Pessimistic clouds hanging over Boston’s pro sports teams

The Sweet 16 has come to town.

But Boston remains in a sour mood when it comes to its pro sports teams.

The UConn bandwagon just doesn’t cut it. Connecticut might as well be in Kansas.

The Huskies are the betting favorite to repeat as the last team standing at The Big Dance. More joy in store in Storrs?

Meanwhile, Boston remains dogged by pessimism, cynicism and defeatism.

Sure, it’s embedded in the region’s DNA. But Boston hasn’t felt this sort of vibe in 30 years. The 1990s have returned to Fenway, Foxboro and TD Garden.


The heady days of counting parades in your child’s lifespan now sit alongside Paul Revere in the Bay State history books.

These Patriots have their own rallying cry: “One if by land. Two if by sea. Fourth in the AFC East.”

Kraft created “The Dynasty” – © Kraft Dynasty LLC – hoping it would be his Pro Football Hall of Fame Infomercial. It’s become the NFL’s version of “New Coke.”

Kraft was outraged, outraged, over the hit job “The Dynasty” – © Kraft Dynasty LLC – pulled on Bill Belichick. Kraft miraculously turned Belichick into a sympathetic character.

“I feel so privileged that we had Bill here. We hope when he’s finished that we’re going to have a chance to honor him the way we will do with Tom Brady this year,” Kraft said at the NFL’s owner meeting in Orlando on Tuesday. “I look forward to the privilege of putting Bill into the Patriots Hall of Fame one day in the future.”

Kraft apologized the negative tilt toward his team but added that he had no say in what appeared on screen. Kraft said he enjoyed the first three episodes of “The Dynasty” – © Kraft Dynasty LLC.

Wonder why?

No one bothered to ask the team owner why “The Dynasty” – © Kraft Dynasty LLC – omitted Kraft’s dalliance with Hartford before Gillette Stadium was built. That was the first of many glairing omissions we noted here last month after episodes 1 and 2.

Kraft’s charm offensive Tuesday packed all the punch of the Mac Jones-led offense. He went full “Joliet” Jake Blues blaming everything and everyone but himself for his team’s woes.

The Old Kraft Magic has since gone the way of AFC East Division champion T-shirts and 35-point home playoff victories. He’s now just plain old. A NFLPA survey ranked the Patriots 29th of 32 NFL teams. The Patriots scored an F- when it came to “Treatment of Families.”

“I was unaware of how bad that was,” Kraft said. He said the team is “committing” to a modern facility “in excess of $50 million.”

“Players are the heart and soul of the business. I’d be very surprised if that didn’t improve,” he said.

Yet the mastermind of “The Dynasty” had no idea how poorly those players and their families were treated. Kraft cited Calvin Ridley’s “girlfriend” as the chief reason in the team’s failure in signing the top wideout in free agency. Ridley may or may not have married Dominque Fitchard in 2020. They have two children together.

You see, it’s never the money. Except when Kraft & Son are cutting the checks. And mixing wives and girlfriends never helps when it comes to the NFLPA player assessment of “Treatment of Families.”

The good news for Kraft is that in a few years he’ll be old enough to run for the White House.

On another depressing note, it’s Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. John Henry remains MIA when it comes to his baseball team. He was last seen in public at The Players Championship.

Raffy Devers and the Men of Mystery begin their 2024 MLB season Thursday night in Seattle. Defense of the AL East last-place crown commences at 10:10 p.m. on NESN. The Red Sox are being choked by a pandemic of apathy.

“Ennui and Tedium” have replaced “Aura and Destiny” as the Red Sox nemesis of choice.
Opening Day at Fenway is April 9. Plenty of good rows remain available.

The “buzzz” – emphasis on “zzz” – is that this team will somehow overperform and break the .500 barrier. An improvement in fielding and hitting will make games more palatable for viewers, allegedly. The pitching? Check back on Memorial Day.

The Red Sox were unable to pull the trigger on Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. One or both could have shored up their rotation post-Lucas Giolito injury. That’s all the tell you need the Red Sox are in race to meet Fenway Sports Group’s bottom line. Even if it lands them in the bottom of the standings for the fourth time in five years.

It’s not just the last-place Patriots and Red Sox that have left fans feeling sour despite the arrival of the Sweet 16 in Boston.

The regular-season success of the Celtics and Bruins has done little to ease the playoff dread set to return next month.

The Celtics remain “vulnerable.” Kendrick Perkins’ description, not mine. It’s easy to see why. They lack the will and ability to finish off opponents – while continuing to fizzle at crunch time. The Celtics have shown nothing to counter the fear that they will get star-struck in May or June and allow themselves to get pushed around right out of the postseason.

Bruins fans have been reduced to praying their team does not win the Presidents Trophy and the all-but-certain playoff doom that it carries. The team’s shortcomings have been stuck in a time capsule. Unbalanced scoring. Lack of size and depth on defense.

Concerns that the coach will choke under the playoff spotlight. Little has changed little since last year’s first-round exit against Florida. Both the Celtics and Bruins could have home court/ice throughout the postseason.

Making that inevitable Game 7 calamity all the more painful.

And there’s nothing sweet about that.

Bill Speros (@RealOBF and @BillSperos on X) can be reached at


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