Complaining “it’s no longer about the contest, now it’s performance art with style points”, the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy advances the tired argument that Red Sox fans under the age of 90 are spoiled rotten.
There are people who claim to be members of Red Sox Nation who have no idea that Bucky Dent’s middle name is Bleeping. There are people under pink hats wearing PEDROIA jerseys who think Big Papi, not Ted Williams, is the greatest hitter who ever lived. They don’t know that there was a guy named Radatz who threw harder than Papelbon or that there was a time not long ago when a black cloud followed the Boston baseball club.
The Red Sox and their entitled traveling Nationalists who’ve been taking over other people’s ballparks for three years have officially jumped the shark. They are Nouveau Nation – rich folks who’d demolish a 200-year-old colonial to make way for a hideous, horizon-blocking McMansion. You may have heard some of them talking after Thursday’s scintillating Game 2 World Series win at Fenway:
“I hope we win the World Series again. I mean, it’s been an eternity since we won. I’ve waited three long years for this. I just hope they lose a couple this weekend in Colorado so we can win it at home. That would be so much more fun.”
Now we have some alleged “fans” who aren’t satisfied with just another world championship. They want the cherry on top. They want all the Fenway trappings to go along with it: “Sweet Caroline,” “Dirty Water,” the Dropkicks, the Irish Step Dancers, and Papelbon Riverdancing on the Fenway lawn with a bottle of Korbel in his pitching hand and a Luis Tiant cigar in his mouth.
Aside from my wondering if the above conversation was real or imagined, let’s imagine a more idyllic Red Sox fan base, one closer in size and temperment to that of ’67’s Impossible Dream. Exactly how many opportunities would the Dan Shaughnessey of that generation have found for writing books, making television appearances and providing expert commentary for the (non-extant) 24-7 sports radio stations of the day?