Ranking the 21st Century Boston Championships

12. New England Patriots 2018 (Patriots 13 – Rams 3)

The most recent championship also comes in last on my list, mostly because it lacked the compelling storylines of prior Patriots Super Bowl runs, and you could sense that we were nearing the end of Brady’s time in Foxborough. The game itself was ugly and low scoring, which also doesn’t help. Still, we shall never complain about a championship, and who knows when the next Pats Super Bowl ring will come.

11. Boston Red Sox 2007 (Red Sox 4 wins – Rockies 0 wins)

This was a great Red Sox team that absolutely steamrolled Colorado in the World Series, featuring a stacked roster of veterans like David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez alongside up and comers like Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon. After the cathartic championship run in 2004, this one just didn’t have the same emotional heft. I know I know, cue the tiny violin for us Sox fans.

10. New England Patriots 2004 (Patriots 24 – Eagles 21)

9. New England Patriots 2003 (Patriots 32 – Panthers 29)

I tend to group these back-to-back Patriots championships together in my mind, so I’m keeping them as a duo here too. Tom Brady’s second and third rings cemented him as the best winner in the league, if not the best QB overall (that would come later). The Patriots emerged as a true dynasty, beginning their multi-decade run at the top of the NFL. They rank relatively low here only because of the strength of competition from other Boston team championships. I think the win over the Panthers deserves to be ranked higher of the two because of how exciting the game was, going down to the wire for yet another walk off field goal from Adam Vinatieri.

8. Boston Red Sox 2018 (Red Sox 4 wins – Dodgers 1 win)

Arguably the best Red Sox team ever, Boston torched opponents all season and cruised through the playoffs to a World Series win. It was clear all year long that this was the best team in the league, and they fulfilled their destiny as World Series favorites. I could have sworn this World Series went to Game 6, but the Dodger’s only win was an 18-inning marathon in Game 3. Looking back, it’s pretty astounding that Red Sox missed the playoffs the following season, and hardly any players remain on the team in 2023.

7. Boston Celtics 2008 (Celtics 4 wins – Lakers 2 wins)

This is where it starts getting hard. The 2008 Celtics dominated all season, with the Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen coming together to take over the NBA. Although there were a lot of new faces on the team, as a fan it felt like you had been rooting for these guys your whole life. Capping off the season with a Finals win over the Lakers was the cherry on top.

6. Boston Bruins 2011 (Bruins 4 – Canucks 3)

This was such a fun team to root for with loads of memorable players, from Zdeno Chara to Patrice Bergeron to Brad Marchand. The NHL playoffs are probably the most fun of any of the four major sports leagues, and it felt like the fate of the world hung in the balance for every game on the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup. The Canucks were a great, easy-to-hate nemesis, which made winning Game 7 in Vancouver even sweeter. I also remember the Championship parade being an absolute blast, a perfect 10/10 June day in Boston.

5. New England Patriots 2014 (Patriots 28 – Seahawks 24)

A decade after their last championship, the Patriots returned to the top of the mountain with an all-time classic Super Bowl and one of the craziest endings to a game you’ll ever see. Malcolm Butler’s name is forever immortalized, and the Pats dynasty re-emerged to dominate the NFL yet again. This team’s run was bolstered by an incredible playoff win against the Ravens on the way to the championship, one of the best Patriots games ever featuring two 14-point comebacks, a WR touchdown pass, and of course the offensive lineman/eligible receiver sequence. It feels strange ranking this team no higher than #5, but that just speaks to how amazing the other entries on this list are!

4. New England Patriots 2016 (Patriots 34 – Falcons 28)

How can the Patriots top “Malcolm, go!” and “Do Your Job?” Two years later, they complete an absolutely legendary comeback against Atlanta to win the Super Bowl in overtime and avenge the deflategate saga (there’s something I never want to think about again). This win featured countless clutch plays on offense and defense, and truly cemented Brady as the greatest QB of all time.

3. Boston Red Sox 2013 (Red Sox 4 wins – Cardinals 2 wins)

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, this incredibly lovable Red Sox team carried the city to an unlikely championship. Made up of scruffy veterans and cast offs, this Sox squad truly captured the spirit of the city and rode a scorching hot David Ortiz all the way through the playoffs. The ALCS against the Tigers featured one of the most iconic Red Sox moments ever, with David Ortiz’s clutch grand slam in the 8th inning of Game 2 sending Torii Hunter head over heels into the bullpen.

2. New England Patriots 2001 (Patriots 20 – Rams 17)

The Super Bowl that started it all for Brady and Belichick. The first Boston championship since the 1986 Celtics. And one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. I remember when the Rams players were introduced individually, and the Patriots chose to be introduced together as a team, it really felt like I was rooting for the good guys. This was an amazing experience as a fan at the time, but it’s even more fun to look back years later knowing everything that was to follow.

1. Boston Red Sox 2004 (Red Sox 4 wins – Cardinals 0 wins)

Arguably the greatest championship story in sports history. The 2004 Red Sox broke an 86-year curse, avenged a crushing 7 game ALCS loss the Yankees in 2003, staged the greatest comeback in baseball history in the 2004 ALCS against those same bitter rivals, and authored countless unforgettable moments along the way, from the Dave Roberts steal to Ortiz’s walk offs to the Mark Bellhorn homer off the Pesky Pole. This is a team I will absolutely never forget, and I’ll be going back to watch reruns and highlights of the 2004 Sox for decades to come.

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