Monday, February 04, 2008

Boston Red Sox: Still The Only New England Team To Win In '07

If you watched baseball in the year 2004, which many Patriots fans did, you learned that there's no such thing as a sure thing. Some of you forgot what you learned. Terrible job. Optimism is great, arrogance is for Yankee fans.

We all have to remember this has nothing to do with baseball, though. Some Sox fans are sad tonight, some are happy. Some Yankee fans are sad, some are happy. Some Met fans are sad, some are happy. Some Bostonians are sad, some are happy. Some New Yorkers are sad, some are happy. Some people live in Connecticut! Some people don't care about football. And Dennis Drinkwater is ecstatic.

My girlfriend (pro-Pats) and I (anti-Pats) watched the game at our friends' house, another couple consisting of Anne (anti-Pats) and Lucas (pro-Pats). It was a great moment, with Anne and I (also both Red Sox fans) jumping up onto the couch simultaneously as this "perfect" season became totally imperfect. By the second half, as I suspected and as I'm sure you did from my writing, I was fully rooting against the Pats. I just couldn't root for them. I didn't want the Giants to have to be the team I was rooting for by default, but this was the potential upset of all upsets. Not within the game itself--like I said before, this Pats team was absolutely beatable. But just the fact that one team was unbeaten and the other was the lowest seed ever in a Super Bowl. Again, too bad it was the Giants that had to be that team--but hey, I hate them more than a lot of Pats fans, whose grandparents were Giants fans back before the Pats existed.

So are people still gonna say that BS about how "it's great to be a sports fan in Boston in 2007"? The Red Sox won, so say "it was a great year to be a Sox fan." The football year started with one Manning winning and ended with the other winning, and neither play in Boston. Maybe now people will wait to see if the Celts win before saying that anymore about 2007.

Do I feel sorry for my girlfriend and dad and all the really nice people I know who are Pats fans? Well, sure, in a way I never could be for any of my Yankee fans when their team loses. But only as much as is possible for fans of a team who just won three Super Bowls and then every single game this year except one. Don't blame me, blame the un-perfect Patriots. Also remember I could've just pretended to be a Pats fan, or just not brought any football up on my blog, but I have to say what I feel, as you know. When I stopped liking the Jets a few years ago, I did think, "Maybe I'll become a Pats fan." But I learned you can't switch loyalties. Well, some people can pull it off, but for me, it's like, What do I do, pretend like I liked the one team all along? You can't change your past. If I'd become a Pats fan, and somebody got me a retro Steve Grogan jersey, could I accept it? No. I even thought, Maybe I'll sit it out for 10 years, and then start liking the Pats, and that way all the players in the league now will be gone. But it wasn't happening. And with them suddenly winning three Super Bowls, the last thing I'd ever want to do is jump on a bandwagon. So, the point is, I'm just not a Pats fan and never was, I've always loved to root against teams that are heavily favored, and I'm being honest about it. Again, don't blame me, blame the team.

And their stupid coach! Why would you suddenly wear a bright red sweatshirt?? And then he comes out with a reverse on the first play! Was he drunk?? To see him at the end go running across the field, thinking the clock had run, that was beautiful. I was yelling, "make him go back and then run out again!" God, that robot pisses me off. Great to see him on the losing, red-faced side. And Tom Brady, man, that guy should've been practicing instead of hanging out with that stupid lady in Giants-land. You Pats fans should be pissed at him.

Okay, all that nonsense aside, that was the best fourth quarter in Super Bowl history. Never have I watched a Super Bowl and then had the desire to see the fourth quarter again, right away. That final drive by the younger Manning doofus was amazing. The one play, where he somehow escaped and then the guy caught the ball between his hand and head--incredible.

Oh, and I won some money, and it was thanks to a Patriot. My dad and I always do these crazy prop bets for the Super Bowl. I picked a couple of "exact point totals," which didn't work out, but the "first interception" bet caught my eye for some reason. I saw that Ellis Hobbs was 10 to 1. I don't know why I thought to choose him--maybe it was because of Ellis Burks--but I did. I told my dad to go to his special gambling zone and give me Hobbs to get the first Pats' interception. Later, I wrote back to him to clarify that he bet Ellis to get the first Pats interception, as opposed to the first interception overall. He had indeed messed up, so he went back and added my bet. So we had Hobbs at 12/1 and 10/1, 5 bucks each--and if he got the first overall interception of the game, we'd win both bets. After two close calls where Hobbs had a real shot at a pick, he got one. $110 bucks to us, which we'll split. And I only spent 15 total this year, as I wasn't in the classic "Super Bowl Squares" betting thing.

