Accentuate the positive

The blog has been “live” for about a week or so, but I wanted to put something out there before we get much further.  As with any free-speech forum, when you speak your mind, you run the risk of overgeneralizing and/or stereotyping both sides of the argument.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to the rhetoric of the Republican and Democratic parties lately.  So when we talk about Red Sox Nation or the Yankee Universe, to whom are we referring?

It starts with fans.  Now there are good fans and bad fans, die-hard fans and casual fans.  Some are civil and some are rowdy.  There’s a wide variety out there, just like cuts of jeans.  (My goodness, when I was growing up, there was only one kind:  blue.)  If your support of a team helps define you, then so be it.  But what does your method of support say about you?

I can remember being a sophomore at Duke, back in the day, way back before the internet (yes, the internet was just a twinkling in Al Gore’s mind).  I was watching a Duke basketball game on TV with some fraternity brothers.  Our opponent’s point guard was killing us; whatever he threw up found the bottom of the net.  I could feel the game slipping away.  To win we would need to stop this guy.  Midway through the second half, the point guard and a Duke player got tangled up going for a rebound, and the guard came down hard…and stayed down, grabbing his leg.  Before I knew what was happening, I jumped up and yelled, “Good!  I hope he’s outta the game.”  The room got extremely quite as I slowly turned to face my friends.  “Scott, what’re ya doing?  You rooting for a guy to be injured?! ”  I had crossed the line.  My emotions had gotten the better of me.  I was not cheering for my team; I was wishing something negative upon the opponent.  We won the game, yet I felt awful.  Not a clip for my life’s highlight reel.  But I’ve never forgotten it.

So jump ahead to the Patriots winning Superbowl XXXVI.  The parade winds through Boston and the players start to address the crowd, thanking them for their support during the season.  And from out of the blue a bunch of fans start chanting “Yankees Suck!  Yankees Suck!”  Are you kidding me?  It’s football season!  The Yankees have nothing to do with it.  (If anything, the chant should have been “St. Louis Sucks!”)  Not only that, but if you felt the need to cheer about baseball while Tom Brady is holding the Lombardy Trophy above his head, couldn’t you cheer “Let’s go, Red Sox” or something along those lines?

My point is not that some fans sometimes forget who they’re cheering for.   It’s what they’re cheering for.  Fandom should be fun, not vindictive.  If you like a team, you should cheer for the team positively.  This is what makes a rivalry:  two teams and their fans believing that they are the best.  It’s about bragging rights, not sophomoric insults.

So when we reference fans in Red Sox Nation or the Yankee Universe, we will try to be specific (e.g. fans on the radio, the media, people at the ballpark, etc.) and not make broad sweeping comments about an entire population.  Heck, some of my best friends are Red Sox fans.  And I mean that in the most positive way.

It gets late early out there.

–Scooter

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Accentuate the positive

  1. I see your point- but there are exceptions where negativity is perfectly acceptable. For example- in response to a direct act of disrespect: ie everything former NYY and BRS player Johnny Damon says to reporters about Fenway fans.
    It deserves a response. A negative response.
    I’m not sure why we take riffs and jibes so seriously. But for me it’s a response mechanism. When I show up to work with a bunch of brooms on my desk, it pisses me off and increases said negative response.
    I don’t know. It’s late and I don’t know where I’m going with this.
    But lovely blog post! Kudos.

    • scooterb1

      toosoxy: Totally agree. When someone calls you out or makes a negative comment about something you feel passionate about, you have the right to defend yourself and that usually involves a negative response. I hope you boo’d Damon when he was at Fenway earlier this week! Thanks for checking out the blog and leaving a comment. scooter

  2. Dave

    Don’t bring those namsy pamsy prose to Philly bro, you will get thumped! 🙂
    Seriously, I couldn’t agree more. It is funny how sports–which should bring out the best–somehow also brings out the worst. Like that San Fran who just about died when some Dodgers fans beat him up. Sad. How about the Philly fan who puked on a man’s son during a game because the man asked him and his friends to stop being vulgar. Sad. I feel like some parts of it are a self-fulfilling prophecy, like when you go to an Eagles game you are supposed to act like a jerk. Although I was with The Vet that day when it rose to it’s collective feet and cheered when Michael Irvin tore up both his knees on our crappy turf! My problem is I go back to that moment when I cheered, and I still feel good about it. 😉 Oh well. I am a lost cause. But Scott, go forth and keep spreading the good vibes my friend, the world most certainly needs more of them.

  3. scooterb1

    Dave, I’m still laughing at your Irvin story! Does that make me a hypocrite? Sometimes you just can’t help it!! scooter

  4. boomer567

    has anyone noticed that the Red Sox are doing horrible lately? Even though they got extra good players from other teams(Carl Crawford) they are still doing horrible!

  5. boomer567

    Even though my white sox are 7-5, they could be ding a lot better. Their bullpen is falling apart! Just like last year!

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