We’re the foot. Every other AL east team is the ass.
RESPONSE TO SYPHAX FROM PREVIOUS POST (but no one will read it if it's left there)
Very interesting stuff and this probably isn't the forum for a truly academic discussion of the issue but......while I understand your point, selfishly it's hard to get behind your ultimate thesis, "we need about a decade of losing".
It's notable that in less than a decade we've gone from one of the most loved fan bases to one of the most despised. There are 3 immediately obvious potential causes of this:
1 - Jealousy - pure and simple
2 - The Nouveau Riche fans (also, somewhat misogynistically called "the pink hats") who have flocked to the team simply because they are winning
3 - The actual fan base has changed to become taunting, arrogant morons.
Are there any more that I've missed?
#1 doesn't seem to fit. MFY fans have always claimed that the rest of the league is jealous of their success. I've searched the deep recesses of my heart to see if this could possibly be true and have come out with a resounding No Effin way! I'd rather give an alligator the opportunity to sniff my chode than be a Yankee fan. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for IBM. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for the Death Star. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for childhood cancer.
Jealousy is nowhere in the equation.
#2 has some merit to it. It's easily understandable again by simply looking at yankee fans. It's always been interesting to me that we seem to categorize MFY fans as assholes and they consistently categorize us as morons. The subtext here is that we're morons because we choose to follow a traditionally losing team. We think they're assholes because they choose to follow a traditionally successful team simply because they are successful. (And, of course, because they truly are assholes.)
Should the Sox fanbase grow because of the bandwagon jumpers then it would be absolutely understandable that others around the league would begin to dislike (and disrespect) us. There's a finding in the Social Sciences called the Outgroup Homogeneity Effect which says that we look at groups of which we are not members and assume that all members of that group are alike. If that holds true for this case then even the long-suffering among us are in danger of being lumped in with the fair weather variety.
As a Sox fan since 1973, #3 is the scariest to me. Have we really become what we have hated for so long?
On a personal level I'd like to think it's not true. I've always taken a distinct pleasure in being a member of the Nation - win or lose. We are a fanbase that proves the value of loyalty as well as traditionally having been recognized as among the most knowledgeable (along with St. Louis) in all of baseball.
I have 2 brothers in law from California who both played baseball at a fairly high level. When they took a trip to Fenway one summer they came back to tell me that of all the things they loved about Fenway, what they appreciated most was how cognitively the fans watched the game. Specifically they told the story of 2 Sox fans sitting in front of them who booed Shea Hillenbrand when he came to bat in the late innings of a tie game. Shea had homered in his previous at bat so they were confused as to why he was getting booed. They asked the fans who responded, "he didn't hit to the right side in the 2nd inning to get Offerman to 3rd". Furthermore, those 2 fans were women (further disproving the pink-hat categorization).
If we are in fact losing that kind of acumen as a fanbase then that is tuly sad and perhaps we are worthy of losing the esteem of fans around the league - just like Yankee fans.
Fortunately, on a contrary note, there was an article published in the Baltimore Sun a few years back about the influx of opposing fans at Camden Yards. The writer made the point that he could essentially tell which team the Orioles were playing by closing his eyes and listening to the fans. He wrote that MFY fans come into the stadium in droves and proceed to tease, taunt and torture the O's fans from the first pitch to the last. Red Sox fans on the other hand just come in and take over the stadium, playfully bantering with each other and completely ignoring the home fans as if they didn't exist at all.
It is heartening to note that this article was written after 2007.
So, while a decade long drought might cure some of those problems, I'm not sure those problems are truly in need of "curing" as many of them are simply perceptual. Your kids will grow up fine, Syphax. Provide opportunities for them to succeed and fail on their own and those lessons will stick longer than those taken vicariously through a sports team - besides, they're gonna get labeled as moron Red Sox fans regardless. ;-)
(and for those of you who made it through this entire diatribe, you win a kewpie doll at the next palooza)
I hate to shill myself, but I know most of you were rooting on the Bruins. Today I wrote an open letter to all of you about what this Championship will mean to you:
It's almost biblical... "He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.". You know Genesis 3!
Red, not quite right. Try this:
We are Millar, and the rest of the league is the CHB.
We are Tim Thomas, and the rest of the league is Luongo.
it was great to get the W, but now we have Clay to worry about. Lower back tightening up. Same injury that required "rest". Hope this is not serious.
