Boston Globe Publishes Another Terrible Story About Why Bostonians Should Root For UConn Over UMass

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We all know the Boston Globe is a giant joke. This is after all the same publication that allowed Gish Jen to publish an op-ed the day after the Boston Red Sox duck boat parade in which she blamed Boston residents for “failing the Tsarnaevs.” This is the same newspaper that continually gave front page coverage to a historically bad Boston College team this season while the University of Massachusetts was ranked as high as 13th. This is the same newspaper owned by Red Sox owner John Henry, which effectively makes it state run media.

So I wasn’t surprised to read this piece of “journalism” in the Globe today from Gary Dzen. His writing is highlighted. Our responses follow afterwards in bold.

When the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team plays in the national championship game Monday night, it will mark their fourth title game appearance since 1999. UConn has never lost in the title game, and the Huskies have appeared in one other Final Four, in 2009. The women’s team has been even more dominant. If Geno Auriemma’s team beats Notre Dame Tuesday night it will be UConn’s 9th national championship.

He mentioned women’s basketball in his opening paragraph. It simply doesn’t get any more UConn than that. 


Without question, UConn has had the best recent run of success of any New England school, but when it comes to rooting for them in Boston, UConn fans are on an island.

Boston is the capital of Massachusetts. To suggest that we would have any sort of positive relationship with our neighboring state’s flagship University is nudnikery at its finest. 

I grew up in Connecticut (cue the “You’re not from heeyah” e-mails), and one of my lasting childhood memories is going to a Red Sox game with my dad and hearing someone yell, “Go back to Connecticut” when a couple of Sox fans put on their jackets to leave a game early. I grew up in South Windsor, Conn., closer to Boston than New York, and I was always a Red Sox fan. I loved Nomar and hated Jeter, which as a middle-schooler in central Connecticut provided hours of debate with classmates who were Yankees fans.

I grew up in Massachusetts, and one of my long lasting childhood memories was watching UMass make the Final Four. Ya see the Patriots sucked, the Red Sox sucked the Bruins were mediocre, and the Celtics sucked. UMass basketball was all we had.

Meanwhile, you just described every reason to dislike UConn. Your state is one with absolutely no identity. You don’t have a consensus sports team you root for and get behind. You are a cut through state and nothing more. Everyone from Massachusetts has a negative opinion of your crappy state because we’ve all waited in traffic on the Merritt Parkway or I-95. For a state that seems so small and useless, we spend WAY too much time traveling THROUGH it.


Not that anyone in Connecticut needs to be reminded, but since the departure of the Hartford Whalers to Carolina in 1997, the state has been without a professional sports franchise. Due in part to this fact and in part to successful programs built by Jim Calhoun and Auriemma, UConn basketball has an outsized importance in the state. There are Yankees fans, Sox fans, Patriots fans, and Giants fans in Connecticut, but everybody roots for UConn. And so it came as a surprise when I moved to Boston 10 years ago that no one rooted for a particular college team.

Right. UConn is your state’s team, not ours. They are all you have, so it’s understandable that you would all go nuts for them. We have UMass. They’re obviously not nearly as good, but they are OUR team. Anyone from this state who roots for UConn is a carpetbagging traitor. If this were 1765 they would be tarred and feathered to send a message, but we can’t do that anymore because of anti-bullying laws. 

In 10 years of working at, one thing that has become abundantly clear is that any story on the big four teams will draw more web traffic than any story on a college team. A story on the Sox signing a journeyman infielder will literally quadruple a story on BC Hockey winning the Frozen Four. Boston is partially defined by the colleges contained within, but many of the students are from elsewhere. They come, they watch the Sox, buy the hat, and maybe even get their first jobs here, but four or six years later they go back home and root for Ohio State or Florida or whoever they liked before.

Newsflash – college basketball isn’t the same thing as college hockey. Of course only a select audience is going to read about the Frozen Four. Who has a Frozen Four bracket? Everyone watches the NCAA Tournament. It’s the greatest tournament in the world. This whole rhetoric right here is completely fabricated, and literally pulled out of their collective asses. If you write about UMass basketball, people will read it. Maybe the frauds who go to BU come here and don’t fall in love with their school. But UMass students do. 



The two local basketball programs with the greatest chance of being popular are Boston College and UMass, but neither program has strung together a run of success to make them interesting in the long term nationally. You simply don’t run into a lot of BC hoops fans in the city, and UMass fans are almost always alumni.

Never, ever compare Boston College to UMass. BC is for rich kids from all over the country. UMass is for blue-collar Massachusetts kids. UMass fans are not almost always alumni. They are the people’s team. I fell in love with UMass in the 1990’s when I was just a wee lad. They were MY state’s team. They seemed like a team that the whole state could get behind. They were inclusive of all types of fans. I never was attracted to BC because they seemed the opposite – exclusive to the blue bloods from rich towns I had never been to. 

