Monday, May 16, 2005

Red Sox Fans

Since I bashed Cubs Fans last post, I decided to give equal time to Red Sox fans, and explain why they are quickly becoming worse than Yankee fans. Here's the analogy: Red Sox fans are essentially the same as Duke basketball fans. I speak from experience. I'm a Duke basketball fan (and alum) and have been one for 25 years.

Here's my brief: Duke and the Red Sox share a kinship as a sports team that for years was very likeable, very talented and failed to win the big one, which endeared them even more to fans, especially casual ones. People tend to forget that Duke went to a lot of Final Fours without winning before 1991. They also labored under the shadow of a much more successful (and popular) bitter rival (the Yankees and UNC).

For Duke, I can pinpoint exactly when the worm turned: when Christian Laettner stepped on Aminu Timberlake's chest in the Greatest Game Ever, 1992 East Regional Final. Duke, the defending champs, were being outplayed by a scrappy underdog Kentucky team with only one star, Jamal Mashburn, and in the NCAA tournament, the upset is fan favorite over any team. The fact that we squashed the great story of the Fab Five two games later by 20 points to win our second National Championship helped seal the deal: forever more we would be the target of derision and scorn. It doesn't hurt that our fans are cocky, arrogant, conceited and suffer from a sense of superiority.

For the Red Sox, they are headed there, if not already arrived. I think the turning point may be the Fenway fan who punched Gary Sheffield and made him look like Ghandi. Or maybe it was "Fever Pitch." As a Philly sportstalk guy said, it's bad enough that we have to hear about the "Sawx" all the time anyway, and now we have to suffer commercials for a Red Sox ROMANTIC COMEDY!


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