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  • Brendan Donoghue

New England South: What it is like to be a Boston sports fan at CCU

On Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League, along with the greatest head coach of all-time secured their sixth (SIXTH) Super Bowl Championship. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led the New England Patriots to a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in what is sure to go down as one of the best defensive performances by the Patriots in franchise history.

With their Super Bowl victory, the Patriots ended a trying and difficult time in the lives of Boston fans. It had been a long and grueling three months since the latest Boston championship, when the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers in the World Series in October. With the Boston Celtics currently in position to secure a playoff spot and make a run at an NBA championship, who knows how long the next championship drought for the city of Boston will be? I guess we will just have to suffer through.

As a native of Attleboro, Massachusetts (a Boston suburb located in southeastern MA) I have grown up my entire life living and dying with each play, each game, and each season of the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. So, I was curious as to how life in South Carolina would be when I came down to Coastal Carolina for college last fall.

What I have found has been a plethora of fans from all over the northeast here at Coastal Carolina. New York, Boston, and Philly seem to me to be the cities most represented on campus judging from the hats, jerseys, and sweatshirts I see on my fellow students. There certainly is no shortage of people who are away from home representing their hometown teams.

What stands out to me the most is the difference in camaraderie amongst the people of South Carolina as compared to the people in Boston. Anywhere you go in Boston, most people are aware of the upcoming game, playoffs, or star players. Turn on the radio, and someone is being called a bum for their recent play or patrons at local restaurants are playing General Manager as they declare which moves the team should make in the offseason.

Down here, you find none of that. This is not the fault of anyone, it is merely the result of a culture that has not grown up with local professional sports teams to root for. Down here, people are a mix of supporting their hometown team, fans of Charlotte, or Atlanta. This was a complete and utter culture shock. It never occurred to me that some people go through their life not having a hometown team to root for at the professional level. In my opinion, most native Bostonians would share in my disbelief.

Even into my second semester, I still find myself looking for a banner or photo on the wall of restaurants, or merchandise being sold at Walmart. Honestly, I cannot see myself ever getting used to it.

The people of South Carolina – especially at CCU – are connected in a different way. There is not sports team to act as the glue between individuals, and every day I try and get more used to it.

I guess I just need to survive the scary months between the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals while I await more dominance from the greatest sports city in the world.

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