Fanatics

I’m a sports fan not fanatic. What I mean by that is I don’t say things like ‘We won!’ or ‘We lost.’ or ‘We shouldn’t have bet the mortgage because we didn’t play very well.’ Whenever I hear someone say that I can’t help but to think, “What’s this we Kemosabe?”

I’m pretty sure the guy standing next to me who said that didn’t even get on the roster much less into the game. Hell, he’s sitting next to me so he didn’t even get a ticket. I understand it’s the global ‘we’ but, let me tell you, it sure seems some of those people have lost that part of the equation. By the spittle that accumulates at the corners of their mouths you’d think they’d suited up.

I tend to avoid those people.

But, no matter what, they’re always there.

Part of the job of a sports fan seems to be to whine. And the guy next to me took that to an art. In one stream of consciousness rant he covered the Red Sox slow start; the Bruins getting blown out of the playoffs; the Celtics losing a few late season games (even though they’d clinched the division – but don’t let facts get in the way of a good whine); and I don’t even want to get started on the Patriots and their season marred by Beligate, Tom’s dates, Randy Moss’ ex-date.

I’m listening and can’t help but to think about this past year for Boston sports fans. Let’s go to the big board, shall we? The Red Sox won the world series; the Patriots had an undefeated regular season and went to the super bowl; the Celtics are poised to bring glory back to their name; the Bruins and the Revolution made the playoffs; okay, so the Lobsters had a tough season but do you see my point? New England sports fans truly have little to whine about.

Yet, we do.

And my listening jar was just about filled to the brim.

“Hey!” I say to this guy who, if memory serves, wanted to rename Kenmore Square Ortiz Circle last year, but now wants him benched but would prefer if he were traded to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

I have his attention so I want to tell him that it’s a long season. Many things can go right and wrong at any given moment. It’s that uncertainty that draws us to the spectacle and deepens our love of the team and sport. That, for the last few years, it’s been a marvel to be a Boston sports fan. But all that came out was,

“Stop your fucking whining! Boston backwards is not sob, you know!”

And I stood by those words. Especially when I realized my dyslexia was right so I got to do my touchdown dance right in his face! Take that, sports fan without odd disabilities!

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16 responses to “Fanatics

  1. “Boston backwards is not sob”

    YES! You tell ’em!

  2. yes what is it with this “we” crap? if it’s us that runs everything why are we charging ourselves so much for tickets???

  3. “We.” Yep, that’s pretty funny how that happens.

    You gotta love the pure tribalism—us versus THEM. Even when you’re just a spectator and not the ones taking a shift on the ice, or coming off the bench, or coming out of the bullpen, “we” think we are entitled to that trophy or something!

    As for whining? Ha! Try growing up in Nebraska! If it weren’t for the college football team, there’d be NOTHING to cheer for. Some locales forget how lucky they are to have that kind of entertainment around them.

  4. Oh yeah!!! Well let me tell ya, the “we” is important to every game. “We” show up in the stands, “we” show up in the bars and “we” will always be listening on the radio. That “We” is the fans who show up at each game to cheer on our team, boo the opposing team and if like in a Red Sox game last year, even help grab a ball away from a potential out by the other team. “We” might not show up dressed in a uniform, but we are always ready to do our part. WE are part of the game and don’t you ever forget it. I’ve got to get going now, I’m off to do some practice yells.

  5. I am not a rabid sports nut, but I am am feverish at times.

    *side note to ron cox ~ “We is a tad bit crazy, isn’t we?”

  6. I don’t consider myself rabid, but I am a die hard Sox fan and I can’t help but use the word “we” because I get so crazy during a game…I am right there at home plate with every batter and I get so worked up I could puke. I take things really hard as if they happened to me personally and I hold a grudge, a sports grudge, if you will. For instance, I still haven’t gotten over Johnny Damon going to NY. I’ve tried, because I would surely have done the same thing if I were him, but I still can’t forgive that motherfucker.

  7. “. . .off to do some practice yells.”

    So that’s what your med nurse calls it, eh?

    Oh, I understand the passion one can have and sense of community (not to Coxian delusions – I mean, he still thinks radio is the big media. He probably thinks Lefty O’Doul’s pitching against George Pipgras tonight) but the ‘we’ thing has always had an off ring to me.

    I’ve rarely heard it convey anything good. Usually I hear,

    “Are we following our parole restrictions?”
    “We are prepared to pay off this debt, aren’t we?”
    “Have we moved our bowels today?”

    The last one I always quote the great Steve Sweeney by saying,

    “I didn’t touch a fucking thing!”

  8. My husband is a Nascar Nut, which goes beyond Sports Fanatic or even Sports Fan. He has key chains, lanyards, t-shirts, jackets, ball caps, lounge pants, throws, posters, cookie tins, coolers, can cozies, beer mugs, coffee mugs, tacky party lights, 2 thermoses, lighters, pillows, decks of cards (that the kids CANNOT open and play with), a Monopoly game, flashlights, tooth brushes, die-cast car models (in 2 different sizes or ‘scales’ as he so pompously informs me), collectible driver cards, commemorative plates, cereal boxes and soda bottles (with the product STILL inside and untouched because that would detract from their collectible value. Who the fuck in their right mind would WANT to ‘collect’ 10 year old Cheerios cereal or 17 year old Seven-Up anyway??!!??) Beer cans, (Oh but it was OK for him to drink the beer and devalue those!) And assorted pieces of ‘track debris’ or bits of cars that have crashed when he’s been ‘lucky’ enough to have been there and gotten his hands on some; this last category includes unidentifiable bits of twisted metal, some shredded tire segments, and a piece of the netting that hangs over the open windows (I can only hope that brownish-red stain is paint and not blood, for the love of God!).