@Sox in the Desert Really excellent post. I should declare my own position here. I'm English, I live in England (for now - we are planning a move to California later this year). I've been a baseball fan for about nine years. I was originally a Florida Marlins fan for reasons too boring to relate. I switched to the Red Sox before the 06 season started due to two things: getting married to a girl from Maine and the Marlins trading Mike Lowell to Boston (more the latter, to be honest).
My experience is that my friends in the US mostly really don't like the Sox. Basically I know two sets of people in the US. My wife's family are from Maine and of course everyone's a Sox fan, except her dad who follows the MFY because his 2nd wife does and he delights in being contrary, but with whom I can have an adult conversation about baseball and the two teams, and my sister-in-law's husband from CT about whom all I can say is the fact that he's an archetypal asshole MFY fan is his least obnoxious quality.
We have a bunch of friends in California in the Santa Cruz area, who are all either A's or Giants fans. I find myself really disappointed at how much they tend to dislike the Sox, but it seems widespread. I've been following the A's and particularly the Giants as well as the Sox since I first visited the Bay Area four years ago and I notice from reading Giants and A's websites that fans of both teams really dislike the Sox. This seems to me to be for three reasons: 1) A's fans resent Boston's financial muscle, just like they resent any team with money, 2) Giants fans think Boston fans have turned into arrogant entitled assholes since winning the Series in 04 and are just like MFY fans, 3) both sets of fans resent the Sox and Yankees because of media bias. We were at an A's game a couple of years ago and listened to two women bitching about other fans; they reserved particular disdain for Sox fans. I do think it's pretty common for fans of other teams to have gone off the Sox since winning the Series; my friend Jennifer in Long Island, a diehard Mets fan, doesn't like the Sox anymore.
@Sox in the Desert Over here, they sell mayonnaise in a bottle shaped like a kewpie. Very weird.
@Sox in the Desert Brillantly put. Losing has never been a cure for anything. It is a case of 2 and 3 to me. Any team that has even some moderate success will get bandwagon fans, it happens. I gurantee that the Arizona Cardinals got some fans that they didn't have before their Super Bowl run. Add in to the fact that it has become in vogue now to be a fan of the Red Sox (if the media is anything to go by) and there will be some moronic bandwangoners who are misrepesenting the Red Sox fan base. Most of the people I've come across who are what some might call Massholes, are genereally pre pubes, or those idiots who show up at a game to drink and spew vitrol. They are identifiable by their constant need to start a chant of Yankees suck at every game. And I mean all 162. Most of the Red Sox fans that I know though are what you described; smart, knowledegable, and would rather see their team win than the other team lose. Also, what's a kewpie and what's a palooza?
@alexis_b82 Nice Alexis. And go Bolts (unless it's against the Bruins) :)
I took the less protological view that we were just kicking their asses. @Tex19
Always go Old Testament when looking for ass-kicking quotes. That touchy-feely love one another as I have loved you Jesus stuff doesn't work very well in sports analogies. ;-)
@VJ in Stuttgart Even if it requires a 15 day DL the Sox are in a decent position with Miller, Aceves, and Wake
Thanks RSF. The bad news is that when and if you move to California as a Red Sox fan you'll be treated as if you stepped off the boat in Boston Harbor in 1779 with a big red coat on.
Rotten timing is all. ;-)
Nicely put bjc - a kewpie is an old style doll they used to give away at carnivals when you won at baseball toss, ring toss, salad toss, etc....
@bjchit @Sox in the Desert A Palooza is when some of us on SG happen to be in the same spot at the same time. I made a trip to Boston last month with Tex and we partied with Rich in the Garage, JB and his lovely wife AB, and Hayes.
Show up during labor day in Boston and you'll see (some folks but not me).
well in Texas putting someone's foot up an opponent's ass IS kicking their ass @Sharpie
@Sox in the Desert I can deal with that. At least I won't be surrounded by fucking Yankee fans and besides, I like both the local teams :-)
@Sox in the Desert I was being a smart alick about the kewpie doll and palooza, although I didn't know that there was SG defintion for palooza.
His career stats are the reason he's available to us now but as a number 1 overall draft choice with an arm that spews fire from the left side he's gotten chance after chance after chance because he makes scouts slide off their seats.
His Pawtucket stats are pretty dmn good - especially if you only look at the last 2 months.