BOSTON — Before Game 1 of the World Series, as rush-hour traffic headed down the Mass Pike, there was a double rainbow over Fenway Park for commuters to enjoy. Before Game 2, there was simply a normal gorgeous rainbow.

What joyous overkill — as though Boston, or its sports fans, needed rainbows to wish upon these days when it comes to the city’s sports.

New England’s slightest subliminal inclination has been fate’s command for the past 15 years. Whether the team is the New England Patriots or the Red Sox, the Celtics or the Bruins, these fans have lived neck-deep in the pot of gold, and glory, at the end of every sports rainbow.

The Red Sox, long the kings of American sports tragedy, are trying to be Boston’s 10th champion in a major pro sport since 2004. After a 4-2 victory in Game 2 of this World Series, with David Price the winning pitcher with six strong innings and J.D. Martinez the hitting hero with a two-out, two-run single to snap a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning, Boston is at it again. The Red Sox lead the best-of-seven series 2-0, and, much as Red Sox fans love to cheer in Fenway Park, you may find it hard to find many who think that this series will return to the Back Bay.

More likely, Boston has another one of those big Duck Boat parades, everybody gets mighty happy all winter, and, ho-hum, the Hub wins it all again.

Since 2004, the Patriots have four Super Bowl rings (and three losses), the Red Sox have three diamond-encrusted baubles and the Celtics and Bruins have one title apiece. It’s like a long-neglected New England social program: no fan left behind.

“We’re spoiled,” said a friend, Lee Russem, a New Englander all his life. So, what does “spoiled” feel like, I asked, since most of us can’t imagine it. Maybe you get a ticket, Lee said, but, more likely, you don’t. So, as a lovely consolation prize, you pick which sports bar or watch party you’ll join, which family members will come and how many hours of fun you think can endure. Then he listed his favorite places to watch a Boston team win it all. It seemed like a long list.

“It should be fun,” he said. Again.

These days every foreshadowing seems to tend Boston’s way. Before Game 2, the Red Sox introduced many members of their 2004 World Series champs, including Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz from the legendary team that “Reversed the Curve.” Even the manager of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers — Dave Roberts — was symbolically sucked into the celebration of his enemies. If there is a moment when the trajectory of Boston sports history flipped, it was Roberts’ stolen base off Mariano Rivera when the New York Yankees were one out away from sweeping Boston in the 2004 ALCS.

Roberts scored, the Red Sox escaped and the 2004 Yankees claimed the title as baseball’s biggest chokers. So, as Roberts ran out toward the mound to hug old teammates like Jason Varitek, it felt like the arc of baseball fortune still tilted toward the Red Sox, denied for 86 years, rather than the sun-kissed Dodgers, who are coming up on 30 years without a title.

Some find current Boston fans a bit hard to take, perhaps put off by their sense of entitlement to all their championships. Maybe I just go back too far to resent any of their reactions. In 1967, the Impossible Dream Season, I was busing tables in college talking to the dining hall employees who suffered with and stuck beside their “Sawx.”

Back then, there was no Boston bandwagon. In 1975, for a team that won the AL pennant, the Red Sox averaged 21,587 fans a game, a third below capacity.

The first World Series game I ever covered, Game 1 in 1975, was a shock. The Fenway press box was only a few rows deep and, in the back row, there were empty seats. For Game 2, an old college friend walked in beside me, showing no credentials, just acting at home. He took one of the empty seats. Nobody cared. By then, he was a psychiatrist. In hindsight, I was crazy. Now, we’d both likely end up in Guantanamo.

The mood of Boston sports has transformed to an almost unimaginable degree since then. Now, the sorts of spooky, far-from-fair things happen to Red Sox opponents that used to befall the Sox. For example, it’s not every day they invite a guy to be interviewed before a game and five hours later he’s spoken his own World Series obituary. But that happened to helpful vet Ryan Madson, the ex-National who had a poor showing in Game 1 but had the genial good grace to go through every detail of it before Game 2.

Maybe that long interview session made him think too much. As it happened, he got hit pretty hard Wednesday night, too. He theorized before Game 2 that the Boston cold made it hard for him to get loose, especially his knees. The damp here has left the Fenway mound sticky so that clay clung to his cleats. “It was a difficult track,” said Madson.

Madson discussed the behavior of Red Sox fans in the bleachers a few feet from where he warms up and how he’s “buddy-buddy” with the bullpen security cop, getting him sunflower seeds and Red Bulls, so he’ll be enthusiastic about his job. Madson — yes, he’s a favorite of mine, a good guy — evaluated his own mental state in every postseason in which he’d played. In the first ones, “you can’t feel your legs and your attention is on everything else but what you need to do.”

Madson even analyzed how he felt when striking out the Red Sox best hitter, J.D. Martinez, in Game 1 — the very same man that he was most likely to face in a crisis in Game 2. “You know you’re in a pit with a rattlesnake,” said Madson, “and one bad move, and you’ll get bit.”

In Game 1, the Red Sox bit him with an RBI groundout and a two-out RBI single by Rafael Devers that plated runs which were charged to Clayton Kershaw and ultimate tagged him with a loss.

Sure enough, Madson was called into the same pit to face the same mid-order vipers in Game 2 with the game once more on the line. On Tuesday, he inherited two runners with no outs and both scored.

After Madson finally got his one out, he walked off the mound shaking his head slowly. His World Series ERA is 0.00. He has inherited five runners through two games, and all of them have scored.

Now, there are rainbows over Boston and both the Red Sox and their fans seem to get their fondest wishes. Now, the nice people who suffer — such as Madson — wear the opposing uniforms. It took decades for this cycle of success to turn — and become ingrained as an assumption of victory. Now, Boston fans admit they are spoiled, yet enjoy the wins just as much. They sing “Sweet Caroline” at the top of their lungs before the bottom of the eighth inning and assume that their voices will invoke the forces needed for another big win.

Things can change. Baseball allows it. But for now, this World Series lives in a Boston world. The Red Sox breath deep and enjoy. Nobody else gets out alive.

Tom Boswell is a Washington Post sports columnist.


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