Friday, February 08, 2008

All Aboard! Hahahahahahaha

Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it's not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

"Boston is a third-rate city because one of their sports teams lost a game one time." Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. We're all citizens of earth. Hate the teams, not the people. Keep the rivalries between teams--who play each other, i.e. play the same sport--not cities. I guess I'm a third-rate, cursed person because no teams from my hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut have ever won a major league sports title.

Mental wounds not healing
Life's a bitter shame
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train

It doesn't affect me. It doesn't affect me. It doesn't affect me. It doesn't affect me. Keep tellin' yourself....

I've listened to preachers,
I've listened to fools
I've watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules

The irrelevant (that's a private joke--Simmons is a fine, upstanding young man) Bill Simmons comes out and says "advantage, New York." He doesn't mention that there are nine teams in New York and four in Boston. That's the advantage, Bill. So let me get this straight: Approximately two of the nine New York teams can say they're doing better than the Boston team in their sport right now, and New York has the advantage? But even that doesn't matter, as each sport has absolutely nothing to do with any of the other ones, and any time a New York team wins, the half of the fans there who like the other New York team lose.

One person conditioned
to rule and control
The media sells it
and you live the role

It was so predictable. As soon as the Giants-Packers game ended, I saw it in my mind. Giants beat Patriots, and Yankee fans, desperate for anything to make 2004 go away, call Red Sox fans chokers, talk about how "this makes up for '04," etc. (They already tried to use last year's Mets collapse in their plight--saying, as if it were fact, that that was the "greatest choke of all time.") Quickly the idea was put forth by the media. My worst fears had become more than a glint in their daddy's eyes, as pointed out to me by Matty and Taylor, each reporting on different BS articles: If the Giants win, Yankee fans are officially allowed to use it to make something that happened between different teams in a different sport magically disappear. Even though some Giants fans are Mets fans. And some Yankee fans are Jet fans. And some people from New York and Boston and the many towns in between like some teams from one city and some from the other. And plenty of baseball fans don't give a crap about football, and vice versa. And most people--and this may shock and amaze you--don't follow sports! But still, mark it down: Certain result of football game happens, your huge choke never happened.

And then that result happened. The next day, sure enough, my Yankee/Giant fan friend, who doesn't read my blog, writes me (me, a non-Patriots fan) an e-mail saying "this makes up for 2004!" Here we go....

Mental wounds still screaming
Driving me insane
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train

It affects me no matter what I do. I'm not just writing for the hell of it: "Hey, what if I pretended I really cared about something and tried to make people feel sorry for me." I knew a Patriots loss in the Super Bowl would mean I'd hear things that make me want to barf up a bile bomb. Two full weeks of pre-result worry. At least I came prepared.

I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words, yeah, yeah

"But Jere, you were happy when the Giants won!" Go back and read it all. I knew bad would happen no matter who won. But I looked at it from the other perspective so I could at least get some enjoyment out of the game. That night, I started by saying, I'll just root for whoever is losing at any given time. Then I basically just sat and said "Terrible job, Brady. Terrible job, Eli." I kind of rooted against each offense. And for Ellis Hobbs, since I had money on him. As the Pats were on their final scoring drive, though, I rooted for a field goal, so we'd get to see overtime. And as the Giants were on theirs, I rooted for a miracle, and it happened. At that moment, I didn't think about the bull crap I knew would follow. I thought about how cool it was to see the unbeaten streak, by a team who I never liked, end. And about what a great finish I saw, regardless of the teams involved. And about every arrogant Patriot fan who said they absolutely could not lose. (Not you! The arrogant ones! Please say you still love me and you'll keep reading. Don't go! Don't gooooooo.... in other words, suck it up, triple champs.) I enjoyed it while I could. I should have a right to root for (or, more importantly, against) anyone in these other sports, without my Red Sox being affected.

schwina ninna schwinna ninna schwina ninna schwinna ninna, etc.


