God, City, Sox – Boston’s Sports Team Hierarchy

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It’s the Red Sox town.

We’re just living in it.

A conversation got kick-started over the weekend by NBC baseball blogger Craig Calcaterra, picking through the baseball markets in the country and drilling down to guess which of the major sports team takes the lion’s share of attention. Craig, being a baseball writer and a very, very entertaining one, made the selection that I think reflects the cultural tides for Boston – that the Fenway faithful tend to crowd out other fans.

Joe Posnaski, formerly of Sports Illustrated and now at NBC Sports and heading up Sports on Earth, jumped in to also show his support for the Sox. However, he brings up an important bullet point – has this all changed since 2007?

Since 2007, we’ve been spoiled as sports fans. Let’s just admit it. All four major teams have made their respective sports championships, three of them victorious (sorry Patriots). It’s also seen the death of self-hating Red Sox fans (until that got dragged back out us last year). Gone were decades of blind faith, which truly is what was being reflected through Sox fans more than ever.

The Red Sox, to me, will always be the top team in Boston because they are the one we’re willing to deal with the most during the tough times. It’s been easy for Patriots fans to cause a ruckus in the last years, but that’s also because they’ve been good and constant winners. It’s not like the Foxboro Stadium days were boasting sell-outs and regular prime time appearances until 2002. This is absolutely a hockey town, and we’re still on the high from the Bruins in 2010 – there’s always plenty of hockey, though, and a lockout doesn’t help keep casual interest. The Celtics won’t fade away until KG and Pierce finally turn the team fully over to Rondo, and even then, who knows what will actually be there for them.

But it is the Red Sox who are always there. These spring training Sawks, which lacked a splashy off-season signing and still have a few leftovers from the Chicken and Beer days, have our attention and the profile of the region. Scrappy, ready to jump into a summer and longing for days when the snow is passed. Fenway may finally give up on the sellout streak, but that doesn’t mean there is that much less nightly interest. Plus, you don’t get hundreds of people in the cold to become the voice of the chapel because the paycheck is good.

So, am I far off in defending the Sox? Or should the mantle be somewhere else these days? What say you?