Saturday, February 09, 2008


There was a VWR for the Opening Day lottery, but I got in pretty quickly, and was able to get four together for OD. There were some tense moments there, but I got the job done.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Important 2008 Fenway Dates

Just a few I've thought of...

Tuesday, April 8th: Ring ceremony, and 2007 World Champions flag raised.

Friday, May 2nd: Return of Eric Hinske (first Devil Rays game).

Friday, May 16th: Return of Gabe Kapler (first Brewers game).

Wednesday, September 3rd: Red Sox should break all time sell-out streak record, with 456 games in a row. (Provided my mat his correct and a cancelled game throws the date off.)

In other news, I've been alive 11,842 days. I've been a vegetarian for the last 2,961 days. As of today, I've officially been meat-free for one quarter of my life. I feel better overall, but I'm not doin' it for me.

Back to the original news, Yankee Stadium has an important date, too: September 21st, the last regular season game there ever. And we hope last game period. I still can't believe they're tearing the place down. Dunbar fans will be happy that the new stadium won't have a corporate name. You can find out all about it in this article which I'd normally call "nauseating," but this one's so over-the-top, it's just comical.

I know they want to make the new place look like the old one, but I think it's stupid to keep the same field dimensions. Who cares about that? It's not like you've got a unique set of outfield walls, like with Fenway. Those walls and their positions were put there for special reasons, and back when they talked about a "new Fenway," they wanted to maintain the old look. With Yankee Stadium, you can maintain the old look and still alter the fence distances to whatever you want them to be. What's sacred about a bland, mostly uniform fence and distances that have been constantly changing over eight decades?

Roger and his wife juicin'.

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.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Jaws Trivia/Latest Kwiz Answered

Our latest kwiz has been answered. And if you're just a Jaws fan in general, this may interest you as I haven't seen the following info anywhere online. Here's the deal:

Every time I've watched the movie Jaws, I've thought about the mythical Jerry Christian, the man who catches the fly ball--and whose name is heard most clearly--in the baseball game broadcast that can be heard from a radio on the beach during the 4th of July scene. I finally did some research. No Jerry Christian ever played in the majors, and it's pretty clear that what we're hearing is just some guy in a studio calling an imaginary baseball game with fake players. But how did they come up with the names?

I Googled "Jerry Christian." Not much there. But when I tried "Jerry Christian Jaws," this was the first listing. A wiki page on the TV movie Duel.

Now, if you've watched the documentary on the Jaws DVD (30th anniversary edition), you remember Steven Spielberg talking a lot about Duel (while oddly touching his finger to his lip for much of the interview), his first full-length film from four years before Jaws, about a truck gone mad (or something). He even considered Jaws to be almost like an underwater sequel to Duel, and I think he said that the one-word, four letter title inspired him to call his shark project "Jaws."

So where does Jerry Christian come in? On the above Duel page, he's one of the credited people at the bottom of the page under the heading "Won: Outstanding Achievement in Film Sound Editing."

Interesting. Did Spielberg use names of his old crew members in his new movie? Or was this a coincidence? At this point, I ran for the DVD and found the scene. I sat there with the list of Duel's Emmy winning sound editors in front of me on my computer: "Jerry Christian, James Troutman, Ronald LaVine, Sid Lubow, Richard Raderman, Dale Johnston, Sam Caylor, John Stacy & Jack Kirschner." And I hit play. I felt like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, trying to decipher the name of the train station stop: "Almost sounds like "next...stop...." "That's the bell on the Wells Street bridge!" Very exciting stuff.

The first name I figured out was the pitcher, Stacy. I cross-referenced the list: John Stacy! Gold! That nut, Steven, had indeed paid homage to his past sound editors--in a scene whose sound was created by his new sound department. At least that's what it feels like to me. The other names were harder to decipher. When I finally figured out "Vance Fredrick," the batter, after much rewinding, it led to a new mystery, as he wasn't on "the list." That name does come up as someone who worked on the special effects of the movie Heavy Metal from 1981, though, so there's a chance he could be friends with Spielberg. The final name was hard to make out. It kind of sounded like "Troutman." Now, I admit, I may have been influenced by the list. And it kind of sounds like "Troutman will tags..." which leads me to believe it could be some other name, which I'm hearing as "Troutman will." Something like "Don Manwill tags..." But that "s" on the end of tag could be part of the surrounding noise of the scene.

