Thursday, February 12, 2009

Red Sox To Postpone Opener/Bridge For Sale

There's a hoax e-mail going around about the Red Sox postponing their home opener due to a Jewish holiday. It's the type of thing that is instantly recognizable as something that could never possibly happen--a complete fabrication. It has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with scheduling. Any person who pays any attention to baseball, or, I would think, anyone with an ounce of common sense, would never fall for anything like this.

But when I started checking to see if maybe people are believing this poorly-executed hoax, I found that they were. The usual sighting is at Jewish message boards, where someone will say "I don't know if this is true, but if it is...woohoo!"

And this is the only reason why I'm even mentioning this--because of the psychology of it. First of all, this e-mail isn't new. Like most viral stories, it's been cut and pasted, its info changed to stay current year after year. I read where someone suggested it's older Jewish people that see the obviously incorrect info, but proudly pass it on. It's almost like people are preying on them, just looking for an easy target. The way it's written, a person of the faith talked about will be so excited with one piece of information, they might glaze right over the things that couldn't possibly be true. But I almost get the feeling that even the intro from a "real person" might be part of the hoax. The part that says "I don't know if this is true, but...." Because if people see that, they think that someone else is innocently passing it on, as opposed to making it up. A fake "middle-man" is built in to the joke.

So, could I be fooled if I read something I knew nothing about, as long as I'm made to feel like "my people" are involved? Like, if I read something that said, "Rhode Islanders frightened by recent crappola virus outbreak," maybe I'd skip over all the fine print about viruses that's complete bullshit, and focus on the fact that since I live in Rhode Island, I need to alert all my friends about this virus.

Here's the key, though. If you're ever unsure of something, look it up! You're reading an e-mail, which means you're ON the Internet! Just look it up. But again, maybe these people are so distracted by that one part of the email, it never even enters their mind that what they're reading might be a fabrication.

I guess for people who were unsure and did look it up, and found this, I will explain why this couldn't possibly be true:

Actually, forget it. Just trust me.

I'm an "older" Jewish person, actually not older but mature, at times. I would never believe this story if I had ever seen it. Sure, the Jewish High Holy Days are important dates and some players do not wish to play on those days. Sandy Koufax comes to mind, in fact, with many others. But that's THEIR choice. GOOD FOR THEM!
Thanks for clearing this up, Jere. Over the last couple of days I had a number of people come on to my blog with search words like "Red Sox Opener Postponed Passover" and had no idea what that was about...

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Location: Rhode Island, United States