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Archive for the ‘Fenway Park: home of the Boston Poindexters’ Category

Tuesday’s All-Star game left me shaking with rage. It was played at Yankee Stadium (did you know it’s the fourth AND LAST game EVER to be played at that jewel, that national treasure! Who knew? Certainly not I!), and as always, the Yankee fans were classy about it. Booing every Red Sox player as they were introducing, booing Red Sox manager Terry Francona, and out and out taunting Sox pitcher Jonathan “Paps” Papelbon during his turn at the mound in the eighth inning.

Okay, so maybe Paps said some things about wanting to close the game in the ninth. And maybe he said something to the effect of how maybe, as defending World Series champions, he/they sort of had the right. Yeah, that’d make me a little bit pissed if I was a Yankees fan, sure. Mariano Rivera is a great pitcher and a great closer. (I’m not so proud; I can admit that.) And so maybe it’s a little arrogant to say, but let’s be honest: probably all closing pitchers wanted to be the ones to close the All-Star game. Wouldn’t you? It’s just that no one else said as much. And the person that happened to be that honest happened to be a Red Sox player.

And you know what, Francona did have Rivera close in the ninth (as it turns out, the game didn’t end there as logic might have suggested, and things more or less went to hell, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it was a nice, normal, unnecessarily dramatic and downright overhyped game). Which, you know, he didn’t have to do. So why the big to-do?

The entire point of the All-Star game is to have some healthy inter-league competition. The point is that for a few hours, we are all on the same team. But the Yankees fans couldn’t manage to do that; they had to be rude and arrogant and childish.

I’m not going to say Sox fans aren’t equally rude and childish, and periodically arrogant, and aren’t just as hated by non-Sox fans as Yankee fans are by non-Yankee fans. I know what we’re like. Hell, I participated in a raucous “Yankees suck” chant for a minute or so outside Fenway after the 2004 ALCS win. (In my defense: if you blow a three-nothing lead and have your ass handed to you four games in a row, you do kind of suck.) But in a lot of ways, it seems that while both sides are equally immature, the Yankees are the ones getting lauded for it.

In a night with a near hour’s worth of pre-game coverage, sixteen Yankee Hall of Fame inductees, George Steinbrenner’s Universal Studios tour of his stadium (where visions of Hedonismbot danced in my head), ESPN specials, a parade, and kind reminders from our Fox announcers every few minutes on the History, Legacy, and Cultural Significance of Yankee Stadium and its Legendary Team (just in case we forgot that they are Very, Very Important), I think it’s safe to say that Yankees fans got their heyday. The nice thing to do would be to maintain their legacy and be humble. But they couldn’t cast aside their petty childishness for one night. Real classy, Yankees fans. Maybe if we’d been rallying instead of insulting, the game would’ve ended when it was supposed to.

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Ooh, ooh, this article is a heaping bag o’ fun. While I can (and sometimes do) get behind a ‘hey, we were here first‘ mentality (see also), on the flip side of this, I’m gonna say… hey, lay off my mom.

Yep. My mom’s a dreaded pink-hatter. It’s Pepto Bismol shaded, with a big red pair of socks on the front. The fatherperson got it for her.

But here’s the other thing. The motherperson is no Johnny-Come-Lately, nossir. She’s a New Englander, Sox fan via her father, the one who got my dad to start watching, and half responsible for raising a wee Brain into a Sox fan.

So who to side with? Some valid points are made courtesy of the pro-pink camp. If you love the Sox, you love the Sox. The Big Brain has a beloved Sox cap that was the product of several stores ravaged to find the right one. It’s black with a black Boston B. Definitely not team colors. But does that diminish my love? The days I spent going from store to store in Boston trying to find “the right one” might suggest otherwise. Just because it’s not red doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold significance.

(Fun fact: while shamefully watching VH1’s I Love the New Millennium: 2004 (don’t look at me that way, it was that or Undercover Brother on Comedy Central), they may or may not have shown clips from the Sox’s astoundingly ass-kicking come-from-behind (-and-then-just-forget-to-stop) victory over the Yankees, and then subsequently the Series win, and I may or may not have wept. But only a little eensy bit.)

Of course, on the other hand, doesn’t it irk you when you see the cute girls prancing about in their tiny t-shirts, professing their love for doe-eyed Jacoby Ellsbury? (On a profound intellectual level, I mean. It’s hard not to fundamentally enjoy cute girls in tiny t-shirts.) As beloved (well, by me) sports columnist Bill Simmons once said,

Things you rarely saw before October 2004: Blondes wearing Red Sox jerseys, and cute girls wearing green J-shirts of Boston center fielders. The bottom line is this: You don’t need to drink between 8-12 beers during a game to talk yourself into making out with a female Red Sox fan anymore.

So here’s the issue. Which is better for the “Nation” as a whole? The cute girls in it for the pretty players? The vehement “let me drop some stats on you” lifers who will gleefully discuss Jacoby Ellsbury’s base-stealing prowess with you, but will bitch-slap you into next week if they think you weren’t there prior to ’04? (That’s two mentions; rest assured, it’s just because I really like saying “Jacoby Ellsbury.”) Can we only be Red Sox fans if we suffer? Because, if we’re suffering, it means they’re not playing well. And frankly, I love it when they play well, particularly if they are rubbing it the Yankees’ faces.

But I think that at the end of the day, it all comes down to how you feel as a fan. I love my black hat. I even love my Johnny Damon t-shirt (purchased on Yawkey Way prior to Game Three of the ’04 ACLS, and even though we got our asses handed to us, I still consider it good luck and a good memento). And this is what my mother had to say after I emailed her the link, wise to the last: “As far as I’m concerned, anyone who doesn’t like my pink hat can shove it.”

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