Heirs of a cold war,
that's what we've become
Inheriting troubles,
I'm mentally numb

In the days following, I avoided the media. I know some of you think maybe the next day I was somehow in my glory, reveling in Giant victory-parade talk. But, beside the fact that I hate the Giants and always will, I wasn't about to peek at any media. It was the same avoidance technique I'd used in the days after Aaron Boone sent me into a 14-hour slumber. (Yes, I skipped work--my team blew it and hadn't won for 85 years, and my office was 90% Yankee fans. I noticed some Pats fans skipped work Monday--fans of a team who has recently won three Super Bowls and won every game but one this year, and whose offices are mostly Pats fans. Skipped work. I'm sorry, but "feed the hungry" doesn't refer to a cherry on top.) But despite my avoidance, people let me know what the media were saying.

I just cannot bear
I'm living with something
that just isn't fair

It started bright and early Monday morning, with my mom sending me an e-mail saying people in Times Square were stomping on Red Sox hats. Yeah, we're a dead team--the World Champs. Any Yankee fan who chants 18-1 to me (let's clarify: any fan of the non-World Champion Yankees who chants anything to me, a fan of the current World Champion Red Sox who doesn't like the Patriots) is beyond just "stupid" and falls into the "retarded" category. And anyone who has ever fallen for those other unreal reports that "Red Sox fans are just like Yankee fans" should then be forced to send out a public apology over the web for comparing us to cretin, ass-brained, shaved ape Yankee fans. Yeah, I said it--they've got buttocks for brains.

Then it was the message from the Yankee/Giant friend mentioned above. As well as his statement of this "making up for '04," (which I corrected him on, and he agreed that this game did nothing for Mets fans), he was the one who gave me the Simmons line. "Advant--" I can't even say it, it's so ignorant. And by "Boston" Sports Guy, of all people.

Then Michael Leggett sent me a picture he snapped of an ad placed in a newspaper. In classic Leggett style, the shot was sopping wet with mystery, a blur in the night which I could barely make out to read "Boston--the third-rate city we know and hate." And to think, it was probably written by a cretin, who gathered up a collection from his shit-shoveling co-workers to tell the rest of New York how proud he was to be one of them. How proud they must be to have him, too....

And then it was Pat, today, who wrote from the front lines of my "stomped grounds," Fairfield County, Connecticut. He informs me that the front-runners (had you seen any Giants hats, even down there, in the last five years before a few weeks ago?) in the area have gone beyond "makes up for '04," to the point of, I kid you not, "this erases 2004." So gullible, they are. We know you erased that one from your memory the day after it happened. Can't fool us....

Mental wounds not healing
Who and what's to blame
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train
I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train

But I was bound to hear some media myself. I'd heard a "debate" on radio, pre-Super Bowl, whether a Pats loss would be worse than the Sox '03 one. As if the two are even comparable. And then yesterday, some jaded kid on the evening news said "this is the biggest disappointment I've had following Boston sports." Right on cue, buddy. But off your rocker. Again, the media sells it, you live the role.

And tonight, for the first time, I held my breath and flipped on EEI in the car. The hosts, ever-professional, spoke in a manner that suggested they were tired of their jobs. They slammed a smart, well-spoken female caller, branding her "pink hat" and claiming "nobody cared" about what she wanted to talk about, and I turned it off. I should have said good-bye to that joke of a station a long time ago, but let's just call today the first day of the rest of my lifelong boycott of WEEI (unless the Red Sox game is on it and I have no other way of pulling it in).

I wonder, is this how Celtics fans used to feel? Right now, I'm considered by certain fools to be some kind of choker for something my team had nothing to do with. Celtics fans, for literally decades, had to hear about how "Boston sports fans" secretly loved losing, thanks to a Puritan work ethic, long, cold winters, a general sense of melancholy, and an ingrained masochistic streak. They--especially those who weren't Sox fans--probably sat there fuming: "Hello?? Sixteen fucking championships here!" I was just as guilty as everyone else--not for the "we love losing" horse shit, but definitely for the "look at all this heartbreak" talk. And for that I apologize and say, Go Celts, for you are a lovable bunch who I gather will get no credit for "erasing the Super Bowl," despite the fact that you very well may finish the season with more wins than the Knicks and Nets combined.


