It just keeps happening. With each passing year, Boston’s athletic success is etched deeper and deeper into the annals of sports history. The Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox have combined to win an other-worldly nine major championships over a 14-year stretch, with two in the last two years.
The Patriots added the ninth ring to the collection this past year when they nabbed Super Bowl XLIX in February. Another duck boat parade would appear imminent over the course of the next four years if recent history is to be observed.
Aside from triumphs in professional sports, Boston also plays host to two of the finest athletic events of the year, the Boston Marathon and the Head of the Charles Regatta. Both attract thousands and have remained spectacles for more than 50 years.
Here are some of the greatest sports moments that BU students got to experience in the 2014-15 academic year:
The Patriots reload, win their fourth Super Bowl of the Tom Brady era
At one point in the 2014-15 NFL season, pundits doubted whether Tom Brady and the Patriots could even make the playoffs, let alone win another Super Bowl.
So much for that.
Brady and the Patriots reasserted their claim as the preeminent dynasty of the NFL in the 21st century with their 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Malcolm Butler’s late-game interception off Russell Wilson sealed New England’s fourth Super Bowl win in the last 14 years.
Through week four of the NFL season, the Patriots sat on a 2-2 record and were coming off of a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. Yet, at this point they proceeded to win seven games in a row, four of them over future playoff teams, en route to a 12-4 regular season record and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Behind Brady and “Gronk,” tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots snatched a 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs and went on to demolish the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC championship game — en route to Super Bowl glory.
On Feb. 4, thousands of fans got to witness pandemonium as the Patriots paraded down Boylston Street on duck boats in celebration of their first NFL title since 2004.
BU plays host to the 119th Boston Marathon
On a rainy April morning, thousands of BU students gathered around Beacon Street in the Kenmore Square area to watch over 30,000 runners brave the Boston Marathon.
Spectators held signs and cheered on the runners as they witnessed their peers brave the 26.2 from Hopkinton to Copley Square. Just two years removed from tragedy, this year’s Boston Marathon held on April 20 symbolized the pure elation of human triumph.
According to Mark Reczek, a sophomore in the Questrom School of Business, the Boston Marathon is a defining Boston event.
“I don’t think anywhere else does a city come out to support a marathon,” he said in an April 21 article in The Daily Free Press. “To see people running like this, it’s amazing. I have complete trust in the police forces of the cities participating in the marathon. It’s amazing to see them keep this event safe and enjoyable for the rest of the public. We’re seeing the best of the best.”
Head of the Charles Regatta turns 50
With over 400,000 spectators watching, the Head of the Charles Regatta turned the weekend of Oct. 18 into a Boston extravaganza.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the 2014 Head of the Charles drew over 10,500 athletes from over 30 countries for the peak of rowing competition. Professional and amateur rowers alike raced down the 3-mile course on the Charles River running along the BU campus. Competing in the infamous regatta were none other than the BU men’s and women’s rowing teams.
The Head of the Charles adds a distinct flavor to the Boston athletic tradition and offers a spectacle rarely found on a college campus. Kevan Mamdouhi, 25, of Cambridge, said he enjoys the regatta every year because of the sense of community it fosters.
“I just love seeing the Charles and people rowing,” he said in an Oct. 20 article in The Daily Free Press. “Everyone is here just to watch the race.”
Boston’s major sports’ future
As the Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox enter 2015-16, their respective prospects look bright.
Bruins: Despite missing out on the playoffs this past year by a two-point margin, the Bruins still maintain a squad fresh off of a Stanley Cup final berth in 2012-13. With Vezina Award-winner Tuuka Rask manning the pipes, the Bruins are always a good bet to compete in May.
Celtics: Though many wrote the C’s off after they traded All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo midseason, they rebounded to make the NBA playoffs behind the masterful coaching of 38-year-old Brad Stevens. With a young core and the cap room to make a splash in free agency, the TD Garden will be a popular destination for basketball fans in 2015-16.
Red Sox: The Sox made headlines during the offseason by signing offensive juggernauts Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to $85 million-plus contracts. They join an already potent bunch led by David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia to form one of the most exciting lineups in baseball. Look for the Red Sox to compete for a playoff spot well into September in a weak American League East division.