I had to comment on an article from the Boston Globe magazine today. Bill Littlefield of NPR has a piece entitled “Fever Pitch“. The subtitle reads: “What if we actually win? As the host of NPR’s Only a Game writes, Red Sox fans would be lost.”
This is the kind of mindless drivel that just really gets my dander up. The media and “celebrity” fans just have no clue about true Red Sox fans. This article is nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual trying to paint a romanticized picture of the puritanical suffering of Boston fans. A notion that he had no doubt heard bandied about through some social circle, or at a cocktail party and thought that it sounded good and embraced the idea because it allows a large contingent of fans to painted with a simple, but very broad brush. After painting various doomsday scenarios as to why this Red Sox team might fail to win it all this year, Littlefield says:
Any or all of the above might be better than winning. Because though Boston fans say they want the Sox to reign as world champions and may even believe it, that outcome would likely bewilder rather than delight them. Were the Sox to win the World Series, it's cliche-easy to imagine the heartening spectacle of overturned and burning cars, the liberation of all the beer in Brighton, tear gas and arrests from Kenmore Square to Kennebunkport -- developments of that nature. But doesn't it seem more likely that fans (as well as those who weren't aware that they were paying attention) would tremble in the scary novelty of this... this... winning, and that they'd wonder how they were supposed to make sense of the next day that would dawn -- that day upon which they would have no new pain to embrace, nobody to blame?
Pathetic. “no new pain to embrace”? The idea that Boston fans reveled in the pain of last October and other losses in team history is solely a media creation. I have yet to meet a Red Sox fan who says “Thank God for Aaron Boone – I just don’t know how I could’ve handled it if the Red Sox won it all last year.” Why does this idea of misery enjoy such a large circulation in the media? As I wrote in a column for the Boston Metro a couple weeks ago, it’s largely because the media is lazy. The bigger question is what will they have to write about once the Red Sox win it all? They will have no more “curse” angle and story to fall back on and write about. As Dan Shaughnessy himself has said, he doesn’t root for the Red Sox, he roots for the story. Once the Sox win it all, the story is over. The gravy train will have left the station. While Red Sox fans are celebrating and enjoying the thrill of victory, Shaughnessy, Littlefield and co-horts will be wondering what in the world are they going to write about now.
It’s not the fans who will be miserable and lost when the Sox win the World Series, it’s the media.