Mickey from Natick Confronts The End of Martyrdom
November 19, 2007 9:39 PM   Subscribe

Facing an unprecedented series of sports victories, the typical Boston fan is faced with the cold realization that success ain't all it's cracked up to be.
posted by dhammond (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Says that guy.
posted by tepidmonkey at 9:53 PM on November 19, 2007

At least the Bruins still suck.
posted by afu at 10:08 PM on November 19, 2007

Christ, what a Masshole.
posted by loquacious at 10:08 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

That very same article has been written a thousand times since 2004. Even if he's correct it's a crappy link due to plagiarism. Watching the sox win after 86 years of losing was amazing. Winning again 4 years later was unbelievable. Watching the sox win twice in 4 years when my father saw them win 0 in 86 makes me feel very lucky.

I guess I'm not the "average" boston fan, nor is anyone I know. I do find it ironic that the writer is complaining that boston fans were obnoxious with bucker this and buckner that when I'd love to never hear his name again. But it's a story the media has used as a crutch for years. Physician, heal thyself.
posted by justgary at 10:12 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Steve Almond's new essay collection, "(Not that You Asked)," includes a piece titled "Red Sox Anti-Christ."

Well, that about says it all.
posted by justgary at 10:14 PM on November 19, 2007

Pilgrims | 1620 | Provincetown | Plimouth/Plymouth | 1641| Puritans in Massachusetts | 1692| Salem Witch Trials | ...

2004 | 2007, etc. | "Sports Victory/-ies"| No fuckin' way.

Wicked huh?
posted by ericb at 10:18 PM on November 19, 2007

We're only going to let other people win if they get behind universal healthcare and gay marriage. So it's going to be us and the Blue Jays for some time. You only have your voting public to blame.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:26 PM on November 19, 2007 [3 favorites]

We're only going to let other people win if they get behind universal healthcare and gay marriage. So it's going to be us and the Blue Jays for some time. You only have your voting public to blame.

Will voting for Mitt Romney be enough?
posted by vorpal bunny at 10:54 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hahaha, the poor website requires cookies. It is a deal-breaker.
posted by user92371 at 11:00 PM on November 19, 2007

posted by MNDZ at 11:31 PM on November 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

afu's link: "You know, there are infants who were born 18 days ago who don't know what it's like to see a Boston team win a championship in their lifetime," Lowell Brookline said, trying to put the suffering of Boston fans into perspective. "It's tough being a fan in this town, but you just have to put aside the pain of the past, stay as positive as possible and make do with the Patriots being undefeated and coming off three Super Bowl championships in the past six years, the Red Sox having won two of the past four World Series, the Celtics, winners of a record 16 NBA championships, being in first place in the Atlantic division, Boston College likely playing in a New Year's Day bowl and the Bruins possibly going to the playoffs.

"I know it's not much, but it's all we have. And yet people wonder why we're bitter and miserable.
I lol'ed. As for that Almond schmuck... no idea what the hell he's talking about. If anything, I'm probably flat-out insufferable to Seattle sports fans, when I note the Patriots latest 56-10 pasting of the opposition, or the most successful franchise in NBA history's 8-1 start, or the Sox amazing win streak when facing elimination again to capture another World Series title.

It's purely a media invention that Boston fans want to lose; when the Patriots won their first Superbowl, I got plastered in glee. When the Sox won in 2004, I was in tears. And while it wasn't as exciting to see the Sox win this year, I'd hardly say I was disappointed, or secretly wishing Boston fans could once again know heartbreak.

The difference between Sox fans and Yankees fans is that Sox fans don't think they are owed a championship, they just passionately want it. But this decade, the Sox fans- Boston fans- no longer define ourselves in relation to more successful franchises. We are the more successful franchise, and the 2000's are arguably the greatest decade any city has had in terms of sports success in history.

I'm having a goddamn blast!
posted by hincandenza at 11:47 PM on November 19, 2007

The whining will be so much worse when the Pats dynasty is done and the Sox no longer have Manny or Ortiz.

I lived there for four years - was shocked at how deeply the Sox obsession permeated everyone to the core, even those that didn't seem to be interested in sports. It was fun (in an almost morbid way) to be there in 04 (and after) to observe Boston's bizarre combination of provincialism and inferiority complex in action acted out after such an event, especially one in which the source of the inferiority complex was involved.

