When and where I was growing up, two things were held to be self-evident: from 2000 onward, the Patriots would be in the playoffs every year; and until 2004, the Red Sox simply could not get it done.
The Patriots’ reign continues for now, and the Sox finally reversed the curse.
All this to say:
- Dominance is easy to take for granted, even when resented.
- Ditto incompetence: the Sox wandered in the wilderness for nearly a century.
- But, most of all, neither condition is truly forever. Eventually, things change — leadership, people, strategy, luck, fortune, some combination, or something else.
This is one of the great lessons of sports: sometimes, you have to keep the faith in spite of all disbelief. Other times, you have to hold on, knowing that those currently on top of the heap were not first there and will not be last.