Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

They still went and cut me loose

Google searching Mike Timlin brought me to today's entry.  (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

Google searching Mike Timlin brought me to today's entry. (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

In my quest for something to write about today, I came across the personal blog of a twenty year-old Yankees fan who wrote an entry called “Rules for being a Red Socks fan” – yes, he spelled it “socks” because, apparently, Yankees fans can’t spell.   I kid.  It’s because Yankees fans think spelling the word “Sox” wrong (see “Sawx”) is a good way to denigrate the team and/or fanbase. It’s like using “Skankees” or “MFY” I suppose.  Anyway, the idea behind the entry is that you need to know these 13 things in order to be considered anything more than a “fake” Red Sox fan.  I have lots of time on my hands so I figured I’d take the dude’s test.

Don’t forget:

A good basis for this is that I know this, so as a real Red Sock fan you should know too. Again, if you do not know these facts it doesn’t mean you cannot root for the Red Socks. However, if you don’t know these facts, then I DON’T WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE RED SOCKS. You have no right to brag to me because you are not a real fan. Hopefully this will motivate you to actually start caring.

Are you ready to be motivated? I know I am!

The Rules:

1. You know the team’s real name prior to being called the Red Sox (I even put an x this time)
2. You know what year was NOT Babe Ruth’s last year with the Red Socks
3. Also, you know what position he mostly played for Boston
4. Also, you know that Babe Ruth ended his career in Boston, but for what team?
5. I can spell Yaz’s last name, can you?
6. You know the number of World Serieses the Red Socks have won
7. I know 6/7 of the Red Socks’ retired numbers, you should be able to name at least 4
8. Although it didn’t go through, Joe Dimaggio was one traded for whom….
9. And despite that, you know why Dimaggio isn’t necessarily a bad name in Red Sock history
10. You hate these names for obvious reasons: Dent and Boone
11. You hate these names but should love them too: Buckner, Clemens, Wells, Boggs and Mike Torrez
12. Speaking of Bill Bucker, you know what happened as a result of his error (hint: it didn’t lose the World Series)
13. You recognize the following names of players from recent teams: Eric Hinske, Tony Clark, Mike Timlin, Tom Gordon, Bill Mueller, Troy O’Leary, Mike Stanley, Coco Crisp, Keith Foulke, Wade Miller, and Edgar Renteria

I’m not here to tease the guy for his “rules” (although the idea of a Yankee fan putting down rules for Red Sox fans is pretty darned amusing). I’m here more question why there should be any “rules” to being a fan and figured since this entry inspired me I should give it a shout out. (This blogger also has rules for being a Yankees fan and it has me a little concerned because if I go by his criteria I think I might be a “real” Yankees fan as WELL as a “real” Red Sox fan.  Do only Yankees fans know what ALCS means?  Can I get my Yankee fandom removed surgically?)

Okay, I suppose rules can be good.  But why so many?  And why make it so exclusionary?  There’s no need to over think this.  In under a minute, I came up with “rules” that I think everyone can get behind.

Here are my rules for being a Red Sox fan (can also be applied to any other team regardless of which sport they’re in):

1)  Love the team

2) Love the sport

3) Don’t embarrass me as a representation of the entire fanbase

Simple and to the point, yes?

In late 2004, early 2005, after the greatest comeback in sports history was followed by the greatest World Series win in my lifetime, I got a bit testy about bandwagon fans.   It annoyed me that people who didn’t know how to pronounce Bill Mueller’s last name were wearing shirts with it emblazoned across the back.   I wanted to kick so-called fans who thought that the ball passing by Buckner is how the 1986 World Series ended.  My dislike of the legions of people who decided to like the Red Sox just because they won the World Series for the first time in 86 years is well documented.  But over the years, age, wisdom and a second Red Sox World Championship title have mellowed me out.  I realize, now, that while most fan bases are created by regional and familial loyalties, bandwagoners serve their purpose.  Some bandwagon fans even end up becoming genuine Sox fans.

Thanks to Al Gore and his Internet, I’ve met Red Sox fans from all around the world.  Two of my friends, Tom  (in England) and  John (in New Zealand) are as diehard Sox fans as you’ll find but they weren’t fans from “birth”so, technically,they’re bandwagon fans – or at least they were.   I know dozens of other people with similar stories (although most reside in the States).  For one reason or another they turned on to the Red Sox (most well before 2004) and stuck with the team.  Does that make them any less of a fan than I am because I was born into the love for the local teams?  I don’t think so.  And I certainly don’t think not knowing how to spell Carl Yastrzemski’s last name means you’re someone who can’t intelligently discuss Red Sox baseball.

So this season, embrace the bandwagon fans.  They fill up space in your parks, they spend money that goes to your team and they very well might be the next diehard fan sitting beside you NEXT season.

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March 2, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 |

3 Comments »

  1. I’ve been a Bandwagon fan since 1967, but my sons were born into it. I have enough seniority on the wagon to welcome newcomers. So, welcome aboard and hold on tight…..every season is a wild ride.

    Comment by Dewey | March 2, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’d rather see a bandwagoner fan wear the “B” instead of the “NY”

    Rules?? I dont need no steenkin Rules!

    Comment by Tex19 | March 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. Aw Tex, I was gonna say that.

    Comment by md | March 3, 2010 | Reply


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