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Buffalo is Number One in something

The best part about the Red Sox winning the World Series twice in the past four years is that we're no longer being force-fed brainless rhetoric about Boston being a tormented sports town. It never made sense in the first place. Beantown actually didn't have a clue when it came to long-suffering fans.

The Patriots have won three of the past six Super Bowls and could very well win another. The Celtics won 16 NBA titles. The Bruins won five Stanley Cups. With torture like that, who needs sunny, 80 and a beach full of swimsuit models?

If you want losing, try spending a lifetime in Buffalo. Nobody does it better than we do, so in a strange and twisted way it puts us at the top of something.

I know the Bills have won four of their last five games to reach .500 with lowly Miami coming up next. Maybe they can win six of their last eight and . . . Wait, why does this feel like yet another tease?

Yes, we have a great town. The people are humble and warm. The architecture is terrific. The schools are good. Housing is cheaper than Britney Spears. We've kept it a little secret knowing our national identity rests on three things: snow, chicken wings and the failures of our sports teams.

We've embraced the first two and, for some unknown reason, have come to accept the third.

Ladies and gentlemen, once the smoke clears from your keyboards (see e-mail address below), try grasping this: There's a good chance this town will never win a title in a major professional sport. It becomes more apparent every year, especially with the Bills hanging here by a thread and the Sabres going backward when they were so, so close just 18 months ago.

Look around the country, and there's no city that can stake quite the same claim when it comes to losing. Please, enough about the AFL titles from the 1960s, when it was considered the NFL's little stepbrother. Perhaps no team in NFL history will reach four straight Super Bowls, which should be hailed as an accomplishment, so long as we concede no team will ever again lose four straight.

Buffalo's lacrosse titles? Can't say I remember the parade.

Sorry, but I have a hard time sympathizing with those poor Chicago Cubs fans because they haven't won a World Series since 1908. Gimme a break. The Bulls won six NBA titles, the '85 Bears won the Super Bowl, the Blackhawks won three Cups and the White Sox won the Series.

Cleveland isn't much better, but it is better. The Indians won the World Series in 1948. The Browns won four NFL titles, when they meant something. Meanwhile, we're stuck savoring almosts and could-have-beens.

Tampa Bay needed 27 years to win a Super Bowl and 12 to win the Stanley Cup. Buffalo hasn't won either, for heaven's sake. Is it because owners taketh more than giveth? Perhaps.

One thing that has become apparent over the years is that fans around here have lowered their standards. They've become soft. Somehow, just being competitive became acceptable. The Sabres fell on their faces last year -- it was mostly lack of effort, folks, not a shortage of talent -- and were praised for reaching the conference finals two straight years.

It's a loser's mentality. Fans should demand more from their teams rather than settle for their mere presence.

Of course, I'll be hearing from supposed die-hard fans who stick with the locals through thick and thin, Bills season-ticket holders since 1960, Buffalo hockey fans going back to the Pepsi cap sweaters, reminding me to look at the bright side.

Here you go: We're not San Diego. They can keep sunny and 80. We'll sleep comfortably knowing they'll never win the big one, either, because we cursed them with the Buffalo Braves.


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