What makes that year important in Red Sox history is that it came before one of the most critical years in the club's history: 1967 (The Impossible Dream Season). Before 1967, this town was not obsessed with the Red Sox, far from it. This town didn't really care about them. Nobody went to the games. 1966 was their 8th straight losing season. Before 1967, the Red Sox were irrelevant.
In 1967, under a new manager, the Sox went 90-72, won the pennant, and lost the World Series in 7 games. They didn't win it all, but they ended a 21 year playoff drought. And they captured the attention of New England.
Is 2012 going to be the reverse of that? This team is so shamefully bad that they're in danger of becoming irrelevant. The Patriots are now undisputed kings of this town. The Celtics are much more likable and entertaining to watch. If Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs were smart, he'd realize that this is the worst time to remove hockey from this market. In business-speak, the Red Sox are losing market-share.
There's a lack of likability on this team. As they end this sham of a season, all David Ortiz seems to care about is getting "respected" by a 2 year contract. Jacoby Ellsbury doesn't want to disclose his injury status. And the puppet GM will now have more people whispering advice/commands in his ear (Jason Varitek, Bill James).
The Sox have gone over the edge and they're falling down the proverbial cliff in this town. They need to hit the brakes and stop the descent.
They don't need to win a World Series, but contending for a Wild Card spot would be nice. They don't need to be loaded with stars, but likable players would go a long way.
Otherwise, they will be as loved and relevant as they were in 1966. When they averaged 10,014 fans in attendance per game. That could threaten the vaunted, alleged Sellout Streak.