Not since the Celtics' glory days has winning become so routine for Boston sports fans, who early this week saw their team sweep the Colorado Rockies to win their second World Series title in four years.

The 2004 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals ended 86 years of misery and frustration. This year's win validated the expectations born during spring training that this was a team that would go all the way.

As has been noted many times over the past couple of weeks, there's no better place in the country in which to follow sports. Both the Sox and the Patriots are at the top of their respective games, and the Celtics appear poised for a return to their former glory.

It's the Red Sox, in bad times and good, that have first claim on New Englanders' hearts. Maybe it's the tiny, but historic, park in which they play. Or perhaps it's the bond created among the generations as they talk of the exploits of Ted Williams, Yaz, the Rocket and Manny.

Those fans still unborn or too young to remember will someday be regaled with stories of the historic comebacks | against the Yankees in 2004 and against the Indians in 2007. Both times, the Red Sox spotted their American League opponent three wins before charging back to win the pennant, then sweep the National League team in the World Series.

They'll hear of the two rookies | Ellsbury and Pedroia | who batted number one and two respectively and clubbed the opposition into submission. They'll be reminded of the ace, Josh Beckett; the veteran, Curt Schilling; and the youngsters, Matsuzaka, Lester and Papelbon, who anchored the pitching staff.

While victory was sweet, some were no doubt sorry to see the Series end so soon. Maybe next year it could be best five out of nine games, or six out of 11.

On the other hand, people can now return to their normal sleeping and waking habits. Those games that began after 8:30 p.m. and didn't end until well after midnight were taking their toll.

But this is New England, and even after the Sox leave the stage, we have the Patriots and their big game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, by which time the new-look Celtics will have begun their season.

And lest we get complacent, there will be lots to worry about this winter. Will Schilling be back? And what if the Yankees, now that they've renounced their interest in renewing Alex Rodriguez' contract, decide to go after our MVP third baseman, Mike Lowell, this winter?

But leave those concerns for another day while you bask in the return of the World Series trophy to New England soil.

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