On October 27, 2004, sportswriters from around New England dusted off columns they had written long ago, but never thought they’d have a chance to use in their lifetimes. After 86 years, the Boston Red Sox had done the impossible and won the World Series.
For most fans of the team (877/733-7699, www.redsox.com ), their entire lives had been an exercise in frustration, blaming a supposed curse visited on their team when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to their archrivals, the New York Yankees, in 1918.
Despite that, the team has some of the most rabid fans in baseball, who became if anything even more enthusiastic (and title-hungry) after breaking their long World Series drought. They were rewarded again in 2007 when the Sox bested the Colorado Rockies to once again win the Series and prove that lighting can strike twice.
Names like Ray Borque and Bobby Orr are still quick to the tongue of hockey fans, though the Stanley Cup has eluded the team (617/624-2327, www.bostonbruins.com ) since 1972. (Few Bostonians begrudged Borque’s decision to leave for Colorado, where he won the title in 1996.)
When the rival Montreal Canadiens play in town, tickets can still be hard to come by.
Though based 30 miles southeast in Foxboro, and officially belonging to the entire region, the New England Patriots are an honorary Boston  sports team—and one the city is only too happy to claim.
After decades of drought and heartbreaking games against rivals Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, the team (800/543-1776, www.patriots.com ) hit upon a winning formula with quarterback Tom Brady and a team-oriented style of play that earned it three Super Bowl titles in four years, from 2001–2005, and official bragging rights as a “dynasty.”
For most Bostonians, the heyday of the Celtics (866/423-5849, www.nba.com/celtics ) will always be the 1980s, when players like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish racked up title after title against their nemesis, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The C’s struggled throughout the Lakers have recently been on top again, the Celtics have languished1990s under a string of coaching changes and player trades. The closest they’ve come to changes—but like their cousins the Sox and the Pats, they too finally hit pay dirt in 2008 when they hit upon a winning in the past decade wasformula with veteran players Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen schooling the Eastern Conference semifinalsleagues youngsters to grab the championship banner and make Boston once and for all the undisputed “winningest” city in 2003the country.
Perhaps because of the success of its pro teams, Boston  has never seen itself as much of a college sports town. Several annual events are worth seeing however, including the Head of the Charles Regatta (617/868-6200, www.hocr.org ), which fills the river near Harvard with hundreds of rowing sculls every October.
Despite both Harvard  and Yale  generally fielding lackluster football teams, the annual match-up between them is internationally known as The Game (www.the-game.org ) due to its fierce competition for Ivy League bragging rights. Now more than 125 years old, the Game is played at Harvard stadium in Allston  on alternating years.
Perhaps the most eagerly awaited college sporting event is the annual Beanpot Tournament, a hockey matchup between Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern University. These days, it’s an upset when BU doesn’t win.