But since we've got Jerry Christian, and a possible Troutman, and they just happen to have worked with Spielberg in the past, I'd say the "Stacy" is "John Stacy," which was the initial kwiz: "What was the pitcher's first name?" (Kara got it right, but it was just a random guess.)

Without further doo-doo, here's my transcription of the baseball game call from the movie:

...field does not hold the water well, and it's very soggy in the outfield. Two balls, one strike the count to Vance Frederick, runners at first and third, here's the pitch from Stacy. Fly ball, deep left field, Jerry Christian goes back, warning track, near the wall, and he takes it for the out. Troutman will tag at third and he comes in, with the tie-breaking run.

Even though it's a fake game, I've never pictured it as happening in Fenway Park. A ball hit "deep to left" is either up on the Monster or over it, or you know it's caught right away. You're not gonna have a left fielder going back for so long. Unless it's a very high fly ball that's gonna hit like 10 feet up on the wall, there just wouldn't be that kind of suspense, and this announcer's acting like it's the classic "will it be a home run or won't it?" which you wouldn't get from a ball that's definitely not gonna make it over a 37-foot high wall. Must be a Red Sox road game. With fake players.

Another mystery, though, comes up when you look at Duel's imdb page. Under "sound department," they list all the names on our list from above except for...Christian, Troutman, and Stacy! (They also list one other guy, who is the only one they don't label as "uncredited.") That's a mystery for you to solve. "I need the rest."

Psyched WIth A Capital "S" Sound

My mom just hit the Opening Day lottery! I'm in!!!!! See you at the Ring Ceremony & Flag Raising!!!!!

(If you're waiting for "the e-mail" today, my mom got hers at around 6 PM, and I haven't gotten a confirmation or denial yet. So you may or may not still have a chance. Good luck.)

(Update: Got the rejection letter at 8:40.)

The Goods On Clemens?

McNamee had evidence that supposedly will prove what everyone already knows.

27 Down, Three To Go

Have I seen every MLB team play live? The AL is covered, I don't even think I need to check my files on that one. So let's (let me) go over the NL teams I've seen:

Mets, plenty of times. Saw them play at least the Reds, Cards, and Cubs at Shea in like first through fourth grade, because I used the games as my "show and tell" in school the day after. Saw the Giants and Rockies at Fenway last year. Saw the Braves at Fenway in '00, and at Shea a few times. Saw the Astros at Fenway in '02. Saw the Dodgers at Fenway in '04. Saw the Phillies and Pirates at their own parks, and at Fenway. Must've seen the Brewers in their AL days.

What about the Marlins and D-backs? Don't think so. And I haven't seen the Nationals yet. Padres? Have I seen the Padres? Oh, right, Nomar's return game, June of '04, with the crazy rain delay. So, it's probably those three. I'll see the D-backs this season, so in a few months I'll be two teams away from having seen every team in baseball live. Prize for that: none.

The Smiths Of Baseball

On May 18th, 1871, 30-year old Charles J. "Charlie" Smith of the National Association's New York Mutuals stepped onto the Haymakers' Grounds, a baseball field in Troy, New York. This marked the first time a person named Smith would play in a professional, major league baseball game.*

On October 28th, 2007, Seth Smith made the final out of the World Series in Denver, Colorado, marking the most recent time a Smith was in action.

In the one hundred thirty-six years and five months in between, 140 other people named Smith--all male, but hopefully that will change in our lifetime--have appeared in major league games. Why do I care? Because my last name is Smith.

So, welcome to a new series here on ARSFFPT. A 20-something-or-more-parter called "The Smiths of Baseball."

