Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jim Caple Says Cheering For Your Team In A Visiting Stadium Is "Bad Manners." I Disagree.

I would bet half my life savings that this kid's last name is Sullivan.

Jim Caple thinks that Red Sox fans are the most obnoxious in sports because we have bad manners. Jim Caple thinks that I have bad manners because if I'm at Yankees Stadium or The Rogers Centre or Citizens Bank and Manny launches a home run, I cheer and cheer loudly. He thinks this is bad because today in stadiums across the nation there are more of me at these stadiums and our cheers are multiplied. And because we are loud, we have bad manners. And because of these bad manners, we are the most obnoxious fans in sports.

While I agree that the argument could be made that the Red Sox fan persona is the most obnoxious in sports, but to base it EVEN IN PART on cheering for your team at a visiting stadium is the FUCKING DUMBEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD. Would you prefer we not go to the games? I'm sure Baltimore and Tampa would love that. There'd be 7 people at the games. Would you prefer we attend but pretend like we're not really cheering for our team? That would be fun. You know what I find obnoxious? When stuffy sports writers criticize fans for giving a shit. Fucking prick.

Below is a breakdown of Caple's major arguments and my retorts:

Caple's Thesis
Red Sox fans, sadly, have taken over the mantle as the most obnoxious fans in sports.

My response
Perhaps. Though I think Duke fans (Dickie V), Notre Dame fans (Dickie V), Yankees fans (Dickie V) and Jets Fans (J-E-T-S) are just as obnoxious (I will admit that Jets fans are kinda cute in the way they think they have a shot year in and year out).

Caple on pre-2004 Sox fans
They were the tragically loyal fans who always went home disappointed in the end. You might have gotten tired of our whining, but at least we weren't constantly in your face with it.

We weren't in your face with it? Are you serious? Was there are year after 1986 that you didn't hear about the trials and tribulations of the tragic Sox? Now this was more media created fluff (Dan Shaughnessy made a career out of it) than it was actual Sox fans acting like pussies (though we didn't do much to combat this perception), but how can you possibly argue that the "Cursed Red Sox" of the last 40 years were less in your face than the Red Sox fans of a competitive team?

No one can stand to be around Red Sox fans anymore. And they're everywhere -- a recent USA Today article labeled the Red Sox baseball's new biggest attraction. Forget a fence between the U.S. and Mexico. What we really need is a wall, a moat and a minefield around New England to keep the spoiled citizens of Red Sox Nation from sneaking into the rest of the country and taking over seats in major league ballparks that should go to hard-working local fans. Everywhere the Red Sox play these days turns into a road version of Fenway Park, with Boston fans occasionally drowning out the hometown fans with their "Let's Go Red Sox!" chants. They were so over the top at a recent game in Seattle, I was surprised the Mariners didn't play "Sweet Caroline."

Whether this is an inspiring show of team pride by passionate fans or an annoying lack of manners depends on how close you have to actually sit to these people.

This is the one that blows my mind. I'm with Caple on the first sentence: "No one can stand to be around Red Sox fans anymore." That makes sense to me. But to come to this conclusion because fans cheer for the Red Sox at an away game is really fucking incredible. And this gem that cheering your team is "an annoying lack of manners" is comical. Manners? Try wearing a Red Sox hat at Stan's or a Yanks hat in Southie or an Auburn hat in Tuscaloosa. No seriously, try it. SPOILED CITIZENS OF RED SOX NATION? How are we spoiled? We won ONE FUCKING WORLD SERIES AND DIDN'T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR? And this line is just classic: "...taking over seats in major league ballparks that should go to hard-working local fans." Have you been to a game outside of New York, Chicago or Boston? NOBODY GOES TO THE FUCKING GAMES! IF SOX FANS DIDN'T GO, THEY WOULDN'T SELL THE SEATS. Hard-working local fans.... HOLY CONNECTICUT CAPLE! You make it seem as though the people going to away games are old Massachusetts blue bloods who have Jeeves summon the Gulfstream to fly them from Hyannis to Arlington, TX, so they can take in a hot dog and Old Mil in the bleachers. The people that go to these games either are from New England and want to enjoy a new stadium (which seems perfectly reasonable and is a good thing for that stadium and city) or are transplants from New England who only go to the games when the Sox show up to play (which also seems perfectly reasonable). And with every game at Fenway sold out, this is the easiest way for a lot of people to see a game even if they live in Boston. If your argument is that Red Sox fans are more obnoxious than regular visiting fans, ok, tell me why. Because I've been to Yankees stadium during a Yanks v. Angels game and some of those Anaheim fans are complete assholes, same with Mets fans at Philly stadium or Phillies fans everywhere (and God bless em). I really can't get over this.