So, if you're all mad at me, that's your choice, but it was you people who helped me to go against my own team, as I didn't want you to be mad at me in the first place. But I just can't root for your team, and I don't know why you'd think I would. (Although after tonight, if they have a re-match with the Giants in SB XLIII, I'll definitely root for the Pats.) And don't forget, some of your Pat fan friends are also Yankee fans (I can think of a couple), and some Giant fans are Mets fans who hate the Yanks, and some New Yorkers are Jets fans who rooted for the Pats over their rival Giants. Eff the Pats, eff the Giants...let's go Red Sox!

Part of me wants to go back and erase this post and just say nothing. But another part wants to make sure to mention just how awesome this was tonight and how someone should compile all the comments by Pats fans--call them "fans" with quotes if you like--where they were so sure the team would win and acted like the Pats winning the Super Bowl was as definite as the sun rising in the morning. And I am totally honest when I say this is not to pick on the Pats or humble Pats fans. I just love it when fans of any team come out and talk like it's a done deal because it's so fun when that team loses. That's why I hope Red Sox fans never act like that. And I think we've seen too much heartbreak to ever get like that. Like, just now, as an example, I searched "the Patriots will win the Super Bowl." And, granted, you get a lot of 12 year olds who said it on a message board or whatever, but you also get some serious people, like the person who came out with:

This year, the Patriots are simply in a league of their own. The defense is still solid if not outstanding. The offense is historic and unparalleled. The coaching advantage also goes to the Patriots with BB against a first year rookie head coach. Also AFC is much stronger than NFC. So it is a no-brainer that the best team in AFC will beat the second-best team (Packers) and the third-best team (Giants) with no issues what so ever. Even the Colts would have beaten the NFC champion easily. Score: Patriots 37, Packers 24

I mean, sure, we all will occasionally say, "We're gonna win tonight." Like I said, I love optimism over "we're gonna lose tonight." But to act like you know, like it's a done deal, just so funny when it turns out different.

And plenty of "real sources" did the same thing:

Does anyone honestly believe Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Randy Moss and the Patriots franchise will allow themselves to be associated with one of the greatest upsets in sports history? Think about it. It's not going to happen.

I wish it was some other team that was the 18-0 team that people assumed would win but then lost. And I wish it was a different team that beat that team than the Giants. But this will have to do. Okay, end of post. Oh, and Matty, I remember reading on your blog about how you were sure the Pats would win and how you wanted them to steamroll through everyone--I don't include you in the category as those people above. You're a true fan. And you're also crazy. And AJM, to your previous comment, you can hang out with me and the Yankee fans, too--you and them can talk about how awesome Reggie Jackson is, haha.

"I just love it when fans of any team come out and talk like it's a done deal because it's so fun when that team loses."

You know what, Jere? You've been reading too much national media, all of which looks to box in fans as one way or another, who all engage in the same type of herdthink. Remember how mad you get when the media statrs lumping Red Sox fans with Yankee fans, telling you we ALL act the same way? You're doing the same thing right now. You've become exactly what you hate about the media and Red Sox fans. Read my blog. Read the blogs of other fans who were nervous and excited and now immensely disappointed. None of US thought it was a done deal, and we're very disappointed right now. And most of us are ALSO Red Sox fans.
Stop being such an overwhelming jerk about this. Otherwise, you'll have no leg to stand on when you start getting pissed off about media portrayal about obnoxious Red Sox fans.

The Majority of Sox Fans were sad last night. And I guarantee you that no Yankee fans were sad. I wouldn't ask you to root for them, but pretty pathetic that you were actively rooting against them, Jere.

I guess we can't root for the Sox to win this season...wouldn't want them too much. They're starting to turn into the Yankees.
News flash: If "a majority" of Sox fans were Nazis, I wouldn't become a Nazi.

And again, it's not like I'm a Pats fan saying the Pats are winning too much.

Imagine if there was some team you never liked, and all of a sudden all your friends liked them, and then you rooted against them as usual. How could they all make fun of you for it? Especially after they're all sitting on three recent championships that you technically could've taken credit for, having no team, and having been born and raised in that team's area?
Wow...comparing Pats fans to Nazis? Pretty low.

I just read this entire post, which really should have been titled, "Jere kicks Pats fans when they're down", and the thing that really sticks out for me is that you, someone who supposedly didn't like either team and wasn't taking sides, were up on the couch celebrating and gloating when the Pats front of your Pats-Fan girlfriend. I hope at the least that she was really pissed off at you.

And say what you want about Reggie, but he never kicked Sox fans when they were fact, I recall him always having very respectful words for the Sox as a organization, and for guys like Yaz in particular.
She's my girlfriend. We can laugh about it. It's sports. I was rooting against a team I don't like and NEVER liked. Aren't you an admitted front-runner of this team? Isn't that worse than any of this?
Three Super Bowls and an 18-1--that's "down". I love it. Poor Pats fans....
And wasn't comparing Pats fans to Nazis. Would you prefer the standard "jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge"?
"Aren't you an admitted front-runner of this team? Isn't that worse than any of this?"