Fenway is a dump, by the way. Historic, yes, but a historic dump, nonetheless. I've been to high schools with better facilities.
posted by MillMan at 12:02 AM on November 20, 2007

The worst fucking thing about living in Boston is the insufferable sports fans. Boston, you don't even have a football team. New England is a region, not a city. New York City has 2 football teams (that play in NJ, lol). Plus NY state has another team out in Buffalo. So chant "Yankees suck" all you want at Patriots games (hello, wrong sport!). I will never cheer for a team whose fans embody such poor sportsmanship (you do NOT root against someone, that shit would get you kicked out of little league where I'm from).
posted by Eideteker at 12:07 AM on November 20, 2007

Hell, Eideteker, they'll chant "Yakees suck" at any sporting event against any team. I'm dead serious. Nobody there needs to be from New York City. It's just the Boston mantra.
posted by Hactar at 1:27 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

This guy has only been there 10 years. What does he know about Boston fans. You're a true Boston fan only when your father's father was too. The rest are noobs and interlopers. Boston makes Seattle look like an easy society to break into.
posted by caddis at 1:36 AM on November 20, 2007

Is Boston having winning teams a problem for anybody other than the writers who've lost the opening hook their TV reporter parents and journalist grandparents had?

For close to a century, newsmen on deadlines have been able to depend on a cliche of Americana as reliable as the racist Southerner and loud, freewheeling Westerner. Now that the trope of the long-suffering Red Sox fan has been put to rest, an entire profession is floundering around, grasping for a new stereotype.
posted by ardgedee at 4:11 AM on November 20, 2007

I have nothing to worry about. Being a Bruins fan means everlasting happiness...as long as the Jacob brothers own the team they will provide Boston with the cheapest team possible, with just enough talent to keep the fans mezmerized and buying $6.00 water-downed beer.
posted by Gungho at 4:19 AM on November 20, 2007

The first link is the NY Times, which is OK. The second link is unreadably ugly. The third link is Salon, which wants to give me a cookie. I don't want it, so I guess I have to suffer through the rest of my life not knowing what some noob thinks of Boston sports. The ones hanging around here are enough, anyway.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:44 AM on November 20, 2007

In my experience, Boston fans were such sore losers and if you ever pick that out on them, they'd tell you that we have no idea the suffering they've had so I let it go..

But now that they're winning, I've found that they're terribly sore winners too.. I don't like Boston fans but at least now when the wheel turns again and when my teams start to win again, they can't pull that card anymore..
posted by pez_LPhiE at 4:58 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

They haven't won a Stanley Cup since the sainted Bobby Orr staked for them, in 1972.

Bobby the Vampire Slayer.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:24 AM on November 20, 2007

I hope the Red Sox bus flips over and all the pitchers break their arms.
posted by Mach5 at 5:27 AM on November 20, 2007

But now that they're winning, I've found that they're terribly sore winners too..

That is the only point of all this. Being from Buffalo, I used to comiserate with them as a fellow sufferer. We were kindred spirits. Talking to Boston-born officemates this past week (leading up to the Sunday night Bills-Pats matchup) was insufferable. They can no longer talk sports with anyone from another city without even a decorum of sportsmanship. The Pats are great, the greatest ever, and ALL OTHER TEAMS SUCK. Way to win friends and influence people, buddy....

Oh, and the Slate article was dreadful to read... blah blah blah.... who the hell cares?
posted by Doohickie at 5:50 AM on November 20, 2007

The great pleasure of being English is that I can follow the Knicks (why, oh why did I have to go to the Garden first? I feel like an ambulance chaser) and still hate the Yankees.

They're the Man Utd of baseball and must be hated by any sports fan around the world.

And I don't even care about baseball (blame a cold Easter Saturday 2004 & the Rockies @ Dodgers).
posted by i_cola at 5:52 AM on November 20, 2007

And the Houston Dynamo just beat the New England Revolution in the David Beckham Memorial Soccerball Festival or something.
posted by Sk4n at 5:53 AM on November 20, 2007

As a Yankee fan it's my contention that the Boston baseball fan takes much more pleasure in seeing the Yankees lose than they do in Boston winning. I don't care how many championships they win they will always feel inferior because New York the city casts such a huge shadow that Boston will always play Jan to our Marcia.

