Friday, June 02, 2006

Litmus Test?

Tony Massarotti wrote a lead article in The Boston Herald today, decrying the newly minted Red Sox fans. occupying the Fenway seats of the faithful departed.

"And while the newbies prance around and act like they’ve never been there, the rest of us do the only thing we can.

We wait to get our seats back."

All one can ask is "who died and gave you keys to the ballpark?" What litmus test must be passed to qualify for "real fan" status? Did Tony watch Cleveland's Rocky Colavito at Fenway during Mr. Maz's childhood?
Does he remember Colavito's stretching routine before he batted? Or did he yell down to Amos Otis from the centerfield bleachers on those scorching summer days?

I never saw Ted Williams play in person at Fenway. Does that disqualify me? I have the bleacher ticket stub from Game 1 of the 1975 Series against the Big Red Machine. Jim Reinig, a Sox fan from South Carolina got me the ticket. Tony probably was there, too, because he's a genuine Sox fan, the equivalent of the DAR, baseball style.

If fans from Bangor to Block Island want to plunk down their hard-earned bucks to support the Sox, the product on the field, how is that depriving me? Maybe, I'll never be Maz's kind of fan, because I don't have season tickets, keep score in my box seat, and schmooze with Stephen King. Or maybe we can't match Tony's contacts, his chance to enjoy the aroma of freshly washed jocks in the clubhouse and swap stories with clubhouse shoeshine boys.

We don't travel on the road with the team, or eat breakfast with the team, or shake John Henry's hand. We don't know Larry Lucchino's cellphone number, or Theo's fiancee, or the peanut guy in Section 27.

Sorry, Tony, we'll never be real fans. We'll never be able to match your wit and wisdom, insight or prose. But thanks for putting us in our place.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insightful response. I felt exactly the same way when I read that pompous article.

Anonymous said...

i couldnt disagree more with massarotti. i may not be able to afford tickets to the games (post lottery on ebay, because that’s the way life goes), and the people in my place may not share a sox love equal to my own, but they are filling the stadium, cheering, and paying for a dream. there should be nothing pretentious about being a baseball fan, about being a red sox fan. new or old, thanks for the support; Yankees suck.

MikeHoncho said...

I normally agree with a lot of your stuff but I'm going to have to side with Tony on this. Maybe it comes from the fact that during this run I was in college/right out of college but a lot of the so called new "fever pitch" Red Sox fans really got on my nerves. For me these were the people that started the Yankee suck chants when we play Tampa Bay. I thought the article came across as somewhat pompous but I agreed with Tony's point and feel like going to a Sox game is synomonous with Phish Heads. But hey everyone has their own opinion.