Thursday, October 16, 2008

These Are Bitter October Days

As a fan, you have tremendous power.

As a fan, you serve many roles, act as a Jack-of-all-trades, and wear many hats (figuratively, of course) for your team. If your team is down three runs in the bottom of the 9th with two on and two out, you're a shot of adrenaline to your team as you scream in the stands, and you're likely sacrificing your ability to speak for a day or two.

As a fan, if your team scores five times in the 8th to take the lead after trailing all game, and you were sitting in a towel on your couch with one arm behind your head during the rally, you better get used to that breeze you feel -- no sane fan is moving an inch until the game ends.

As a fan, you're a bodyguard for your team's logo, defending it against all takers. And you develop superhuman powers during games, channeling some spiritual presence from another dimension gained only when wearing a backwards, inside-out, never-been-washed-since-you-bought-it-in-1995 baseball cap. You can call it Karma, call it Fate, or call it Luck. But you better not call it "just a game." On second thought, just don't speak at all without knocking on wood.

You do it all as a fan, and with a great many roles comes a great deal of power.

I am a Yanks fan, and tonight, my hat is hanging on the wall. I haven't worn it in October for the first time since girls had cooties. Where is my power during these playoffs? I've been deriving my baseball pleasure from the pounding that Tampa Bay has delivered to Boston. Yet this pleasure ended abruptly with a Big Papi blast in the 7th, then another by JD Drew in the 8th. A 7-0 lead is now 7-6, and I've realized something -- no matter where I sit on the couch, "my team" (TB) isn't responding. Their pitchers keep throwing balls. No matter which hand I sit on, or how many times I tap my foot before a pitch, the Rays keep surrendering hits.

If the wheels come off entirely, and Boston wins this game -- hell, if they win this series -- I'll be bitter. But seeing the Rays beat the Sox three games this series left a bitter taste anyway, once all my sneering and chuckling was finished.

It's 7-7 now. I could actually hear the cheers from Fenway as the Sox tied it up. My nemeses live that close. Tampa seems to be losing control by the second, and I've already sat in every possible position in my apartment like some sort of sports Kama Sutra. Nothing is working. My powers as a fan are gone.

If the Rays manage to win, either tonight or back in Tampa Bay, I'm sure I'll be elated. I guess I genuinely wish bad things on the Sox. I know it doesn't make sense if I chant "Red Sox suck" when my team didn't just beat the Red Sox, but I can't help it. I feel so irrationally angry towards another team, even though I'm not a real fan of their opponent. I feel bitter, vendictive, impotent, and frustrated.

But hey, I'm in Boston -- guess I'm starting to fit in.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pretty in Pink?

Quick, what's the only thing worse than a Red Sox fan?

Give up? A bandwagon Red Sox fan. Why? Because at least a real fan can name his or her own players and can enter into the Yanks/Sox debate with credible (if not misguided) information. Not a bandwagon fan. A bandwagon fan is like the dimwitted crony in a bad mobster film, standing behind the boss, repeating everything he says with a "Yeaaah, what he said!"

Here's an obvious way to determine who is a real Sox fan and who is riding the wave started in 2004: if they're wearing anything pink, they are not real fans. In case you object, here's another way to look at it: if they're wearing anything pink, they are not real fans. Red, navy, white, and any combination therein all qualify as Red Sox colors. Pink says, "I don't like this team enough to sacrifice my taste in clothing and wear official gear."

Bandwagon Sox fans are like drips from a faucet -- you may not notice them at first, but once you do, you will be unable to focus on anything else. Eventually, you'll be completely consumed and utterly frustrated and begin pelting them with spare change as they pass.

Just me? Right then. Moving on.

Make no mistake, I have a deep hatred of these preposterous pink people, perverting the pure pleasure that is sports fanship. Luckily, I'm not alone. I encourage you to read this brief article from Boston Magazine.

There will always be bandwagon fans, but if you choose to jump aboard, please remember one thing -- you're pathetic in pink.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Date Night in Boston

'Nuff said.