All of this brings us back to the original question: Why not root for UConn? College basketball might not be as popular here as it is elsewhere, but everybody likes the NCAA Tournament. Why isn’t anyone in Boston rallying around the UConn to beat Kentucky, a team which has as much appeal as rooting for Walmart?

Massachusetts rallied around it’s team – Massachusetts. We should no more rally around UConn than we should rally around the Yankees or Mets when the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs. That’s like saying Poland should root for Gemany, or Britain should root for France. I mean, it’s right next door right? Sorry, but it takes a special kind of loser to pull a stunt like that. 


I refuse to buy the Big East rivalry argument. As a young fan I glued myself to the TV for those old UConn-BC matchups at Conte Forum, gritting my teeth against the impenetrable force that was Eagles center Billy Curley. But BC left the Big East in 2003. Providence, who was always willing to play UConn’s foil in the regular season, never matched that success in the postseason. Neither team seems popular enough here now to warrant what I sometimes believe is an actual rooting interest against UConn.

If Providence got good, people around here would reluctantly jump on board. Rhode Island is firmly established as part of New England. Their media exclusively covers the Red Sox and Patriots. we know where their allegiances lie. Connecticut is in the “tri-state” region. They clearly align themselves as an extension of New York (if only New York felt the same way). 

Geography is obviously one reason Bostonians don’t root for Connecticut, but many Bostonians would be surprised to learn that the campus of UMass Amherst is some 91.7 miles away from Boston, while UConn is 83.4 miles away. The Connecticut “stigma” is another. Bostonians are loyal, which is one reason they’re some of the best fans in all of sports. They can also be insular. Connecticut smells too much like New York despite being right next door.

Dumbest. Argument. Ever. It doesn’t matter how far the crow flies to get to UMass. When they arrive in Amherst, they are still in Massachusetts. That’s like saying Hawaiians should root for North Korea over America in a nuclear war. After all, Honolulu is closer to Pyongyang than it is to Washington. 

Calhoun, UConn’s longtime coach, was from Braintree. Current UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, who was a first-team All-American this season, is from Roxbury. Last week on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Michael Felger asked fellow host Marc Bertrand why UMass and BC didn’t recruit kids like Napier. To his credit, Bertrand, a UMass guy, responded, “Why would any of these kids go to UMass or BC? They’re not at the same level as UConn.”

Beetle is an obese fraud and a complete sellout. He’s under the impression that he’s some sort of celebrity. He’s not. He’s Felger’s bitch. He reads the news and occasionally provides feedback. He’s not funny. He’s not witty. But yet he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. He certainly doesn’t represent UMass fans as a whole. 

Calhoun and Napier are sellouts too. Napier could’ve come to UMass and built something here. Instead he went to UConn where he knew he would never have to go to class. Unfortunately Calhoun didn’t mention that they wouldn’t be postseason eligible because of this last year. 


He’s right, of course. For close to two decades UConn has been putting out the best basketball team in New England, sending players like Ray Allen, Kemba Walker, and Andre Drummond to the NBA while competing for and winning national championships. No Massachusetts team has come close to matching that success. And yet in spite of that success, most Boston fans have chosen to sit the sport out entirely or root passively for one of the local teams. Maybe it would be unfair to claim them, but Boston fans have every right to back another winner.

Boston fans would get behind UMass if the media actually covered them. Ya see, you guys actually have influence. You kind of get to dictate what we will be drawn to as a collective body. YOU choose not to cover UMass basketball, because you falsely assume we don’t like college basketball. You couldn’t be more wrong. 

So if you’re from Connecticut. Congratulations. You have one hell of a basketball program. The Huskies are never mentioned in the same breath with royalty like Duke, UNC, Kentucky, UCLA, and Kansas, but they should be.They’ve won the same number of titles as Duke. Their Final Four record is insane. Everyone from CT should be behind this team. But doesn’t change the fact that anyone from Massachusetts who didn’t attend school there is a complete and utter fraud.

So there you go Gary Dzen. That’s why real Boston fans don’t root for UConn. It has nothing to do with our love for professional sports. Sure we kick everyone’s ass in every sport, but we’d gladly embrace a winning UMass basketball team, the same way you carpetbaggers embrace your Huskies. They just need to give us a reason to do so. This year they gave us a glimmer of hope. If they continue to improve you will see exactly how much a state can get behind a team.