I'll be presenting them alphabetically over the next few, uh, we'll say...months? There will also be a wrap-up of Smiths who played in the Negro Leagues, but never got to play in the American or National League.

Note: When my laptop's hard drive died, I lost a lot of research I was doing for this project. Pictures, stories, stats that had special meaning, etc. I was working on ranking the 142 Smiths in order from coolest to lamest, too. Now I have to do them alphabetically, and just find info on each guy as I get to him. But that'll make it easier, I think. I had also marked which ones had played for the Sox, and which had played for the Yanks. As I recall, the Sox have had way more Smiths. But we'll find that out at the end, when I'll do the totals.

Before we get to the A. Smiths, here are two Smiths who were only referred to as "Smith" in the record books:

1. Smith. (1884)

June 5th, 1884. The Baltimore Monumentals took on the Boston Reds at Baltimore's Belair Lot, it a Union Association matchup. Baltimore's starting pitcher that day was this unknown Smith. It would be his one and only game. He went six innings, getting a no-decision in a 15-12 defeat. He also singled in five at bats that day. (It should be noted that there was an Ed Smith on the Baltimore team who played in nine games. This unknown Smith could just be Ed, listed only as Smith for this one game.)

2. Smith. (1886)

This unknown Smith also appeared in just one game, and was also a starting pitcher. He played for the Cincinnati Red Stockings (today's Cincinnati Reds) of the American Association. His day in the sun was May 31st, 1886--game one of a doubleheader against two different teams. Smith took the loss in an 8-6 defeat to the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers at Brooklyn's Washington Park. He also singled in four at bats. The article and boxscore of the game--along with Brooklyn's second game that day--are here. (Click "view full article for PDF.) According to the article, Brooklyn "used their bats vigorously at times." Poor Smith. I also like how doubleheaders in the pre-lights days were morning and afternoon. And that boxscore shows three wild pitches by Smith, which retrosheet does not show. (I thought this guy might be "Mike Smith," who pitched in nine games later that year for the Red Stockings, but this article from 9/11/1886 talks about Mike Smith being a new pitcher from the Southern League. So the unknown Smith from May is definitely a different guy.) (And you'll also see that retrosheet's game log shows Mike Smith as the pitcher for the 5/31 game as well as the September games. That's wrong, and yes, I e-mailed them and they said they'd correct it on their next big update next summer. So you need not e-mail them, ha. If you add up Mike Smith's stats, it all adds up, they only messed it up in the game log.)

*MLB doesn't consider the National Association a major league, though it was a professional league. Then again, there were also other supposedly "professional" games played before and during 1871. I'm going by the players listed by Retrosheet (and the other usual literature: BR, Almanac, Cube, Roylance, Spates Catalogue, Tobin's Spirit Guide--all of whom are vital to this project, by the way), which includes NA (1871-1875), NL (1876-present), American Association (1882-1891) Union Association (1884), Players League (1890), AL (1901-present), and Federal League (1914-1915).

Of course, there are also other pro leagues around the world. A Japanese or Cuban team could kick the butt of an MLB team on any given day, but, we really don't have access to all those records and besides, there probably haven't been a lot of Smiths in those leagues.

Final note: I'm doing this in a fun way, not in a "we are the sacred Smiths, we will destroy you!" way. Hopefully you'll enjoy just learning about the players, and will want to do this for your own name on your own blog or whatever. (It should be much easier for you than it will be for me, provided you're not a Williams or a Jones or a Johnson, and especially if you're a Cvengros.)


Monday, February 04, 2008

In The News Or Whatever

Jere's mom the protester! (7th paragraph) (I understand my nieces helped out with the "blood"--nice!)

Pettitte testifies. We'll find out eventually if Jesus allows "snitching."

Woman puts seat belt on beer, not baby.

