9 Most Insufferable Things About “Red Sox Nation”
It’s safe to say that there’s no fan base that comes close to getting the attention of (and making as much noise as) Red Sox Nation. It’s like if Packers fans won the lottery, moved to Miami, and got a reality show. And the recent championship for Boston means that these guys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So let’s spend just a few more minutes examining these Red Sox fans (because we’re masochists) to discuss exactly what it is about them that rubs us the wrong way. Here are the nine most annoying things about Boston Red Sox fans.
We were all made very aware that it had been a long time since Boston won a World Series. Bill Buckner reminded us of that, Bucky Dent reminded us of that, and then Aaron Boone reminded us of that. But the Red Sox have joined every other Boston team in having a successful decade-long run (some teams more than others). So when the Sox fans play the victims, it’s a little hard to take them seriously. Then it just becomes downright intolerable ten years and three titles after their last tough loss.
9. The Underdog Act
I don’t mean that they’re noisy, cantankerous people (but they are), but rather, everything that happens in Boston gets amplified so much in the national spotlight. That’s not to say the Sox don’t deserve attention for being the best team in baseball. They do. But this year’s team go more attention than any other team since the last Red Sox championship team. Then the one before that. It’s not necessarily the fans fault that the national spotlight shifts to them. They were a compelling story in recent years. But it doesn’t change the fact that we’re just tired of seeing them.
8. They’re Overpublicized
Beards, Caveman Johnny Damon, Sweet Caroline, “Yankees suck!” (we’ll get to that one later). Every team has its idiosyncrasies, but the Sox churn them out like a factory. Every year they get themselves the new equivalent of a rally monkey, only no one can question it, because the Red Sox are from Boston, and Boston is steeped in tradition, so these contrivances need to be respected, and never, ever questioned. It’s like an annual Thundersticks to the head.
7. The Gimmicks
This one is just brutal. Sully and Anthony might be cheering for you in Southie, but the façade of Boston fans being “real” just because they have an old stadium and get dumb sports tattoos shouldn’t have fooled anyone. If the Sox were really an egalitarian concern, they would build a stadium that holds more then eight dozen people so that tickets will come back down from the $2,000 average on the secondary market for game six. But then they wouldn’t be scrappy, they wouldn’t be “for everyone,” and they would be just like most other sports teams that are run like businesses. God forbid.
6. The Blue Collar Act
The hypocrisy is apparent when the Red Sox take the Yankees to task for being the Evil Empire that plays by its own rules courtesy of a stratospheric payroll. The ratio of the Sox payroll to the Yankees is far closer than that of the Sox versus that of the average MLB club. That’s a wordy way of saying that the Red Sox are nearly as guilty the Yanks are in this regard, just slightly less so. So they’ll play the victim card. Because YANKEES SUCK or something like that. It’s hard to get inside their heads sometimes.
5. The Payroll
When you’re talking about baseball tradition, we must turn to the Red Sox, and their adherence to celebratory practices of the golden age, such as rioting, starting fires, and flipping cars. The Red Sox (or any Boston team’s, as long as we’re burning bridges) playoff run was like a slow motion train wreck leading up to a drunken apocalyptic evening. If they’re going to act like they’re better than other fans, they probably shouldn’t make the news doing the most destructive things in the name of celebration.
4. The “Celebration”
You can sort of file this one under any of the preceding items, but it merits its own entry nonetheless. This was a thing. As insufferable as talk of The Curse was during their first ’04 title run, it was the tip of the iceberg in terms of “things Boston fans and media can complain about.” Of course, this argument essentially reads as “All of our recent championships have been won on the road. Please cry for us and tell the world our story.” Not gonna happen, Boston. (I realize that this item was generally only conveyed by particular ingrates, and not the fan base at large, but with such a prominent identity sought by Red Sox Nation, they’ll have to learn to take the sour with the sweet.)
3. “The Curse…of Not Winning a World Series…at Home” SERIOUSLY?
If you ever need a definitive example of how Boston fans secretly love to play the victim, look no further than Fenway Park. It’s arguably one of the two most historically significant parks in baseball, along with Wrigley, but when stripped away of its character, the place barely functions as a ballpark. The seats are comically small and uncomfortable, the concourses need to be four times as big, and it doesn't come close to seating enough people. Now, ordinarily, I wouldn't hold a fan base liable for their stadium, but Red Sox Nation seems to use the stadium to suffer, much as they did the curse, their feud with the Yankees, etc. Every other team in baseball (again, save the Cubs, who complain about their stadium far less) has gotten a new one and lived to fight another day. But Boston keeps holding on, afraid their identity will get knocked right down with the park.
2. Fenway Park
To many other fans, it’s sad, but true. Boston had a great team, and even when a fan base is as rambunctious as Boston's is, it’s harder to be critical when their team earned it. So if you’re sick of wading through Vine videos of Red Sox serving drinks at bars shirtless, you might want to stay away from the Internet the rest of the offseason, and maybe for a while after that. Until they hit a rebuilding year. Congratulations Boston. We don’t have to like you, but we respect you. I guess.