Monday, April 14, 2008

A True Fan?
Submitted by: Slowfo

I couldn't help but laugh as I read this weekend's story about a Red Sox fan/construction worker who tried to "curse" the new Yankee stadium by burying a David Ortiz jersey in the freshly poured concrete of the new Yankee Stadium. Although as I lifelong Orioles fan I am also a card carrying Yankee hater, I have noticed lately that there seems to be a lot more loud-mouthed Red Sox fans these days than I remember growing up in the eighties. Why? You know why.....bandwagon-jumpers. Love 'em or hate 'em, bandwagon-jumpers are a reality of the sports world. And it begs the question, "Who is a true fan?"

I have to point out that if you're reading this and you've been an avid Red Sox fan for 15+ years, kudos to you. You've seen your team suck and have ridden the low points to now enjoy the victor's spoils. Yankee fan's bravado however is laughable. I don't ever want to hear a Yankee describe themselves as a "true Yankees fan." No such thing. What does that mean anyway? That their fandom has stretched all the way through their century of winning and world championships?? Wow.......impressive. You've really got character Yankee fan. Tell ya what, when you've suffered through ten-plus years of no post-season, then come talk to me. Better yet, since you guys have won so much and to balance things out better, wait until you've not even sniffed a World Series for a century and then we'll talk. Cubs fans have earned my respect for sticking with a team that has shown such ineptitude for so long (or maybe that feeling I've got is pity for their stupidity?).

On the flip side, I hear reports that long-suffering Red Sox fans are arrogantly upset about their own new fans that have cropped up in the last two years causing them to scream, "Where were you back when this team needed you?!" (which is actually not unlike some snooty Christians and their disdain over "Christmas and Easter" church-goers - but that's another story altogether). You Bostonians who read this blog can attest to whether or not these reports are valid.

All of this I present to you, dear reader. What is the definition of a "true fan?" Does it matter how long a person has followed a team whether it be weeks or decades? Should bandwagon-jumpers be held accountable as the sports-following whores that they really are? And lastly, does anyone know a way that we can sneak into the new Yankee Stadium for our own personal desecration of what will be the new Yankee clubhouse?


Pixie said...

A true Cardinals fan will have told his wife on multiple occasions that had she been a Cubs fan then he wouldn't have married her.

g13 said...

i wasn't kidding.

as for the true fan test, i think everyone who wants to attend a baseball game in a stadium where there is a dearth of available tickets (i.e., i'm not talking about camden yards) should have to pass a simple eligibility quiz before acquiring the aforementioned commodities. the quiz would be remarkably simple and every child under 10 who is not capable of passing the exam can be admitted if accompanied by a competent adult.

sample questions could include:

1. Briefly explain the significance of the following baseball statistics: 61; 714; 9.

2. Please correct the spelling of the following name: Rirruto.

3. Please identify the ethnicity of the current all-time homerun champion, by circling the correct option: a) honky b) african-american c) somoan.

4. Are you wearing a pink hat?

I also think that fans who "caught on" to the team during a championship year should endure a five-year waiting period before being able to attend a game in a seat scarce environment.

james said...

Couldn't agree more with jeff's last paragraph. I attended the Red Sox/Yankees game last night at Fenway and had the opportunity to sit five rows back in the center field bleachers. The usual camaraderie often expected at such a rivaled game was all but benign. Granted, my buddy Chris and I had a great time, but the general rowdy-tenseness in the air wasn't so much heightened by the rivalry of the teams, as it was by the progressive drunkenness as the game wore on.

