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Ben Frederickson is a sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. You can follow him on Twitter (Ben_Fred), Instagram (benfredpd) and Facebook (BenFredPD).

BOSTON — Driving southbound toward downtown on Interstate 93, the reminder hits your windshield like a bug.

There’s the city skyline. There’s the Zakim Bridge. And then, splat, there is the blaring billboard that makes any sports fan not from here want to politely ask his or her Uber driver to launch the car into the Charles River.

“END THE DROUGHT!” screams the sign in massive letters, all uppercase. “112 DAYS SINCE LAST BOSTON TITLE.”

The number updates daily since the Patriots’ latest Super Bowl win, a worker at the Ace Ticket company confirmed Sunday morning as Stanley Cup Final media day swarmed inside TD Garden. This is actually a second-edition model of the sign, it turns out. The last prodded Boston’s teams toward their next title during that horrific drought between the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2013 and the Patriots winning the Super Bowl in 2014.


The Patriots won only two more titles since then. The Red Sox have celebrated just one more World Series. The Bruins, the big slackers, haven’t hoisted the Stanley Cup since 2011. Throw in the pathetic Celtics, without a ring since 2008, and Boston has been limited to just 12 parades in the last 17 years. The torture!

Weathermen here think confetti is a form of precipitation. Kids here think it’s weird to see duck boats in the water. Sports fans here think we can’t stand them.

They’re right.

“It’s great to be Bostonian,” said 42-year-old Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, a seven-time All-Star and one-time Stanley Cup champ. “I’m sure fans are really enjoying these years. I would, too. I am still. I’m a fan of the Pats, the Red Sox, the Celtics. The teams have played well. For fans, it must be super exciting.”

For the rest of us, not so much.

And for those of us in St. Louis, it’s actually quite depressing.

We have Boston baggage. Big time.

The Blues’ third and final — until this one — trip to the Stanley Cup Final turned into a Bruins sweep. They’re having a grand time revisiting that around here this week. Bobby Orr is making the rounds. They say you never want to wind up on the wrong side of a poster. The Blues wound up on the wrong side of a statue.

That football team we used to have was never the same after losing the Super Bowl to the Patriots in 2002. Maybe the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick dynasty would have been snuffed out if Adam Vinatieri missed. Maybe the Rams would have remained. Maybe, because the Bruins said they consulted the Pats on how to prepare for this series, the Blues should check their dressing room for recording devices. Does the NHL destroy tapes?

The Cardinals are still stuck on 11 World Series championships with none since ’11 after losing to the Red Sox in 2013. The Red Sox rolled on. The Cardinals regressed. The Redbirds have missed more postseasons than they have made since then, in part thanks to the Red Sox brain trust relocating to rival Chicago. And don’t forget the 2004 sweep.

Even basketball, the sport St. Louis has forgotten about, is deflating. The Hawks lost to the Celtics three times in four NBA Finals. Then St. Louis lost the Hawks. The best we can do now is root for hometown hero Jayson Tatum. He’s a Celtic.


St. Louis is 3-7 against Boston in championships, and 0-4 since Bob Gibson dominated in the 1967 World Series. The notion of another championship loss to Beantown is, while familiar, crippling. And because St. Louis tends to lose its most meaningful games to Boston, that’s what most expect will happen now.

But take a moment and understand what it would mean to not just break that Stanley Cup curse, but to do so by beating Boston, a bigger, better, braggart of a big brother. The Blues can do this, and beating Boston would make winning the Stanley Cup even sweeter.

When it came time to make playoff predictions for the Blues, I decided to pick them to win until they lost. I looked shortsighted for declaring them dead in December. I have looked smart for trusting them since April. These guys have the depth, composure and chemistry of a championship team. They are immune to the fragility that infects their fans. They want desperately to stop your suffering.

“We know the support is there,” Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said Sunday after his team practiced beneath the Bruins’ six championship banners.

“You start hearing the stories, seeing how excited the fans are. It’s been a long time. Forty-nine years. St. Louis is an under-rated sports city. I’ve always said that. To reward the city and the fans for being as patient as they have been, it’s pretty cool.”

“The fans stuck with us. We weren’t playing the way we wanted to. They stuck with us. There was adversity in the playoffs that we faced. They stuck with us. They never wavered from how they felt toward the team. There is nothing better than rewarding in this way.”

Well, there is one thing that would be more rewarding.

End the real drought.