They call themselves Red Sox Nation, the same arrogant way the Cowboys call themselves America's Team. And the whole thing is getting a little old. Could I get a little help here from Miss Teen South Carolina? Where the hell is Red Sox Nation anyway? It seems to me Red Sox Nation only exists when the team is winning, like a country that only shows up on U.S. State Department radar when oil is discovered. Wherever Red Sox Nation is, I just wish Bush would invade it.

"They call themselves Red Sox Nation." No we don't. And by "we" I mean any self-respecting fan of the Red Sox. This was created by you (member of the media) and was thrust upon us. The only people who would define themselves by this absurd moniker are 40 year-old housewives with thick accents (See the HBO special "Reverse of the Curse of The Bambino" for a visual) and assholes. Also, you called us Red Sox nation last year, even when we missed the playoffs. So the idea that we're only called it when we win is just wrong. If you want to end this phrase, then do it. Nothing would make me happier. But the thing is that you don't want to get rid of it because YOU the media like it. It's fitting on many levels for the people that follow the team and it's easy for you to fall back on. In the same way it's easy and trite to fall back on your SEVERAL Bush quips. How clever. Making fun of the president. You should write for Letterman (btw, I'm in no way a Bush fan but by constantly falling back on "he's stupid" and "Iraq is bad," you're not exactly adding anything to the conversation. You're just proving you having nothing interesting to say and are just an easily manipulated lout with no opinions of your own. Sorry about that. Let's move on...).

Enough already. Get over yourselves, Red Sox fans. Better yet, follow the lead of White Sox fans. Their team went 88 years without winning a World Series. They went 46 years without even playing in one. Yet when they finally won in 2005, they had the decency to keep their celebration to themselves.

"[t]hey had the decency to keep their celebration to themselves." HOLY CRAP! Get over "ourselves?" Get over yourself, James. This holier than thou shit is fucking gross. Again, I'd ask what I as a Red Sox fan am doing to bring this "celebration" to everyone else? And why is it a positive thing that two years after the White Sox won a World Series no one wants to go their home games, no White Sox fans show up to their away games and their team is ready to implode? So as a fan I should just be happy to win one World Series and then not care again until they get into the playoffs? I DON'T WANT TO BE A WHITE SOX FAN BECAUSE THOSE FANS, apparently, SUCK. Good lord.

You're acting like Yankees fans.

Again, very creative. We may be as obnoxious as Yankees fans, yes. But I never understand why people compare us to them in terms of fans. Awhile ago I wrote that I feared I was becoming asshole in the same way I considered Yankees Fans assholes because when arguing about my team versus their team I would resort to essentially name calling and the 2004 choke. But as a generalization, Yanks fans and Sox fans are very different in our obnoxiousness. Yanks fans believe they have a God-given right to win championships. It's a birth right. And no generation has suffered a drought of championships. So it kinda is a birth right. So they are cocky because of that. For Sox fans it's new. We like winning for a change. Consistently good teams. It hasn't been like this for awhile. And now we're beating the Yankees consistently. It's been a nice run. There used to be some hesitance to our cheering because we feared (assumed) disappointment. Now there is no reluctance to like this team because they proved they can do it. So Yanks fans are obnoxious because they are confident as hell. Sox fans are obnoxious because they like not being scared. There's a difference.

Overall, I would say this: Red Sox fans are EASILY in the discussion for most obnoxious fan groups. They always wear their Sox gear, they are usually drunk as hell wherever they watch games and they often carry absurd accents. It doesn't help that the team's marketing department is playing off of this by selling Red Sox nation membership cards, creating dating games for Sox fans and allowing Dane Cook to speak on our behalf. The whole thing is obnoxious. But it has nothing to do with cheering for our team. Sox fans have been assholes at away games FOR YEARS! The reason people show up at away games is because this team is popular and has stars. Papi, Manny, Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, JD Drew (just kidding) & Papelbon, people want to see them play once or twice a year. Citing the fact that someone in Seattle showed up to cheer on Dice-K as the reason for their obnoxiousness is a fucking disgrace. If you want your baseball viewing experience to be you and your like-minded friends cheering for your team without any interruption no matter how badly your team is performing, stay at home and watch it with your friends. When you go to a game, you should expect other people to be there and MAYBE, just maybe, they won't be fans of the same team you are.

I may be an obnoxious asshole as a Sox fan--I would have a hard time disproving that--but if I'm an obnoxious asshole because you don't like me cheering for my team when they are beating the shit out of your shitty team, then you sir are the asshole.

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