Boston’s Fair Weather Fans of Foul Weather Reveal Themselves

Suddenly, people are on board with this whole snow thing now that we're close to setting a record.

Associated Press

Associated Press

Oh sure, Boston, now that we’re a couple inches from setting a record, suddenly you’re rooting for snowfall. Pshh, talk about fair weather fans. Or wait—foul weather fans? Fair weather fans of foul weather? Whatever, you get the point. Now that we stand a chance of making history, suddenly, people are on board with this whole snow thing.

That’s according to the Associated Press, anyway, which calls Boston residents “gluttons for punishment.” Just two inches away from the record of 107.5 inches, set in 1995-1996 season, suddenly we’re close enough that the AP found people who think it might just be worth another bit of snowfall.

Having endured weeks of misery, residents like Erin O’Brien insist they deserve bragging rights. Otherwise, some wonder, what was the point of it all?

‘‘I want the record. We earned the record,’’ said O’Brien, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Where was this a couple weeks ago when Boston crossed the 100 inch threshold? Sure, there were hints then that some people wanted to go all the way, but mainly, people sounded annoyed to have passed triple digits.

What’s the payoff of setting a record, anyway? Most people point to “bragging rights.” If we set a record, no one can claim that Boston had a reasonable winter when, in fact, we had the worst winter on record. Of course, the snowfall has made all kinds of national news and basically everyone in the country already accepts that we’ve had a bad winter. So the payoff isn’t that great. But hey, might as well, right?

Or will it be a let down? When the record was broken back in 1996, the Globe‘s story on the subject did not suggest that there were any mass celebrations in the streets.

[M]any would have preferred to let the old record stand.

“This storm is boring,” said Connie Matthews, shoveling her walk in the Ashmont neighborhood of Dorchester yesterday.

We’re due for more snow Thursday, though probably not enough to put us over the top. Still, it’s only March 4, so let’s assume we have a good shot at breaking the record. Only then can we look inside ourselves and know whether it was truly worth those last few inches. In all likelihood, the answer will depend on how long you have to wait for the Red Line that morning.