To honor the Class of 2021, I decided to rank the top Boston sports moments from the last four years.
5. Boston-Toronto Part 3, 2019
I honestly have a special place in my heart for Maple Leafs fans. Every hockey season their team seems to climb their way to a playoff berth, just to be manhandled by the Boston Bruins. In the third episode of this series in six years, the Maple Leafs seemed to have a grasp on the series as they had the momentum heading into Game 6 — but then the Bruins showed life. They squeaked out a 4–2 victory in Toronto then returned home to hammer the Leafs 5–1 at TD Garden, kickstarting a sensational playoff run that would end with a heartbreaking defeat to the Saint Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
4. The birth of playoff Amendola, 2018
Bill Belichick and the rest of the New England coaching staff have a real knack for finding “diamonds in the rough” — take Tom Brady, for example. When the defensive-minded Jacksonville Jaguars marched into Gillette Stadium aiming to upset the Patriots in the AFC championship game, people expected the offense to revolve around Julian Edelman and Brandon Cooks. However, Danny Amendola stole the show with seven receptions for 84 yards and two huge touchdowns, including the game winner. This AFC championship game was one of the better playoff games in recent memory as Amendola cemented himself in every Patriots fan’s heart with his incredible performance. The Patriots went on to lose the Superbowl in a shootout to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles.
3. Desiree Linden’s rainy day upset, 2018
On a rainy Patriots’ Day in 2018, professional runner Desiree Linden shocked the running community with her upset victory at the Boston Marathon. With a finishing time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 54 seconds, she became the first American to win the prestigious race in 33 years. Linden took advantage of the poor running conditions and persevered through the final six miles, upsetting the stacked field. Although the venue’s atmosphere was tampered due to the inclement weather, Linden’s victory still meant a great deal to the Boston community.
2. Brady’s curtain call, 2019
Don’t ever count out Tom Brady; he’s proved football pundits wrong for over 20 years and continues to dodge Father Time. In 2019, the New England Patriots scuffled in the final quarter of the regular season; they weren’t playing to their potential and were underdogs heading into the playoffs — cue the Brady playoff hype video. Brady marched down the Los Angeles Chargers’ throats and then led the game-winning overtime drive in an instant classic against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. After an incredible performance by Julian Edelman and the Patriots’ defense in the 2019 Super Bowl, Brady lifted up his sixth Lombardi Trophy, his final as a New England Patriot.
1. The magical 2018 Red Sox
I don’t think we Red Sox fans will ever see a team as dominant as the 2018 Boston Red Sox. They racked up 108 wins during the regular season, which is now a franchise record. Mookie Betts won the MVP trophy handily — as well as a gold glove award — while the rest of the offense ranked first in virtually every other offensive category. In the postseason, the Sox continued their dominance and manhandled both the Yankees and Astros, going 7-– against the AL juggernauts. Facing up against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, the 2018 Red Sox cemented their place in baseball lore by defeating the NL champion in five games. The 2018 season was nothing short of magical for this Boston team, as they set countless franchise records that will remain untouched for years to come.