For the last 20 years, New England sports fans have been fortunate enough to enjoy success across all four major sports teams.

One Stanley Cup trophy in three tries for the Bruins, one Larry O'Brien trophy in two tries for the Celtics, four World Series trophies in four tries for the Red Sox, and six Lombardi trophies in nine tries for the Patriots.

It has undoubtedly been the best run for a fanbase in the history of professional sports.

But what would the last 20 years of New England pro sports have been like if it weren't for the faces of each franchise setting the tone and leading the charge towards glory? Maybe we wouldn't have had 12 different opportunities to celebrate being the best of the best if it weren't for Zdeno Chara, Paul Pierce, David Ortiz, and Tom Brady.

And now, nearly 20 years since New England captured the first of many championships of the millennium, it appears the torches are about to be passed before our very eyes.

Although Bruins star Zdeno Chara is still playing quite a bit at the age of 42, David Ortiz retired in 2016, Paul Pierce retired in 2017 (after leaving Boston via trade in 2013), and Tom Brady just opted to leave New England to finish his career as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

The times are certainly changing, and a new era of New England pro sports is upon us.

All four pro teams in New England have young players with the potential to be great: the Celtics with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Bruins with David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy, the Red Sox with Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis, and the Patriots with Chase Winovich and N'Keal Harry.

But there is a huge difference between "the potential to be great" and "the new face of New England pro sports."

So the question remains: who will take the torch from the legends of old and keep the fire of New England pro sports burning?

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