GQ skewers BoSox, Philly fans

Red Sox fans came in 6th in the magazine’s rankings of the nation’s worst sports fans.

aka Pvt. Pyle from 'Full Metal Jacket'

Insufferable Hypocrites. Winning the 2004 World Series was the worst thing to ever happen to Red Sox fans. Having been beaten into a state of lovable-loserdom by generations of championship futility, they now seem intent on living out some sort of horsehided cycle of domestic violence, inflicting upon us everything that for eighty-six years was inflicted upon them. It is a display of epic hypocrisy. All their whining about the Yankees’ salary-driven Evil Empire? They now gloat while drubbing opponents with what is routinely the second-highest-paid roster in baseball. All that self-satisfaction about being a bunch of scruffy underdogs? They blindly maintained it while winning the 2007 World Series with a payroll almost $90 million higher than Colorado’s. All these continuing claims to be an elite group of die-hard supporters? They have the biggest legion of bandwagon fans in the country, pushing past the Pinstripes as baseball’s top-drawing road team in 2005, 2007, and 2008. These days, Red Sox fans are indistinguishable from Yankees fans—just with more grating accents.

A-fucking-men. I would’ve ranked them first, but that dishonor went to Philly fans, who certainly belong in the conversation.

Things reached their nadir last season, when Citizens Bank Park played host to arguably the most heinous incident in the history of sports: A drunken fan intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl. The truth is this: All told, Philadelphia stadiums house the most monstrous collection of humanity outside of the federal penal system.

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6 Comments on GQ skewers BoSox, Philly fans

  1. Jack Straw // March 19, 2011 at 11:17 am //

    A “horsehided cycle of domestic violence”. What a terrific turn of phrase about a really awful bunch of fans.

    Son of a bitch. I managed to forgive Philly fans throwing batteries at J.D. Drew, but “intentionally” vomiting on anybody is downright European.

  2. I don’t hate the Red Sox fans as much as others in here because my opinion of their fans was mostly formed from having a college roommate from Maine. But that was way back in the ’70s. Nowadays, I don’t encounter them much because I deliberately avoid them as much as possible. (What with the Rangers having made the Series last year, the front-runners around here all have Texas gear, although with Texas’ crappy starting pitching, they’ll soon be shucking that just as they did with their Longhorn crap last fall.) I haven’t been out to The Ballpark to see the Red Sox since the Rangers moved into new digs, figuring I’d rather see games for which decent tickets are more readily available. But since 2004, they certainly have taken a turn for the hideous, and I suspect my old New Englander roomie despises this new breed as well.

  3. roadrunner // March 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm //

    I know a family that came to Boston from Sweden. A well meaning grandfather bought their 3 year old boy a Yankees hat before they arrived, thinking that baseball would help him to assimilate. Instead, they found that grown men and women routinely would hurl profanity laced insults at their toddler. That’s Boston for you.

  4. PepeFreeUs // March 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm //

    Tokyoke is onto a key insight. It’s something that I’ve mentioned here before. There are a lot of old school die hard Boston fans, people who suffered through the ’67 and ’75 Series, through Zimmer managing to do the impossible and lose a 13 game lead to the Yankees in ’78 and, most of all, that abortion of a Series in ’86.

    I feel bad for those people because their team and it’s tradition have been hijacked by a bunch of obnoxious, front running assholes. Success attracts those but it’s been partticularly repellant in their case.

  5. Pepe, The trait I found odd about my roommate from Maine was that his fatalism was so complete that he couldn’t take any joy from the Red Sox’s success. If they were in first place, he’d glumly predict they’d blow their lead; if they won the division, he’d await their self-destruction in the playoffs. Sure, until 2004, he was always right, but I’ve never seen that sort of the all-consuming pessimism with any other team’s fans. (The difference from Cubs fans being that Cubs fans love their crappy team even though (or perhaps because) it always sucks.) The newly hatched Red Sox fans don’t have the longtime supporters’ suffering or character.

    Back in the early ’80s, I was on a business trip to the Boston area and stopped to get something to eat late at night (I think I’d just returned from seeing my first game at Fenway) at a diner in Methuen, hometown of Steve Bedrosian. A couple or three of the regulars noticed my Braves hat, and we started talking baseball. The locals, Red Sox fans all, were enormously proud of their hometown kid made good (they all knew him and his family, or at least acted like they did) and they insisted that I come back after the season ended so they could take me over to Bedrock’s house and meet him. It’s probably the best experience I’ve ever had with another team’s fans — especially on their turf.

    But that was a long, long time ago, and a different breed of Bosox fans. Like I say, I think the old-timers despise the bandwagoners almost as much as we do. They’re proud of their traditions in New England, and they don’t like newcomers horning in on them.

  6. Viva Rufino Linares! // March 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm //

    Most of my friends are long time Red Sox fans and they despise the bandwagoners. Much like I did, when people started hoping on the Braves bandwagon in the early ’90’s. Any long suffering fan of a team that finally wins has to deal with front runners.

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