Actually, no. For one thing, I said 'bandwagon', not 'front-runner', and what I should have said to be more precise is "relatively recent". I actually was a very casual Pats fan in the '90's, but I started rooting for them in earnest during the 2001 season BEFORE they won their first Super Bowl. You know, back when they were underdogs.

And Pats fans are having to put up with far more crap today for the team going 18-0 and then losing the Super Bowl than they would have under other circumstances. If they had just lost the SB after going, say 13-3 in the regular season, it wouldn't have been that big a deal. But if your team is standing at the precipice to a perfect season, and then doesn't get it done...well, you're going to have to listen to a lot of crap for a long time. A lot of undeserved crap. I would think you, as a Sox fan, would understand that.
Right, that's why the whole undefeated thing was killing me. Why I said in a different post that I wish they were just pretty good, or at least been a 13-3 type Super Bowl champ.

"I would think you, as a Sox fan, would understand that."

Yeah, I understand about teams that don't win, and the Pats have just won, not once, but three times!

If they hadn't, last night, I would've been like, Wow, the Patriots actually have a chance to win a Super Bowl, and I would've been happy for Pats fans if they'd won. But they already won. Three times.
Let me once again put it in more precise terms:

When your team wins its first 18 games and then loses the SB, it's a unique set of circumstances, and the folks who hate your team are going to make a special deal out of it. Just like when:

Your team blows a 14.5 game lead to its hated division rival, or
Your team has a two run lead with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the tenth inning of the 6th game of the World Series, and can't seal the deal, or
When your team has a 3-run lead in the 8th inning of the 7th game of the ALCS against your hated rival, and again can't seal the deal.

The fact that the Pats have won 3 Super Bowls doesn't make losing one after making it into uncharted territory not suck.
So what's that got to do with me?

Let's say the Red Sox lose the World Series in heartbreaking fashion in 2008. Would it be as bad as any of those other years? No way. It would be shitty, but I wouldn't expect anybody to feel sorry for us. Especially not people who never liked us anyway.

I feel like I'm being treated as a former Pats fan, or a current Pats fan who decided his team has won too much so went against them. I am neither of those things.

Look, obviously the fans of New England who like both teams meant something to me, to the point where I stopped liking football because I didn't want to be part of a rivalry where I was (in a weird way) on the opposite side of the Red Sox. But I can root for whoever I want. And that includes whoever's playing the Pats. And I also promise you that if this were any other 18-0 team in the Super Bowl, I would've had just as much fun rotting against them.
"So what's that got to do with me?"

Nothing, other than the fact that you're gloating about their front of your girlfriend, and to the Pats-Fan readers of this blog.

In other're acting just like a Yankee fan. If you hate both teams, and didn't care about the outcome, why were you even watching the game?
I guess we're all just a bunch of Yankee fans then.
Obviously, since this is your blog, Jere, you can write about whatever you want, regardless of how it might sadden or madden or offend your key demographic, i.e. Red Sox fans, who, like it or not, are also predominately Patriots fans, too. What I don't get is the border-line obsession with this whole "Who can I root for/not root for in this game involving two teams I don't like so that I don't get left out of all the hoopla around the Super Bowl because there's nothing going on with the Sox right now and I already have all the Gedman stuff on Ebay?" phase of your life.

You know I love your blog, but it's been remarkable to see how you can filter two teams, twenty-five years of football history and about 20 million people's sporting preferences through this amazingly tiny pinhole of, frankly, narcicism over the last couple weeks. I don't give a crap that you don't like my team; but honestly, your Patriot posts just sound silly.

My birthday always falls on one of the March Madness weekends and I remember one year I had a party at my house and all my friends came over and gasp! they wanted to watch the basketball games instead of me opening presents. And I got pissed and hit the "Party's Over" switch. They all went home and I felt like an idiot for being so petulant. I picture you jumping up and down, waving your arms, saying, "Hey! Look over here! Red Sox over here!"

Gloat all you want, write whatever you want, but understand that a lot of your readers, ones I think you care about, are pretty bummed right now and your posts, while your right, rubbed some people the wrong way. I don't think you need to straighten your back and thump the pulpit over this one. You're lucky Kim didn't punch ya in the back of the neck!
As the girlfriend, I do have to agree that I am confused as to how Jere can root for an indefinite number of Red Sox WS victories, but root against the Patriots for going out and doing the same thing for the same general fan base.

On the other hand, why do any of us have to root for every NE team? What is our obligation?

I love the guy, though, so I don't mind that he's so anti-Patriots. It's amusing, actually. Like, when I was living in the south (a brief period of time in my life) and the southerners had a real issue with me - discriminated against me, in fact - because I was from the north. I thought that was hilarious! So, I invite Jere to continue his weird hatred of the Patriots. I just don't see what there is to hate. They are incredibly gifted, team-oriented, humble and driven. Beyond the now laughable "spy gate," I see no reason to hate this team.

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