L-girl and Joy Boy were right: Corner Gas is pretty damn funny. When they talked about it, I thought, Well, it could be good, but it's only in Canada, I'll never see it anyway. Then recently I came across it on WGN, and I liked it. I just did the research, and I see it only started being on in the US since September, so I'm not too far behind. I also see that it's on every night at midnight--so I can catch up on the four seasons' worth of shows. It's also on Wednesdays at 8 PM. So if you get that Chicago station like I seem to, check it out. Also, the Extras season 1-2 DVD is out.

"Sid" Lester arrives at camp way early.

A quarter of British people think Churchill wasn't real?

We've got a kwiz going on.

It's Gonna Be Live, Hey! Connecticut Pride

I feel like I'm on some kind of national crusade to make people realize not everyone likes all the sports teams of one particular town.

And if you grew up right in or near a city with major league sports teams, you're probably thinking, "what is this guy's deal, that IS the way it is."

But I'm from a crazy land called Connecticut. (The second C is silent.) We even have different cities and towns within the state! It's not just one big town. But people don't know much about the place, it seems.

I remember joining America Online back in, like, 1996. And this has always stuck with me: they asked you to choose the area where you were from, for your profile or whatever, from a list. I was from a small town next to a slightly bigger town, with no major city within 50 miles. Needless to say, this "area" was not on their list. There "Hartford," and there was "New York City."

I was an hour from Hartford. Not including trips to see my grandparents, who lived there, you could count the total trips I've taken there on two hands. Maybe one. I was not a Hartford(-er?). I was an hour from New York. It wasn't even in my state. People who live there would be quite offended if I, from my dead end in street in suburbia, considered myself one of them. I was not a New Yorker.

I was from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) (that was the "official" order). But I was also from New England (CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME). And I had about as much in common with people from Maine as I did with people from Jersey, and vice versa. But I was grouped in with one or the other, depending on whether I was tuned in to a New York TV station or a Connecticut one.

When I went to college in Nebraska, I'd say "I'm from Connecticut," but that kind of turned into "I'm from New York." It was the closest city they knew to Connecticut, and saying "I'm from Hartford" wouldn't have helped them--and didn't sound nearly as cool.

But think of that--me, a kid from a dead end street in the woods, less than a mile from a farm with cows, and a good twenty minutes from the nearest store, thought of as a "New Yorker," some kind of city boy, compared to kids from Omaha, who'd be thought of as farm-boys, yet they actually grew up IN a city. My fellow Ridgefielders would ask me about Nebraska: "Do you go to school on a farm?" No. We all grew up on a farm, practically. I go to a school in a city.

So that's why I've go this thing about sports teams. To me, there aren't "New York fans" and "Boston fans." There are fans of specific teams and that's that. There are rivalries between certain teams, but not between towns.

Yes, there are some die-hard Vinnies who make fun of Boston who have never even been there, and some die-hard Sullies who mock New York who would probably love it if they ever gave it a chance. But I see those as the older folks, the same one who are wary of these "coloreds" walking around. I mean, why would you hate an entire city? What's cool about living in your one space and never venturing out of it? Sure, I've got a laundry list of things I never liked about Boston, but there's that same list for New York, and other places. But I try not to focus on that. I focus on the awesomeness in each city. I had great times in Seattle, Chicago, New Haven...even Madison, Wisconsin.

My friend who lives in Philly sent me a clipping from their paper. In 100 point typeface was the word "HATE," and they proceeded to talk about the stuff they hate in New York and Boston. City of Brotherly Love, my ass! If you want to hate sports teams, fine, great, totally cool. But what does that have to do with towns and the people who live there, many of whom hate the same team you do? I mean, I hate the Yankees more than anything else in the world, but I don't say, "Oh you Yankee fans with your New Yorkiness and New Yorkitude." Because New York is fucking awesome! Again, like the bumper sticker always said, "I Love New York, It's the Yankees I Hate."

I think as more people venture out of their little spaces, things will change. I see it already--so many people in NYC have Boston connections, and all the college kids in Boston came from the New York area.

