brian on 2004.10.18
at 03:42 am
Boston is in need of a winner. In baseball. You might say they deserve one. In my opinion, only some of them do. First I will say that I'm not a native Bostonian. I am however, a native New Englander. Raised in Connecticut to be a fan of a certain New York team.
The Bostonians who deserve to have a winner are those who are passionate and knowledgeable. They cheer hard. Those who follow the Sox year-round. In this town, it is not unusual to walk into your average coffee shop and here a discussion in the middle of winter on the free agent status of an average, seldom used utility play. Then they will switch to talking about how the Pats are setting new NFL records. That shows you something about this town, and its love affair. Even people who have no other affinity for sports lovingly walk around town in their Red Sox gear. This is endearing.
The Red Sox new ownership has made great strides in obtaining excellent, likeable players, improving (and attempting to retain) Fenway Park, and show a great dedication to the loyal Red Sox Nation. This is endearing. They've made a team that is easy to be taken with. How can you not cheer for someone like Curt Shilling?
But there is a sizable group of Bostonians who do not deserve to win. Ever. The people who have such a bitterness for the New York Yankees. The whole world is out to get these people, and the baseball team they cheer for. Especially one team is out to get them, to ruin them not just on the field, but also with all sorts of supernatural phenomenon. How do they deal with this grave injustice? Simple. They chant "Yankees Suck." They deride the Yankees and their fans.
There are rivalries all around the world in sports. The rivalry of the Sox and Yankees is by far the greatest. But it generates incredible acrimony. And its understandable that the side that loses more would be a little dissatisfied, but, God damn, people, the Yankees do not suck. They do not suck in the worst way. They certainly don't suck at Buffalo Bills games (when the Pats are in town) they don't suck at weddings or rock concerts, either. There are battle cries, and then there's just crying. The Yankees are the single best team in the history of sports. They are not evil. You could make a point that their front office and owner are, and many Yankees fans would help you make your point. But they dedicate all their resources to winning ball games, unlike 98% of other baseball teams. With the new ownership, the Red Sox have just become part of the other 2%.
I was heartened by last year's "Cowboy Up" slogan. Finally, something positive. But, alas, that was short lived. And Yankee Hater gear is as common as wool hats in winter. What's my point?
This the only thing that will get Boston over the hump is positive energy. The true curse of the Bambino is the bitterness that Boston holds. It's very unbecoming of a fan base that is in all other respects is perhaps the best of any team, anywhere. The Yankees do not exist to make Bostonians miserable. Bostonians do that unto themselves. Yankees fans should cheer for the Sox to win, just so they can get their Championship and shut up.
Now being a local for three years, I have followed the Red Sox quite closely. My beloved is quite obsessed. I tell people I am neutral when the rivalry is in progress, in the interests of a good home life. It's not entirely true. It certainly is partially, since my beloved is one of those bitter-style Red Sox fans. But the other half is that I honestly like the Boston team. If it were any other team I would have dropped my associations and immigrated to Red Sox Nation. I did that after years of disliking the Patriots. I've been a life long Bears fan, but now I actively follow the Patriots (I base this purely on team make up, and the Pats are the definition of a team, therefore, I must support them).
What an excellent group of guys the Sox have, even the management and front office are likable. They haven't renamed Fenway with a corporate name (thank God. Even a Yankees fan can give a blessing for that), they have attempted to add more seating (this should be the only reason to be bitter in this town, the utter unavailability of baseball seats, and they are exorbitantly priced).
But, alas I simply cannot. I cannot associate myself with 86 years of bitterness. As much as I like their gear (and as someone with a design background, this is important, they have excellent logoage), I just cannot put on that hat.
We'll see how I feel next year.
Posted in: Sports
jake said on 2004.10.20 at 02:37 am
Guess the pendulum's swingin' back the other way. The Yank fans are being pretty obnoxious this evening. At least the umps made good calls. It would suck if they were way off and the Yanks and their fans had to suffer from it.
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