Sunday, December 23, 2007

Open Letter From Red Sox Nation

Well, at least for one member of it. Just like any fan, I have no power or control over other fans of my team, so I can only speak for myself. Recently, this "holiday greeting card" was brought to my attention. Take a quick look at it, it only takes a moment.

For most sports fans, the greeting card is probably humorous. And for some reason, the old guy in the chair reminds me of Freddy "Sez" Shuman, the guy who walks around Yankees games with a pot and a spoon. I don't know, maybe cause they're both old?

Anyways, for one friend of mine, who's a Yankees fan, it wasn't all that humorous. And no, I didn't send it to him, I'm a very polite Red Sox fan. He took it as an opportunity to point out what he thought was wrong with Red Sox fans.

According to my friend, it's not that they're cocky, it was because Red Sox fans have a kick-em-while-they're-down mentality. Now I give my friend credit for not claiming he dislikes Red Sox fans because they're cocky. Because that would have been a pretty lame excuse. Yankees fans are notorious for their "confident" and "bold" attitudes themselves. And when a fan base's favorite team does well, I feel as if they kind of have a right to to be a little cocky.

But this "kick-them-while-they're-down-mentality" I found to be especially interesting. Now the Red Sox haven't been all that successful until this decade. And growing up as a Red Sox fan in the early and mid-90's I seem to remember a certain fan base that kicked me while I was down quite a bit.

After all, from 1918 until 2004, there weren't many sports teams as down as the Boston Red Sox. They didn't just lose, they're lost in grandiose fashion. The Red Sox lost back-to-back-to-back-to-back World Series Game Sevens. In fact, every World Series they went to from 1918-2004, they lost in a Game 7, and often in heartbreaking fashion. An example of which would be Enos Slaughter's "Mad Dash" pictured below.

I doubt there are many Yankees fans out there who have never uttered the year "1918". When Aaron Boone came to the plate in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, there were grown men dressed in ghost costumes in Yankee Stadium. And when Red Sox fans left the stadium that night, I doubt Yankees fans were all that concerned about kicking them while they were down.

Yankees fans kicked Red Sox fans while they were in the midst of one of the most painful 86 years in any baseball team's history. So it doesn't make sense for them to complain about it now, when they've only been on the other end of it for a few years. In fact, given the manner in which Yankees fans have beat down Red Sox fans for the better part of a century, it shouldn't come as any surprise how much Red Sox fans enjoy turning the tables.

The best piece of advice I can think of for Yankees fans who feel as if they're being kicked while they're down, would be develop a sense of humor. A quirky sense of humor has certainly helped Red Sox fans through quite a bit of heartbreak. You can't let insults towards your team get under your skin. Red Sox fans have been the butt of jokes for a long, long time, so I doubt they're going to let up any time soon.

Can Red Sox fans be dicks? Sure they can, and many Red Sox fans can take things too far. But let's be honest, that behavior is not at all exclusive to Red Sox fans. On behalf of Red Sox fans everywhere, I apologize for any over-the-top rude behavior which they've displayed lately. And in the spirit of the holidays, I extend to fans all over baseball the proverbial olive branch.


Ethan Michaels


Cooks said...

looks like yanks fans can't take a bit of their own medicine. poor, poor them

Chris Barrows said...

I have to say, I see cocky side in Red Sox and Yankees...I actually see more of an attitude in Mets fans lately than anyone.

All in all, everyone's got cocky fans, Yankees and Sox are more popular, thus more cocky fans than say, I don't know, the Kansas City Royals.

Ethan Michaels said...

Wow, Mets fans, really? I wonder why, lol

Sean said...

Happy Holidays to you too! Saw your link on lohud and thought I'd check it out. Nice work so far.

Peter N said...

Ethan, great post. And I agree with "cooks." Chris is also right...EVERY basebal fan has "that side'"of them, the one that shows when you know your team, the one you love, is just flat out damn good! The Boston Red Sox immediately come to mind, for some reason or another.
Have a wonderful holiday season...that goes for Ethan AND his readers. Be well.

Chris Barrows said...

Thanks Peter. Nice blog by the way. I may have a Yankees blog, but don't worry, I respect a good blog :) haha.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and let's look forward to another great year in the AL East. If you're interested Peter, I'll add cross link you on my blog if you want. I'm considering starting a Red Sox Blogs section, so the other side of the story is always there for my readers.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Call it "payback" Ethan. Decades and decades of smug and arrogant BS they've doled out to Red Sox is being returned in spades. I've lived in NYC all my life and their sense of entitlement is beyond insufferable. That "we're Yankee fans and it's our birthright to win the World Series" is dead and gone, thank goodness.

Have a Merry Christmas, my friend.

Ethan Michaels said...

Happy holidays to you too Chris. I think the Red Sox links section is a great idea. When I created this blog I actually went around trying to find Yankees fans and bloggers who could offer an alternative perspective to mine.

And happy holidays to all of the readers as well! I took the last couple of days off to spend time with my family, and I'm sure many of you have as well so I'm just getting around to responding to comments now.

Ethan Michaels said...

Omnipotent, I'm sure many Yankees fans don't want to hear this, but I almost feel like fans (in any rivalry) resort to bashing the other team's fans when they really can't say much about the team. I think there's a place for the rivalry and a little back and forth and teasing. But when someone gets a little overboard and actually starts to believe mass generalizations about teams and their fans, I think it often works as a distraction from the sport itself.