So I'll close with a list I've been making in my head--the teams in each sport all my friends in middle/high school liked. Your list might look like: Person: Sox, Pats, Bruins, Celtics, over and over again. But in the in-between land of Connecticut, it looks more like this:

Person Baseball Football Basketball Hockey College Team

Me: Boston Red Sox, New York Jets, New Jersey Nets, none, Nebraska
Mike: New York Yankees, New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Boston College/Notre Dame/Michigan
Jim: New York Yankees, Chicago Bears, Boston Celtics, New York Rangers, Ohio State
Pat (circa '89): Boston Red Sox, New York Jets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Devils, Syracuse
Casey: New York Mets/Cleveland Indians/Texas Rangers, Green Bay Packers, don't remember, don't remember, UConn
Deane: New York Mets, New York Giants, none, New York Rangers, UConn
Chan: New York Yankees, New York Giants, Chicago Bulls, none, Florida
Gust: Minnesota Twins, Washington Redskins, Minnesota T-wolves, none, Villanova
Arcuri: New York Yankees, New York Jets/Chicago Bears, don't remember, etc, etc
Trevor: Atlanta Braves/Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, don't remember, etc, etc
Matt Suff: I'm scrapping the order here--Buffalo Bills/San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bisons....

Okay, it got a little hazy toward the end. But you get the picture. The worst part about all this? I seem to be the only one affected by the whole "liking teams from 'rival' cities" thing. Everybody else just kind of runs with it. Like, my friend Jim: Die-hard Yankee fan, raised in The Bronx. I know he's psyched about the Pats losing last night and he's proud to admit that (he's a Bears fan). But if he were at a Celtics game tomorrow, well, he's still a die-hard Celtics fan, but I don't see him getting all worried about what other Celtics fans would think of his anti-Pats stance, the way I worry about you Pats/Sox fans wanting to stone me. You'd think I would've picked up some pointers in how to deal with all this, growing up in in-between land.

Either way, the Red Sox still won the ALCS in 2004, we're the World Champs right now, and every Yankee fan, whether they admit it or not, knows this. Bring on baseball.

Oh, and any of your threats in comments are not gonna make me feel like less of a Red Sox fan for (god forbid!) not having ever liked the Patriots! You wanna make fun of other Sox fans, there are plenty of the kind who say shit in the stands like "Jeter woulda had it," or "you HAVE to respect the Yankees and the classy Joe Torre" or "love or hate him, George Steinbrenner does what it takes."

(title of post from an old commercial from some team called the Connecticut Pride. Don't even remember the sport....)

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.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

My Internal Dilemma Dialogues Continued or BSM Is Surely Rolling His Eyes

I think I've finally summed it up! I think what it all comes down to is that the Pats are doing the worst possible thing for me as a "Sox fan who isn't a Pats fan."

They've put themselves in the position where, as of tomorrow, they will either be thought of as the big, bad, hated dynasty, or some of the biggest chokers in history.

And I, as a fan of the Red Sox, will have my team grouped into this category. Believe me, I won't feel "responsible" for what some other team in another sport does. But that doesn't mean people won't think of me as a Pats fan for wearing a Red Sox hat, especially among Yankee fans.

What I'd really like is for the Patriots to be...pretty good. Just fly under the radar, go 9-7, maybe an occasional 10-6, maybe even win a Super Bowl once every 12-15 years. Then they'd be a totally separate entity from the Red Sox, not joining in on the wicked winning or laughable losing, which seems to cause the two fanbases to be grouped together.

Yankee fans will find a way to make fun of Red Sox fans anyway. I learned long ago not to care about what they think because it isn't based in reality. I'll never win with them, but I don't want to. I'm just saying, this Pats thing just gives those people more to open their mouths about. And while I know it means nothing, it is damn annoying. And the papers pick this crap up and print it like it's truth, making the rest of the country believe it. One website a few months ago made some joke about Terry Francona "videotaping signals" or whatever. For no other reason than the fact that the Red Sox play kinda near some football team.

As Anthony said, "I wish it away. I wish it ALL away!"

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