Yes, Yankees, the sports world is still laughing at you. The rivalry is Red Sox-Yankees. We are smiling. You are frowning. "But the MetroStars beat the..." No. "But--" Nope. World Champions. Of baseball. Boston Red Sox. Play us in the ALCS, be down 3-0, and somehow muster up a more impressive comeback than the one we had against you, and then sweep the World Series, and you can talk all you want about "making up for 2004." Or for god's sake, at least beat us in some way. Yourselves. Other teams that play near you in entirely different sports that half of you aren't even fans of don't count. Where the hell is the national media on this one?
Photo of something that has nothing to do with football courtesy Boston Globe. And yes I heard about Schilling. I think we'll get through this one.

Jere, with writing like that, we can and will get through ANYTHING. Great job.
NICE Rant, Jere!
Couldn't agree more.
I don't even consider the Pats my favorite football team, (altho they are my team of choice in the AFC and I was very disappointed Sunday), yet I still have heard about this all week.
Get a grip, folks. The Sox are still it, and it will take a baseball team, not a football team, to change THAT!
And yes, the Schilling story will NOT affect our season all that much
I think I speak for all of us when I say that you need a vacation or something...

I'm past debating you on this issue save for one point: You seem to think that just because the Pats have won three titles fairly recently, their fans don't have a right to be upset about missing out on another one.

"I'm sorry, but "feed the hungry" doesn't refer to a cherry on top"

So when the Sox lost in '03, you got to skip work so you didn't have to listen to the taunts of the Yankee fans you work with? Because you were upset and sad and didn't want the grief? What does that have to do with Pats fans and how they process the sadness of a season at its failed end? Just because they work w/ other fans of their team, does that mean they don't have a right to be as upset about something as you who was subject to the ignorant catcalls of Yankee fans?

Something tells me that if the Sox won another series this year, then two years from now lost the series on a stomach-punch, out of nowhere walkoff off Papelbon in the bottom of the ninth, you wouldn't be sitting there saying, "Well, we didn't need that cherry on top anyway..."

God help us all if the Denver Nuggets play the Celtics in the NBA finals; I can already picture the two weeks of "But if the Nugs win then all those idiots in Colorado will look at my Sox hat and say, 'Haha, this totally makes up for the Series last year! You suck, Jere! Your town sucks, Jere! Lots of things that you think have nothing to do with each other suck, Jere! Haha!'" posts...

I want you to know that I'm not banging on you; you know I love the blog, I just can't wrap my head around why this is bothering you so much. Let the Sox accomplishments speak for themselves. If someone gives you grief about the Pats, who cares? Everything doesn't have to be a righteous argument.

When the Pats lost last Sunday night, I got a voicemail from, I'm assuming, someone at my old job in Pittsburgh that I got fired from. All they said was, "This is for Steelers fans everywhere!" And then there was about 30 seconds of many people laughing hysterically. I told my wife about it and she said, "why don't you call them back and tell them what classless douchebags they are...?" And I said, "Why? I won't give them the satisfaction of even knowing I heard their message..." Just don't give them the satisfaction, dude...put on a World Series DVD, make some popcorn, and move on. Jesus, even us Pats fans have you beat on that last one...
Peter and Sosock, thanks.

Matty--If I was a pats fan saying "this team's won enough," you've have a perfect point. But I'm not and never was a Pats fan.

I actually mentioned a similar scenario the other day in comments to AJM about if the Sox lost an upcoming World Series. I wouldn't be all "oh we didn't need it," because I AM a Red Sox fan. Fans of other teams would certainly say "they didn't need it." Like I said in that comment, I wouldn't expect anybody to feel sorry for us if we lost the 2008 World Series. I think I even said last year that if I were a neutral fan, I would've probably rooted for the Rockies last year in the WS--team who's never won vs. team who just won.

Although I appreciate all the people who rooted for us because we're an awesomely fun team, and because they know it would make Yankee fans upset! (These, as we've covered in a completely different thread, are the reasons why I don't understand the Red Sox "hate"--but again, I still wouldn't expect to root FOR us, especially after we've won TWO recent titles.)