Ya see, you weren’t around for the Camby years. You were too busy playing pogs with your hybrid NY/MA friends down in Connecticut to notice how NUTS this whole state went for UMass basketball. If you build it, we will come. Hopefully Kellogg is the guy who can bring us back, so you can see just how wrong you really are.

Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.

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23 Comment(s)
  • UConn
    April 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

    UMAss is irrelevant in the college sports landscape. Therefore people from Mass who have no connection other than being a state resident have no reason to root for UMass.

    Prior to the arrival of Cheatipari, and within 3 years of his departure (the same time anyone he would have recruited was gone). I mean- outside of the 7 in a row they made in the 90’s, they made 2 tournaments in 68 years! I mean, what a joke.

    UConn has more national championships than UMAss has sweet 16 apperances. They have more elite 8’s than Umass has tournament appearances. UConn currently has 14 active NBA players. That’s twice as many as UMass has ever had. Ever. All time, UConn has 34 ABA/NBA players to UMass’s 7. Nearly 5 times as many. And that number is only going to contune to increase in UConn’s favor.

    Mass is #14 in the population and their bball program and theyre in the single digits for tourney appearances & NBA players. In fact UMass is the only state in the top 39 states for populatiion whose flagship school is largely irrelevant athletically, and msot of those states have more than 1 public university with athletic relevance, with the exception of New York, who does not utilize a traditional flagship D1 school. Umass is in the athletic relevance company of states whose population is less than that of Boston.

    In summary, your school is a joke when it comes to athletics. I know you know this, but I love reiterating it. Point is: residents of Mass pull for you the same way America pulls for a team like Florida Gulf Coast when they make the sweet 16.

    • Joey G
      April 8, 2014 at 11:51 am

      So let’s say that all of a sudden UConn sucks. They put together an “irrelevant” program for a decade and all of a sudden UMass is perennially in the Sweet 16. Would you all of a sudden switch your allegiance?

      • UConn
        April 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

        No because ther’es one key difference: UMass has never had long term relevance. 7 years in a row of success that came out of thin air, and vanished as quickly as it appeared, is not even remotely close of a significance to meritt a following. UConn however is now in 25 years of relevance, and was also very relevant in the 50’s and 60’s. Even in a ‘down’ decade they still had 2 tourney appearances, which is as many as UMass has outside of their 7 year spurt in the 90’s. Point is the amount of history UConn has is so much greater than the amount UMass has it’s like comparing an MLB pitcher to a High school JV pitcher. So your hypothetical scenario is incongruous and inapplicable- even if UConn hit a decade slide, there would still be rich history to maintain their fans. The only thing that an above scenario which you describe would create is a bunch of bandwagoners who dont have a ‘team’ per say- you know the type, those people from Gloucster who list Cuse or UNC as their favorite team.

    • Atlantic 10
      April 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      More proof: Atlantic 10 teams with more NBA players than UMass- keep in mind Umass is only one of two schools in the A10 that are the flagship school- the other is URI, a state whose entire population could have barely filled the final 4 arena this weekend (exaggeration, but not too big of one):

      St Louis: 14
      GW: 10
      St Joes: 18
      Dayton: 19
      LaSalle: 22
      St. Bonaventure: 16
      URI- 14
      Duqeuesne: 20
      Fordham: 10

      Youll notice that the only teams not on here are VCU (7), George Mason (3) – both of whom were mid majors at best until 2 years ago- and Richmond (3). Fordham even has more of them,. I mean Fordham?! That’s pathetic. Even measly St. Bonaventure with its 12 student per year graduating class manages more than 2 times as many as you; or Duquesne who’s motto should be changed to “We’re never in the post season” has 3 times as many. And both of thsoe are small private schools.

    • Blong
      April 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Well it’s a good thing Cheatihoun stayed as long as he did then! Otherwise, your program wouldn’t be shit either.

      • UConn
        April 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

        For one, UMass has no leg to stand on when it comes to talking smack about other schools cheating. UMass only was relevant when Calipari was there, a guy with a rep for being the dirtiest in college basketball. Last I checked though, UConn just won the national championship and Calhoun wasnt the coach. Maybe they wouldnt have been, but that’s like saying “Well if the Yankees didnt have Babe Ruth and then Mickey Mantle and then Munson and then Jeter they wouldnt have 27 world series rings”. Well yeah no shit. But what’s your point?

      • Blong
        April 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

        Actually, that’s where you are wrong. Calipari did not cheat when he was here. Camby did. And, that is, of course, if by cheating, you mean taking money from an agent to LEAVE school.