That being said, it's been the greatest privilege as a sports fan to be able to witness this incredible rivalry for the past decade. I never thought the Munson/Fisk era could be eclipsed but it has been in spades. A regular season game in June between the Yankees and Sox has more drama than any game in October and that's because of the beautiful hatred/respect the Yankee fans share with the Sox fans.
posted by any major dude at 6:04 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Count me as another Red Sox fan who is way happier these days (though yes, a bit confused still). I'm especially happy that we just re-signed Lowell with a minimum of drama. The current front office is a well-oiled machine.

Speaking for myself, any whining I've done in the past has been because Boston has always fielded teams that were *close* to being really good, perhaps even the best. It seemed like every year they'd bring in another high-priced free agent and then scramble to fill two or three holes elsewhere. Now, though, the farm system is providing some really good players, and the team is suddenly meeting my shockingly high standards. It's a marvelous thing to watch.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:13 AM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fuck Boston. Philadelphia, now there's a losing city.
posted by fidgets at 6:18 AM on November 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

any major dude: No, I do prefer to see the Red Sox win, but watching the Yankees lose comes a close second. But I agree with you on the rivalry. It's like Armageddon, 18 times a year.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:21 AM on November 20, 2007

I'm just hoping that when it comes to the Super Bowl that it's 1997 all over again.
posted by drezdn at 6:24 AM on November 20, 2007

I went to dipshit prep school in New England. I went to college in New England. My parents have lived in Connecticut for the past 17 years.

That says it all right there. Spoiled fucking whiner.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:57 AM on November 20, 2007

I hope the Red Sox bus flips over

Bus? You haven't heard about the 25 taxis?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:52 AM on November 20, 2007

at least now when the wheel turns again and when my teams start to win again, they can't pull that card anymore.

I think you underestimate the flexibility of the human mind.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2007

The effect on the local fanotariat has been paradoxical. They're not so much overjoyed as disoriented.

We're not disoriented. We're hammered, and if this guy had ever really been to a game he'd know that. Its always the same old story, Sox haters trying to be witty about something they don’t understand. They’re all just jealous of our team spirit, diehard attitude and notoriously oversized genitals. Its pathetic.
posted by BostonJake at 8:53 AM on November 20, 2007

Screw Mikey in Natick and any other Sox "fans" that want to complain about the suffering brought about by the end of our 86 year suffering.

This is the shaping up to be the greatest decade New England sports as a whole has ever known, and I am enjoying the hell out of it.

If you're feeling sniffly and missing the "losers mystique", guess what? You're not a sports fan, you're a masochist.
posted by rollbiz at 9:38 AM on November 20, 2007

They’re all just jealous of our team spirit, diehard attitude and notoriously oversized genitals.

You meant:
They’re all just jealous of our team genitals, diehard spirit and notoriously oversized attitude.

posted by grubi at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2007

I moved to Boston 18 months ago. I didn't pay much attention to sports besides going to Super Bowl parties before this year. It's been an easy year to start following. But I really wish I could somehow distance myself from the kind of people who chant "Yankees Suck" at a Sox/Tigers game. Or a Beastie Boys concert. Or a mayoral campaign event.

Bostonians have a serious inferiority complex, and that's the source of the perceived sorewinnerism.
posted by Plutor at 11:08 AM on November 20, 2007

Neil Diamond's favorite teamis the Red Sox and he enjoys that his song "Sweet Caroline" is played at every home game. BTW -- having kept it a secret for decades Diamond has finally revealed that President Kennedy's daughter, Caroline, was the inspiration for the song.
posted by ericb at 11:26 AM on November 20, 2007

Being a Texas fan, I have the mixed privilege of loving the most perpetually underachieving team in all of college football. Texas recruits more talent more consistently than perhaps any team in the country except USC, and has never been able to pull it together on the field. E.g., last year we had one of the worst pass defenses in the country, but had 3 DBs drafted on the first day (Ross and Griffin, as I recall, Tarell Brown shortly afterwards).

The exception, of course, was Vince Young, who's already become a god in the pantheon of Texas football -- next to Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams, etc., putting him in good company. Watching that guy play for 3 years and watching him force our chronically self-doubting team to win, seemingly through sheer force of will, game after game, was like an unending series of Reggie Miller moments week after week. For a fanbase reigned to disappointment and unmet expectations, watching Vince Young play was almost a religious experience.

