When Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, followed soon after by Rob Gronkowski, expectations soared. They were not met on Sunday. Butch Dill/Associated Press

An open letter to sports fans in Tampa Bay:

You had a weekend most sports markets could only dream about. A rejuvenated football team, a hockey team closing in on an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, even a first-place baseball team lowering its magic number.

You’d been looking forward to the weekend for a long time. Probably since Tom Brady chose to bring his arm, and TB12 brand, to TB after leaving the Patriots.

Trouble is, two of your three teams lost on Sunday. Brady threw two interceptions, including a pick six, in the Buccaneers’ 34-23 loss at New Orleans. The Rays were beaten 6-3 by the Red Sox, to fall below .500 for the month of September and leaving their magic number to clinch the division at 11.

That’s the thing about expectations. They set you up for disappointment.

We know all about that here in Boston. We’re living through a sports golden age, a 20-year run of success where nothing short of a championship is acceptable.

That’s why most of us didn’t mind when Brady jumped ship and became a Buc. After all, it’s been nearly 20 months since the Patriots won a Super Bowl. TWENTY MONTHS!!! How long is a team supposed to keep throwing the same group out on the field with that kind of extended failure?

Failure is a relative term. Here in New England we think failure is not having a duck boat parade. We can’t imagine what it would be like to have a team with a losing record in eight of the last nine seasons like you have in the Bucs, a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs in 13 years and hasn’t won a playoff game since Super Bowl XXXVII.

Or take our hockey team. People here are grousing about the Bruins’ quick exit from the Toronto bubble after your Lightning eliminated them in a seven-game series. Fans here want an overhaul – even though the team has been to the Cup finals three times in the last nine years and had the best record in the NHL this season.

The Red Sox? Don’t ask. It’s a historically bad season, and fans up here are questioning the team’s commitment to winning … even though they have won more championships in the last 20 years than any team in the game.

See, that’s the thing about expectations. Once you get a taste of winning, you want more.

It quickly becomes an addiction. You expect a win every time your team takes the field or the ice.

We wouldn’t have been happy with the day you had on Sunday. An ugly debut for Brady, a Rays loss to a last-place team. At least the Lightning won, even if that game was played while you were all watching football.

You’ll get through it. Brady will win some games, and the Rays will make the playoffs. The Lightning just might win it all. You have good days ahead of you.

Here in Boston we’re buzzing over the Cam Newton Era – even if it only lasts a season. And we’ve got a young, exciting Celtics team ready to start the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

After a scintillating Game 7 win over the defending champion Raptors, we’re feeling like the Celtics just might win it all.

They’d better. The duck boats have been sitting idle for nearly two years. How long are we expected to wait?

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column runs on Tuesdays in the Portland Press Herald.

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