Monday, October 01, 2007

There might actually be an old man trapped in my body

My Red Sox have had a fantastic regular season. We took first place in the AL East in April, and never let go of it. Having been a Red Sox fan my entire life, this was not something that I took for granted, or to the bank before the season ended. I would have been gutted if the Sox blew it in the last week of the season and did not even make the playoffs. What I would not have been is shocked. Growing up with Red Sox heartache means that I have learned to expect the worst, and be happy when the outcome of events is in my favor. This also means that I have turned into my father. No matter how good the Sox are this season, and they are really, really well balanced and solid, I am guarded with my enthusiasm.

This brings me to my point, and yes there is a point. I need to vent about faux Red Sox fans. Living outside of Boston means that I come into contact with this increasingly common form of cretin on a fairly regular basis. Yes, there are many Bostonians living throughout the lower 48, but that is not who I am talking about. If you grew up in Boston watching the Sox, chances are that this is why you root for the boys from Fenway. However, being a New Englander is not the only criteria for being a real fan, and in fact there are probably many people in Boston who fall under the faux distinction. For example, you could have grown up on Mars and if you were always a Sox fan, followed the team in good times and bad, then you are not a faux fan. Faux fans are those lovely people who buy Red Sox gear in bulk because it is fashionable. Faux fans come to watch the team play on the road and don't stay for the whole game because the Sox are losing. Faux fans don't watch the game, they come to socialize. Faux fans cannot tell you the names of any of the players, past or present. Faux fans show up for a Red Sox game in 2007 wearing a Red Sox Johnny Damon shirt! How I did not jump that guy in the parking lot may be one of the greatest unanswered questions of our time. These faux fans will not be around when the Sox are not as strong as they are now, which is what really makes me so angry. My fellow Sox fans and I have earned the right to be happy about or team. We struggled for this joy. There were many, many dark days, that have been burned into my soul. This is a valuable lesson that the fine ladies from the Facts of Life taught me a long time ago, "You take the good, you take the bad, you take 'em both." You cannot just come along and cheer for the team when they are good and not expect me to mock you in public. Band wagoners.

I should be clear that you don't have to know everything about the team to be a real fan. There is no need to get into a battle of who is the bigger fan, this isn't my purpose. You either are, or aren't, I don't care about levels of intensity. To make it easy for you fellow fans, I developed a short test. Feel free to print this out and carry it in your pocket, ready to whip out at a moments notice. These are questions that the average fan should be able to answer, but are challenging enough to rule out the posers. Basically, I kept my Mom in mind with these questions. My Mom may not be able to to quote you stats, but she is a lifelong fan. I have faith that she could pass this test.

1. Who plays second base for the Red Sox? And for the Yankees?

2. Describe in detail where you were in 2003 when the Red Sox and Yankees played game 7 of the ALCS. Who won the game? What was the controversy? Who hit the final home run? What did you do after the game?

3. What, and where is the Pesky Pole?

4. What team did Roger Clemens play for when he left Boston? Who was the general manager that traded him, and what were the words he used to justify Roger leaving?

5. Name the current manager. Who was the last manager?

6. What year did the "Impossible Dream Team" play?

7. What is Davis Ortiz's nickname? Who did he play with before coming to Boston? What country is he from?

8. Name five former Red Sox players. Can you name 10? 20?

9. Name one Red Sox announcer, TV or radio.

10. Who are the Sox playing in the first round of the playoffs?

So if you find someone covered in Sox gear, screaming about how much the love the team, and they cannot pass this test, I highly recommend public stoning. OK, fine, I will settle for public mockery. Just point and laugh a lot. Then call me and tell me about it.


Houseboy said...

I flubbed 4(b) and 6. I guess I can't break out that Spike Owen jersey just yet.

S. Vincent said...

I can get all of those, but I won't post them because then I would give it away, and this issue needs to be resolved as red sox nation is out of control. It should also be noted that I am a yankee fan and that the Yankees created band-wagon fans based on the number of hats doubling after world series wins and being non existent when I became fan during the late 80's and into the early 90's and everyone in NY was a Met fan or an Athletics fan because of the Bash Brothers. I am laughing at them now... Anyway, red sox nation is quickly trying to steal our thunder as being the most hated fans in the country due to this fakeness, and us firmly entrenched in the evil empire do not appreciate this rebel uprising. Repress it or be crushed!

Number 4 of 5 said...

Houseboy...I respect your Red Sox knowledge despite not being a fan. Plus, I always thought you would look better in a Fisk jersey anyway.

S. Vincent...It is a very, very, very bad idea to comment on my blog and say that the Yankees created anything. Fake Yankees fans are the only thing more obnoxious then fake Red Sox fans. Enough said.

AGR said...

From a purely economic viewpoint fake fans may be a good thing. Fake fans buy tickets and lots of gear when the team is winning giving the team money to continue winning, or to subsist in the decades when the team is losing and only the real fans are buying tickets and gear.

Also, I consider myself a fan, nowhere near a diehard, but a fan of the sox as I am of all boston teams, and I can only answer about three of your questions. I am what I would call a passive rather than a faux fan. I always, whether the team is doing well or poorly, will call myself a fan and speak out in support of the team. I don't watch the games unless I happen to be at one, and I do not read about the team unless it is in some sort of fiction book - but I always have a hope that the team is doing well and the conviction that we are the best. I would surely fail your test but I still think there is no reason to mock me in my hat.

Number 4 of 5 said...

Dude, you were warned, and I wasn't kidding. Take your stupid Yankee baiting elsewhere.

big kahuna said...

the red sox don't need fake fans to sell tickets. Fenway has been sold out for years..... Evidently the yankees need fake fans to sell tickets......./

lites said...

are fake yankees fans kind of like fake peolple that you would put in your passnger seat to use the HOV lane? Maybe it's just me...