    I am emphatically and religiously opposed to organized sports of any kind. I hate having to be a member of a team, even at work; I whole-heartedly support your contempt for the universal or tribal we phenomena of the Sports Fan.

  9. You’re right, and I’m sorry Becky, due to their extremism, NASCAR fans cannot be part of this equation. No offense to the eighteen billion NASCAR fans (with guns) out there but they take the religiosity of sport to a different level. I know people with rooms dedicated to sport teams but none with debris as the holy grail. That part of fandom is exclusively NASCAR.

    As far as that collection, damn! I’m not much of a collector (two fires will do that to you) but I do have a box of Slap Shot stuff and a few tubes of original movie posters (I have them from around the world with the exception of the Swedish one, Slagskott) and my girlfriend thinks that’s a lot.

  10. He has taken me to all the racetracks that are within (reasonable?) driving distance from our house in Pennsylvania. The longest drive was to Daytona, Fla. with Bristol, Tennessee being the next. Fortunately we are only 2.5 hours from Dover, Delaware, and a measly hour and half from Pocono, Pennsylvania. Each and EVERY trip, whether it was the first time or the 34th, is treated like a journey to Mecca, and since my sense of humor is warped to begin with, and in my opinion if you’ve seen one Nascar race you’ve seen them all, I no longer have any fear of Nascar fans with or without their guns. If he drags me (kicking and screaming) to Dover or Pocono again this year, I will welcome some redneck with a driver shirt/cap/socks/underoos/ on shooting me and putting me out of my misery.

    Seriously, I can understand watching the World Series of Baseball, or the NBA Playoffs, or the Stanley Cup, or whatever each sport has to determine their best and brightest and MVP’s. But come on! Drive fast, turn left. It is so old already! “But wait, something is going to happen,” he says hopefully. And they drive fast and turn left. “Just wait and you’ll see,” he says, looking at me distractedly. And they drive fast and turn left. What do I think is going to happen next? They will most likely, (and this is based upon the laws of averages and probabilities) drive fast and turn freakin’ left!

    The only enthusiasm I can muster is for avoidance.

    I went to my first ever stadium baseball game last summer (I was 49); it was a benefit for a charity, the ticket price was the donation, and it was done in honor of someone very very dear to me who is no longer here, so I went. I did enjoy myself, but was not “into” the game. It was to benefit a cause that I believe in; if this same charity has sponsored a “Mow Your Lawn With a Pair of Toenail Clippers” I would have participated in that too, and without the sports-related reservations that plagued me over going to a baseball game.

    I do play golf, used to play tennis (much younger in tennis days, and not good, just for fun), and I water-ski (and yes at 50, I’m still damn good on those skis! Just like riding a bike, you never forget!)

    But not ever a fan. Of anything. Except for maybe chocolate.

  11. > . . .racetracks that are within (reasonable?) driving distance
    > from our house. . .
    Oh, I know about that. I know a couple who have an RV and follow the season. It’s an amazing phenomenon to me. They are a passionate group. I made the HUGE mistake of telling one of them that somewhere on my fathers side I’m related to the Petty’s. He didn’t take my ‘they’re from the South I’m sure it was inevitable’ point.

    I’m sure we could get paid for and have the largest amount of players in the CEL (Chocolate Eaters League).

    Not to continue to pick on the besotted flesh of Ron, but, if indeed “. . .in a Red Sox game last year, even help grab a ball away from a potential out by the other team.” That must have happened when the Royal Rooters ringed the field because:

    Official Rule 3.16. “When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference. APPROVED RULING: If spectator interference clearly prevents a fielder from catching a fly ball, the umpire shall declare the batter out.”

    Doesn’t sound too helpful now, does it? Can anyone say Steve Bartman?

  12. @ Becky – Wow. I read your entire list of “collectibles” and felt your pain. Drive, turn left, drive… how hideous. And the restrictor plates make it impossible for them to go faster, so how can anything really happen? You must hate Sundays.

    Also, thanks for reminding me about Delaware. I totally forgot about it and when I saw your mention of it I thought, Wow, Delaware, I haven’t thought about that state in years. I’ve never been there and I have no desire to go, it’s just that I forgot about it. 🙂

  13. I am glad I am in IRAQ! Hahahahah. I hate people that can’t be pleased. The Red Sox have won 2 World Series, the Pats 3 Super Bowls so far in my life time. Why are they complaining? Let them come over here and complain. Who’s gonna listen? Hijee’s???? The Jamm Extremists? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder. . .

  14. See? Bob The Man would rather be in a place with bombs going off (I’ve seen his pictures) and guns being fired (I’ve heard his stories) then around you whiny fucking maggots (I know him, trust me, you’re lucky he’s out of town)! I think he’s talking to you, Cox!

  15. Becky wrote,

    >But not ever a fan. Of anything. Except for maybe chocolate.

    And dinosaurs. And Custard the Dragon.

    I know most won’t get this, but our host and you will. NOT being a fan has taken me further than being a fan would have. People don’t trust fans.

    (Others: See my website for explanation.)

  16. I have an idea about a great sport for cheap money. You take 30 people from all walks of life, and put them in a sunken arena. Then throw in 15 baseball bats. Last one standing gets 5 million dollars, and losers get nothing. Yeah, I’d watch that…

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