The BLOG: Culture

Behind enemy lines

Part of what makes sports so captivating is the range of emotions being a fan can elicit.

For those in Boston and New England riding the waves of all four major pro teams in the area tasting the ultimate victory of a championship within the past decade, allow me to show the other end of the spectrum.

Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., my rooting interests’ history is my own personal treehouse of horrors.

Starting at the ripe age of 16 months old, when the woeful Bills kicked away the first of four chances to win football’s greatest glory, I’ve experienced enough sporting sadness to last multiple lifetimes (my wife rightfully included “in winning seasons and in losing seasons” in her wedding vows).

But like any sports fan, I still wear my team colors with pride and blissful banality. So when it came to be that my wife and I were moving to Boston this past summer, I prepared myself for an endless stream of taunts whenever I wore a jersey in public or emerged from my Bills- and Sabres-stickered Civic.

As much as it pains me to say: Boston sports fans have been great. In the past three-plus months, not only have I never been jeered, but I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in some of the best sports talk I pined for when living in California and Alaska — other places I’ve lived after leaving Buffalo.

From a barber in Malden to a furniture mover with a Boston accent so thick I thought I was in the backseat of Ben Affleck’s Oldsmobile Delta in “Good Will Hunting,” their insight was as equal as their passion. Maybe I’ve only met outliers or Boston teams are just too successful for their fans to even engage in rivalries (i.e. the Patriots and the AFC East).

All I know is that I’m looking forward to more stimulating sports talk. Hey, maybe one day I’ll even have something to brag about.

Alex Jankowski

Alex Jankowski

Alex Jankowski is the Web Editor of the NewBostonPost. He spent five years traveling the country as a sports journalist before settling down with his wife in Boston. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ByAlexJankowski.

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