Monday, March 24, 2008

Nobody's Fool

Eric Gillin, editor of Esquire.com and purported Sox fan, penned the following on Deadspin today as he previewed the Sox’ 2008 campaign:

At its most obvious, I would argue that to be a Sox fan simply means that you
want the team to win when they play other teams. I don't believe that a "true
fan" needs to be able to name seven players on the team that aren't Manny
Ramirez, David Ortiz or Jonathan Papelbon. I don't believe that true fans don't
wear pink and have to attend at least one home game a year. And I don't believe
that true fans even exist, except in the mind of insecure fans who feel that
these new fans haven't "earned" it, in the same way that people who liked
Nirvana when they were on Sub Pop have to remind everyone that came after who
"found" the band.
Dear Eric:

In the words of Gary Williams, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong.” You are as wrong as wrong could possibly be. Your words remind me of the time that wrong decided it wasn’t wrong enough, so it stopped by Idi Amin’s house and picked the dictator up for a stirring session of kitten-juggling and octogenarian S&M.

It is a requirement that a true fan know more than 7 players on the roster. It is goddamned right that a true fan should be invested in the team – maybe they don’t have to make a home game if they live hundreds of miles from Boston, but they better fucking care enough to know the team’s record. The bandwagon fans haven’t fucking earned it, you ninny – that’s the point, and that’s why real baseball fans who haven't climbed on the bandwagon (deservedly) mock Sox fans today. These new-to-the-Nation fucksticks didn’t live with the very real if now mythologized angst that made 2004 so shockingly, palpably, surreally world-changing. They don't get the benefit of rooting for a winner without the soul-sucking agony of Aaron Boone and Bill Buckner and Ed Armbrister and Johnny Pesky holding the ball. They just don't. I don't revel in the misery of the past, nor do I want to return to it, but it goddamn informed who I am as a sports fan, and any purported Red Sox fan over the age of 21 that can't quote chapter and verse on the pre-2004 era doesn't count.

Quote-unquote true fans may not exist, but real ones do. People that “want the team to win when they play other teams” that didn’t do so 5 years ago can piss right off. You have to do more than want the team to win. You have to care, man. You have to. Sports are fuck all if you don’t.

Fuck me, man. You’re the kind of jagoff that gives us a bad name.

Kindest Regards,

Rob from Misery Loves Company

P.S. - My friend Scott was a Nirvana fan when they were on SubPop. He likes to remind us that he "found the band". And I'm glad he did. Once again, fuck you.

4 comments:

Jerry said...

YEAH!!! U-S-A!!!! The pussy fans and their enablers can go to hell!!!!

Nick said...

Very well done. Some day I hope to be able to look down at the johnny-come-latelies as I revel in a World Series championship. Then again, if/when Philly ever wins again, it will probably resonate with the drive by fans about as much as the White Sox championship a few years back.

Eric said...

Well argued -- although I felt that "ninny" was a bit strong. (I like to think of myself as more of a "jackass.") The subtle, easily-missed point I was making in that piece is NOT that the pink hats of the world are good. (Or that they're bad.) It's that when things aren't as good for the Sox, we'll see who's still there cheering for this team. I bet we were both up at six this morning. That doesn't make me a better fan than anyone else, because things like "better fan" vs. "worse fan" are foolish notions that get in the way of the important thing: Manny had four RBIs today.

rob said...

well, hell. my unhinged rant certainly didn't deserve a response that civil, but i thank you for it. subtlety (and proportionality) is, to be sure, not one of my strong suits. nor are reaching things in high places and jumping center, for the record.