Now, Texas football has once again sunk into the realm of not living up to our abilities. We've once again turned into the team that looks good on paper but can't pull it together when it matters. And it sucks. It feels like being a Blazers fan in the Drexler era all over again. We've gone from "there's no way Vince can win this," to, "Man, I wonder how Vince is going to win this?" to "I sure wish we had Vince here, because we could win this."

My advice to Boston fans -- enjoy it while you got it. You can't be an underdog forever, and you'll always treasure your moment when your team (or teams) buckled down, did what you knew they were capable of, and lived in that long-deferred glory. But you will get knocked off that pedestal, and perhaps sooner than you might think. And believing your team has what it takes to be great and isn't getting is far better than knowing you have what it takes but nevertheless returning to the same old pattern of, "we could have won that one [if...]"

Defeats are a part of any game -- accept them graciously. Glory is the high price of defeat, and all the sweeter for it. Appreciate this moment for what it is rather than looking back on it someday and regretting that you didn't enjoy your moment in the sun.
posted by spiderwire at 11:40 AM on November 20, 2007

Yeah -- New York sports fans are so much more classy than us Boston nobs!
"The Gate D tradition at Giants Stadium involves hundreds of men circled around a ramp, cheering for the scarce women to go topless - the women that refuse are booed, spit on, and pelted with plastic bottles."*
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on November 20, 2007

That Neil Diamond thing is creepy considering that Caroline was only 10 years old at the time...
posted by Gungho at 1:06 PM on November 20, 2007

Fidgets knows of what he speaks.
posted by butterstick at 3:06 PM on November 20, 2007

All I know is that a dominant Patriots team is the best problem I've ever had.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2007

[notsnot: wow, that is lame ass.]

I'm a Sox fan, though I don't live in Boston. I couldn't be happier with the team. Also I'm not a sore winner, I just like the team, I love the guys on our team right now (wouldn't you want some of these guys as goofy neighbors?). The other Sox fans I know (w/exception of my brother-in-law) are the same. There are certainly shit-heads who are Sox fans, just like there are plenty of shit-heads who are Yankee fans, and plenty of perfectly ok folks who are Yankee fans. I enjoy the rivalry but wow, the somber pronouncements about what each city's fans are like is just so transparently stupid.

It is definitely weird to have things go the Sox's way - unlike in the late '90s and earlier 00's especially, when they had good teams but would always make some fielding error at the wrong moment or have the Yankees come back improbably at the last minute. When they won the ALCS in '04 I couldn't believe it until the next day; there was a part of me that suspected the Yankees would somehow manage to overturn the game results overnight or something. There was so much building tension and agony over the years from the late '90s to '04; every inning just felt like life or death.

In subsequent seasons it hasn't felt that way. It's like that weight was lifted. It's still exciting and wonderful to watch them, and still just awesome to win this year, but when they lost games this year it didn't feel like "oh god, here's the inevitable meltdown that some part of me knew was coming, why oh why?". It just felt like one loss, well crap, but another game tomorrow. So I'd say it's different and in a way less epochal-feeling, even when they're playing the Yanks. But it's not upsetting, it's peaceful.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:51 PM on November 20, 2007

The Red Sox spent $140 million (#2 in the league) for their team last year. They won the World Series. About 8-9 guys out of their 25 man roster were actually drafted by them. Two big pieces of the puzzle were trades from a team like the Marlins who have to actually scout and draft to win titles. The trade only happened because the Marlins were not going to be able to pay their stars. Wow, amazing story. (Another fact: Buckner let the ball through AFTER THE GAME HAD ALREADY BEEN TIED. IT WAS NOT IN ANY WAY A PICK UP THE BALL, THEY WIN THE SERIES THING. But, self-absorbed Red Sox do love the nostalgia.)

The Patriots were more intriguing before camera-gate. The Celtics team is good for now, but it's decent and in the East. 5-6 years ago, this team would be ridiculous.
posted by skepticallypleased at 10:47 PM on November 20, 2007

5-6 years ago, this team would be ridiculous.

Yes, the shorts that players wore back then were something else.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:12 AM on November 21, 2007

Ah, funny, but not.....the shorts have been basically the same for most of this decade. But, listen, Boston's a magical, magical place all the more so because of its equally storied, tortured, and proud sports past and present. Let's not let facts get in the way of that.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:17 AM on November 24, 2007

Oh, really?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:15 PM on November 24, 2007

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