        Calhoun, though, oversaw your 1996 NCAA Tournament, vacated because of a player accepting gifts (sound familiar?). Players (Marcus Williams and AJ Price) he recruited stole laptops, and were suspended/given probation for their great acts. A former student-manager (Josh Nochimson) Calhoun had inappropriate communication with a recruit and your boy got suspended for 3 games (I don’t recall Calipari ever being suspended….). UCONN was put on probation and lost scholarships as a result as well. And, on top of it all, he had a team that was banned from the NCAA Tournament because of academics. Notice on that last one that he conveniently retired the off-season before the ban.

        So if you’d like to refer to John Calipari as “Cheatipari”, then I will gladly refer to Calhoun as a cheater as well.

        Oh, and Kevin Ollie just won a National Championship. Congrats to him, he seems like a good guy… certainly not a scumbag like Jim Calhoun… but he did it with Jim Calhoun’s team. Don’t fool yourself.

      • UConn
        April 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        Calipari was never proven to have done anything but there’s rumors abundant. I never said he did anything himself, I said he has a bad reputation. Surely youre not an idiot enough to try and tell me that he doesnt have a good reputation. The point was, dont point fingers when you’re only run of success revolved around a guy notorious for being dirty, because deep down I’m sure you have to have your suspicions about what went on at UMass when he was there. I never saifd Calhoun isnt dirty, he’s filthy. And I dont give a shit. Corruption makes the world go round. As a new englander you should know that (See, city of Boston; city of Providence revivial).

        Ollie still coached them there. Calhoun recrutied them there, that’s fantastic. But he wasnt there to coach this year, and Ollie got Calhouns players to stay. In other words he convinced players recruited by Calhoun to put their trust in him, and buy into what he was selling. You know, kind of in the way that a coach does when he recruits? Say who recruited them all you want, they still had to play for and be coached by Ollie the last 2 years after they signed a letter of intent to play for another guy. And if you think last night wont only serve to increase Ollie’s pull as a recruiter, I dont believe you.

      • Blong
        April 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm

        You’re the one who used the term “Cheatipari”, not me. Backtrack all you want.

      • Blong
        April 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

        We really don’t know if Ollie can coach yet, or if Calhoun’s players carried him. We’ll find out in a few years. No doubt last night will help with the recruiting, though.

      • Turtle Boy: The Coward's Coward, the Pussy's Pussy
        April 8, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        How am I backtracking? Everything I’ve said has been subsequently explained. Maybe you should perhaps reread.

    • Blong
      April 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Yet none of this changes the fact that no Massachusetts resident, unless they went to school at UCONN, should be rooting for UCONN in anything. It’s not a Massachusetts school. Plain and simple. This guy’s article was beyond stupid and it’s pathetic that the Globe even ran it.

      • UConn
        April 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        You still dont get it/ Im not talking about the article here. I’m talking about UMass’s presence in the sports world.

        My point is you can like both because they’re on different levels. Umass is like the Paw Sox and UConn is the Bo Sox. I root for both ( I guess) but i mean who really gives a shit about the Paw Sox unless you play for them. Do you get it now?

      • mike .r anderson
        April 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm



        who gives
        a shit

      • mike .r anderson
        April 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm

        for the record that was suppose to have william carlos williams spacing the software deleted it, ruined the impact of those sick enjambments

      • Blong
        April 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        Good for you. This blog is about an article begging for Massachusetts people to root for UCONN. I’m not really sure you get it.

      • UConn
        April 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm

        I just said that I’m not addressing the globe article. I’n merely pointing out why the average person of Mass has no reason to feel hatred towards UConn or conversely rabid support of UMass. It appears were on 2 different pages.

    • FuckUConn
      August 13, 2014 at 1:58 am

      Um, when did Calipari cheat? It was Camby who took improper benefits from an agent. It was Rose who had someone take the SAT’s for him well before Memphis. What has Calipari done to cheat?

    • FuckUConn
      August 13, 2014 at 1:59 am

      Um, when did Calipari cheat? It was Camby who took improper benefits from an agent. It was Rose who had someone take the SAT’s for him well before Memphis. What has Calipari done to cheat?

  • April 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Wow tough time to be a Umass fan I guess.

    • Blong
      April 8, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Been like that since approximately 2000. Certainly doesn’t mean we should ditch our school or state’s flagship for another school in another state!

      • April 8, 2014 at 11:24 am

        I agree. If umass were facing uconn I would pull for umass but how does rooting for uconn vs UK mean ur anti umass? Umass isnt in the game.
        Lets face facts here, there is no umass- uconn rivalry. Connecticut got casinos in the early 90s and pumped millions into their school. Ever since then there’s been no comparison.

  • Joey G
    April 8, 2014 at 7:52 am

    So we should root for whoever is good within 200 miles, that is the point of this article? Also, Napier is really growing on me as he becomes more and more of a pro-labor agitator.

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