The Bell Curve: New York State of Mind

So it's May 19th, and the Red Sox find themselves in first place in the AL East, seemingly validating Sports llustrated's outlandish World Series prediction. Already, you can hear the Red Sox faithful hail the inevitable end of The Curse, anoint Carl Everett the American League MVP and, perhaps worst of all, sweat Pedro Martinez even harder than usual.

All of this is a bit irritating, but understandable. Sox pitching has held up far better than anyone expected, and the Sox could easily, at the very least, hold off the Blue Jays and Mariners to make the playoffs.

But when you go to Annenberg and hear a cocky New Englander proclaim Boston the new center of the sports universe, as I did the other day, it's enough to make you choke on your ratatouille.


Since arriving at fair Harvard from Brooklyn, I've grown to love Boston sports radio. I find myself genuinely impressed by what WEEI pumps out on a regular basis. It isn't so much because I enjoy Glenn Ordway's witty banter or the overnight stylings of the "Two- Minute Drill," but rather because I've never heard so much done with so little. The Boston sports scene as a whole is about as bankrupt of entertainment value as a ride on the Orange Line.

The fact that sports radio around here remains engaging is nothing short of a minor miracle.

It isn't so much a matter of the talent level of the teams or individual

athletes that makes things around here a mite dull. Granted, there's a lot lacking there. Why Pats fans expect so much from a team with no running game is beyond me.

But what makes Boston relatively uninteresting is the lack of what I call the sideshow effect. When you're sitting in the stands at Fenway, you can talk about how good Nomar and Pedro for a couple of innings, and reminisce over who took who over the Green Monster a few years back for a couple more. But by the time you've gotten to the seventh-inning stretch, there really isn't much to say.

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