Getting the opportunity to see such a game, one hopes for more. Sure there were plenty of Damon hecklers ("You throw like a bitch Johnny!"), but it was generally far less than one would expect. Thank God there were no beach balls flying around though.

g13 said...

i can't believe you got to go to the game. i'm insanely jealous.

i don't think anyone can argue that catching a game at fenway has become a better experience since 2004. tickets used to be cheaper, the baseball conversation better and the beach balls far less prominent.

when i attended a celtics game this year, i couldn't help but feel a little dirty since in years past i couldn't care less about the nba, know nothing about the celtics beyond what i have learned on weei (aka my guilty pleasure) and had never considered attending a celts game before.

i keep hoping that fair weather red sox fans will have a similar stricken conscience and leave some tickets available for the real fans among us. but, in a fallen world like ours, i seriously doubt that is going to happen.

mike said...

my roommate is one of those new sox fans, but of course he cause he is a deauche. pisses me off. so i give him shit about it all the time.

do it the right way. start liking a team when they suck ass. i moved out here and started watching the giants. yes they had Bonds but other than that and TL pitching they sucked. and of course there is KC. but i am yet to see one of their games aired out here.

so yeah, fuck all fair weather fans.

i do love it that boston locals were deprived of their matanarative what with all their teams doing well, now they attempt to fill the void by complaining about how much it sucks to have teams people want to watch.
some enterprising psych student could write a thesis on that fucked up mental problem - the need to have something to bitch about.

mike said...

and jeff, i am just thinking about this and i could be full of shit. but do you think it is some deep psychological thing in baseball itself that we are more content when our teams suck ass? its like we have nothing to talk about or do with ourselves when our team is good.

Leanne said...

Amen to the pink hats comment, Jeff.

And to further that (and I know this will be very un-Boston and un-Irish of me, so I ask my ancestors for forgiveness), but last time I checked, our colors/logo did not equal green & white/shamrock.

Josh said...

Up front credential, if needed: I went to Fenway for the first time in 1986, as a six year old.

I was at Fenway Sunday night. My 14 year old brother was cracking up at a shirtless dude trying to start the wave during the third inning (yeah, where the Red Sox sent 9 batters to the plate). I prayed for his baseball soul (my brother's that is; the shirtless dude is beyond regeneration).

The other question to add: why, if you're wearing a Red Sox home jersey (or Yankees or Dodgers or Tigers I think) is there a name on the back? And furthermore, who is Baddingtoninski? I didn't know he played for the Red Sox. Oh, he was number 9? How about that; you know, there was this other number 9...

slowfo said...

mike, i actually read a great piece on that contented discontent of being a Cubs fan. It was pop-philosohpy which i normally abhor but i liked that piece. i'll see if i can dig it up and post some about it.

Anonymous said...

God help us if the Celtics pull something out of their overpaid asses.

I think being a Cubs and Browns fans is the closest I'll ever get to self-flagellation. So, I'm with Mike on these fairweather douchenheimers.

My only probelm with this ass-neck that buried the Ortiz jersey is he ran his mouth. Wait until the stadium's finished, they've had 3-5years of the Yankee finishes we've been getting used to, and then say, "Oh, BTW, I buried Big Papi's jersey underneath your house that Pay-Rod built. Santeria, you're my best friend!"

Red Sox is the new Yankees.

Kevin Smith Clark

slowfo said...

whoa KSC, ditto on the Red Sox are the new Yanks! and yeah, what's up with that idiot saying anything?! Hell, even wait til opening day next year - it would be a perfect christening of their precious, over-rated stadium.

g13 said...

mike, you're roommate sucks.

leanne, you're right about the saint paddy's hats. they're not quite as horrible as the camouflage new hampshire edition hats, but they're close.

slowfo, no way you're posting a piece about being a cubs fan on my blog. no, what's the word, trucking?, way.

josh, next time you have tickets to the game send them this way. i'll appreciate the game much more than your 14 year old brother. i guarantee it.

ksc, completely agree with you about the sox being the new yankees. that's why i rooted for the indians in the alcs.

slowfo the sad thing is, the yankees wouldn't even need a new stadium if they hadn't botched their refurb project in the 70s. unlike you, i wasn't old enough to visit the stadium prior to the reconstruction, but the pictures suggest that when they redesigned the edifice they tore the soul out of that old stadium.