The Cardinals are still stuck on 11 World Series championships with none since 11th after losing to the Red Sox in 2013. The Red Sox rolled on. The Cardinals regressed. The Redbirds have been given more posts than they have made since then, thanks to the Red Sox brain trust relocating to rival Chicago. And don't forget the 2004 sweep.

Even basketball, the sport St. Louis has forgotten about, is deflating. The Hawks will release the Celtics three times in four NBA finals. Then St. Louis lost the Hawks. The best we can do now is root for hometown hero Jayson Tatum. He's a Celtic

St. Louis is 3-7 against Boston in championships, and 0-4 since Bob Gibson dominated in the 1967 World Series. The notion of another championship loss to Beantown is, while familiar, crippling. And because of St. Louis tends to lose its most meaningful games to Boston, that's what most expects will happen now.

But take a moment and understand what it would mean to just break that Stanley Cup curse, but to do so at beating Boston, a bigger, better, braggart of a big brother. The blues can do this and beating Boston would make the Stanley Cup even sweeter.

When it came time to make playoff predictions for the Blues, I decided to pick them to win until they lost. I looked shortsighted for declaring them dead in December. I have looked smart for trusting them since April. These guys have the depth, composure and chemistry of a championship team. They are immune to the fragility that infects their fans.

"We know the support is there," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said Sunday after his team practiced beneath the Bruins' six championship banners.

excited the fans are. It's been a long time. Forty-nine years. St. Louis is an under-rated sports city. I've always said that. It is pretty cool. ”

“ The fans are stuck with us. We are playing the way we wanted to. They stuck with us. There was adversity in the playoffs that we faced. They stuck with us. They never wavered from how they felt toward the team. There is nothing better than rewarding in this way. ”

Well, there is one thing that would be more rewarding.


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