And when I think about the reaction, let's say if we lose in Game 7 to the Mets, and, yes, I know I'd have to deal with people making fun of me but it would be NOTHING like any pre-'04 loss of any kind. It would be shitty and I would have rooted just as hard for the team, knowing I'd have celebrated just as hard had they won, but there would be no way I could convince that I was "more disappointed than ever" or anything close to that. (Provided there isn't some human-interest story like our blind pitcher who was abused as a child by the wolves who raised him--no, her--pitched us through the ALCS but then blew the WS.
"You'd," not "you've"
"Play us in the ALCS, be down 3-0, and somehow muster up a more impressive comeback than the one we had against you, and then sweep the World Series, and you can talk all you want about "making up for 2004."

Amen, Jere. Amen.
"...yes, I know I'd have to deal with people making fun of me but it would be NOTHING like any pre-'04 loss of any kind."

That's an interesting statement, because I often wonder what's worse: losing, when you are always expecting to lose; or losing, when you're certain of victory. I suppose it depends on the manner in which you lose; obviously, you'd have to go a pace to find anything more painful and heartbreaking than the Boone game. But what if we were up 3-0 on the Yankees in the ALCS this year, and they came back and won in seven on a Joba Chamberlain pinch-hit, walkoff grandslam in the bottom of the 15th inning off of Papelbon who had pitched 8 innings of perfect relief prior to giving up Jub-Jub's bomb? Would that really not be worse than one fluttering knuckleball gone awry? I don't know the answer; I'm just interested in your opinion because the '04 championship seems to insulate you so well against future calamity. I'm pretty sure nothing will ever be as soul-cleansingly euphoric as winning in '04, but by no means do I think that nothing can be worse than '03, or '86, or '78 or '75.

Believe me when I tell you that three Super Bowl titles did nothing to "insulate" me against the shock of the Pats blowing a 21-3 lead in Indy last year, nor did it protect me from anger over Jarvis Green not being able to pull down Eli prior to his miraculous heave to David Tyree. And I don't think anything can prepare you for the camera cutting to a wide-open-by-five-yards Plaxico settling under a beautiful, slow-motion floater of a dream killer. Taken on the whole, that Super Bowl wasn't as painful as the Boone game. But that split second before the ball hit Plax's hands, that split second when every Pats fan realized, "Oh my God, it's over" was as paralyzing, emotionally, as instantly registering the trajectory of the ball the millisecond it collided with Boone's bat. The only thing I can compare it to is when the doors of DiCaprio's elevator open at the end of "The Departed." In that split-second, you knew it was over, even though the thought had never entered your mind before.

Obviously, I've strayed from my original point, as usual. Ok, my original point, which I touched on in my previous long-winded comment is that no amount of winning can protect you from the devastation of losing. Do you agree with that statement? Or stick by the italicized sentence highlighted above? Just curious what you and others here think...
Let's put it this way: After '03 (or '86), I couldn't put on the 1918 World Championship DVD. And I don't mean because it didn't actually exist.

I know you think I know nothing of being in your situation, but remember I am a Nebraska fan, and they won three titles in four years in the late-90s. And after that, there was that game where Texas beat us on that trick play in the Big 12 Championship game. And that play is just nowhere near, in my mind, the Boone homer, the Buckner ball, etc. And yes it was much easier to take than the final missed field goal in the championship game the year BEFORE the championship run started.
I cherish these talks, Steve-O...
What's next -
I can't quit you, Jere? hehe

All kidding aside, I'm not sure I got the same message Matty did.
I'm not bothering to go back and re-read the rant, but I came away with the sense that Jere's complaint was with Yankees fans who somehow thought the Red Sox successes were negated, offset, or somehow diminished by the Pats loss. Matty got that Pat's fans shouldn't be upset, or heartbroken even, over the loss. Maybe that was there and I just didn't pick up on that part, there was a lot going on in that post, and with Ozzie screaming in your head the whole time to boot.
I was actually pretty upset myself, mainly because I hate to see the INCREDIBLE accomplishment of going 18-0 reduced to a meaningless sidebar. No one will talk about this great, dominating season in the future, only the fact that they "blew it" in the Super Bowl.
But I still couldn't make sense of the Met's fan in the bagel shop the next day who said - Whadda ya think of them Boston guys now?
Like our W-S Rings had just been confiscated or something.
Hmmph! - I can't freaking wait till opening day!

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