Author's Note - I wanted to post a positive, non-ranting piece for my first entry on Soxy's blog, I really did! But I saw something last week at the coffee shop that just inspired me to go off.
"I ain't no pink hat-wearin' Red Sox 'fan'".
I wonder how I would explain this statement to somebody visiting our country. Someone with absolutely no knowledge of baseball. Even if they did know a little, I'm sure I'd come off as a complete nutcase. I wonder how I would describe this to a "pink hat" herself. I pondered this question as I took a gander at my first viewing of a pink Bruins jersey, on the eve of game 7 last week. I was sipping my anti-grump serum on my fifteen minute break when a familiar bitter taste of non-coffee origin crept into my throat. I gazed upon the familiar B logo without even a hint of black or gold coloring.
I thought to myself "Well now, I guess this means at least I shouldn't have any trouble finding someone to go to a Bruins game with me." However, I know from experience that the crowd once made up of "Good Will Hunting" stunt doubles will be replaced with wannabe runway models. It will be less of a hockey game and more of a school dance. It's a small price to pay for victory, and hell, some would call it an improvement, but it always makes me mourn for the watering down of the die-hard crowd.
What does a pink hat in Fenway Park represent to me? It represents a movement of poseurism that inevitably follows any championship, or even any serious run at one. You'll turn around to high five a stranger after a home run, only to see the top of a pink hat, gazing down at her iPhone. Maybe she's updating her Face Book status at how awesome it was seeing Papi knock one out at a Yankees game? Nope. She's playing "Angry Birds".
|Congratulations to the runner up in the "Image of a fair weather fan" category. Source|
You couldn't find a more literal sign of when it's fashionable to be a sports fan. I get the same feeling when I watch a post-season game and see the seats filled with Muffys and Mitchum Grayson Snobington III's, that cower at every hint of a foul ball, instead of the real fans that were there rallying with the team all season long. For every clown in a Nantucket red hat sitting behind home plate that's more interested in talking on his cell phone and waving at the camera than watching a crucial game from an amazing seat, there is a real fan sitting at home or in a bar with a hate-induced nose bleed.
Don't think I'm overlooking a double-standard, here. I'm not ready to let green hats off the hook either. Green is not a team color, unless we're talking Celtics. The only reason I don't rail on them so hard is because the ratio of true fans to fashion victims is reversed when you compare pink and green hats. Although the green is meant to show the Irish pride of Southie, it really just dilutes what should be a sea of red. Seriously, it's on the exact opposite side of the color wheel. You're there to support your team; Wear the team colors! I know I've seen correctly-tinted hats and jerseys with a shamrock patch. That'll do just fine, won't it?
Boston is a proud city, and the greatest sports town you'll find anywhere. It has endured years of agony and last second misses that have made its victories all that much sweeter. The heart and soul of the sports scene is its fan base, who's unwavering passion has brought about nicknames such as the "Fenway Faithful".
Fenway is the only park I've been to where the fans don't need to be prompted over the P.A. or big screen to start a cheer. Take a trip up to Toronto, and see how many gimmicks they use to try and keep half-hearted fans engaged in supporting their team! I think of that whenever I see a pink hat...I feel like there is a spy among us.
I'm not saying anyone that's ever worn a pink hat can never be considered a real fan. I'm merely writing this to alert the unaware that if you want to support your team, you need to wear their colors, and learn not to ask if a pitcher that was traded two years ago is warming up in the bullpen. Get some real gear, and either toss that pink hat out, or just use it to keep the hair out of your face when you clean out the garage once a year. Every time you wear it, you'll be taken as seriously as that girl at every Super Bowl party that cheers when the other team scores because she "thought touchdowns were good"
Unless your name was Lib Dooley...Then you get a pass.