June 28, 2012 Leave a comment
There is a saying in TV when a TV show has become stale, uninteresting, and basically has become an unoriginal parody of itself that it has “jumped the shark”. Today Red Sox Nation is up in arms about Clay Buchholz attending a charity event. Let me repeat that – he attended a charity event where he helped raise money for a cause. Congratulations Red Sox Nation, you have officially jumped the shark.
It’s used to be fun to be part of the Boston sports scene. We had the reputation of being tough but fair and very knowledgeable. Now I am beginning to see that it was all a facade, riding the coattails of Bill Belichick’s genius, Terry Francona’s ingenuity, and Doc Rivers’ leadership. We hid behind strong and smart athletes like Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, and even Josh Beckett. Then when we were convinced by ratings hungry gutter journalists we decided to turn on them at the drop of a hat. Tell me where the intelligence in that is? John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino took the Red Sox franchise from a great big pile of obscurity and turned it into a 2-time World Championship winner and turned a once decrepit hole in the wall into once again America’s most beloved ballpark and they are now public enemies #1, 2 & 3 around here these days.
The problem wouldn’t be so apparent if most people could conjure up an original thought of their own. Instead most people around here just take up the opinion of idiots like Michael Felger and Glenn Ordway and pass it off as their own. Let me tell you something about these shock jocks that we tend to love so much around here. They don’t care about you, they are not doing this for you, they are not being honest with you. They make who they don’t like into public enemies no matter the reason and let the guys they like off the hook. That means that you’re never really getting the entire story accurately. These guys have one motive – making money and getting ratings. It doesn’t matter if they have to create a few “bad guys” along the way or embellish some things to make a sexier story, as long as the ratings come in and no one’s the wiser anyway. Here’s a novel idea – how about going by what you see on the field or on the court or on the ice and formulating an opinion of an athlete as a professional that way. And here’s another concept that you might be wise to consider – you are likely never going to personally know these athletes and, unless they are on the beat, neither are the journalists so please don’t pretend that you know who these guys really are or what they are like off the field. Because you don’t. And you never will. I can’t think of anything more ignorant than people thinking they do.
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what an athlete does in their off time, it’s nobodies business. The beer and chicken in the locker room is one thing because that was during games but all of the other stuff is, as far as I’m concerned, off limits. Let me ask you something Mr. Joe WEEI Caller. If, the next time you call up to rant and rave the jockey asks you if you’ve ever had any homosexual thoughts or like to dress up like a school girl (I know, stolen from the movie Enemy Of The State but still proves the point) what would you say? That it’s none of their business right? Exactly. So please explain to me when athlete’s personal lives suddenly became everyone’s business. If you think that all pro athletes should be required to live their lives in solitude because everyone has a Twitter account and a camera on their cell phone these days then you are seriously narrow-minded. Who in their right mind has the nerve to suggest that they should dictate what other human beings do with their lives in their free time? Apparently a whole lot of Boston sports fans and mediots do and to be 100% honest it’s a little sickening. And pathetic even. Let me see if this sinks in – You don’t have the right…it’s none of your business…it doesn’t matter if you put your whole annual salary back into the Red Sox, it does not buy you the right to dictate what these guys do when they’re not on the field.
And for the people who think they are “owed something” for buying tickets and concessions at over-inflated prices please realize this – it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on tickets or beer – that doesn’t buy you wins. I spent $11 for a beer once at American Airlines Arena, $10 at SkyDome. Boston isn’t the only town where the amenities at sporting events are overpriced. Hell, in some small markets they jack the ticket prices up as much as 50% when a good team comes into town. Imagine you are a Royals fan and you want to take your family to see the Royals play one of the elite teams like the Red Sox or Yankees and you’ve got to pay double. By this logic you have just bought yourself a world championship. Congratulations Royals! There are 4 major sports championships and if they simply gave each one to the fan base who thinks they spent the most money on their teams at the box office or the beer stand it would kind of take all of the fun out of it, would it not?
Is every Boston sports fan over-officious, overly arrogant, and extremely narrow-minded? Of course not. There are some die-hards who watch and understand the games because they like the sport. Then there are those who get into it because it is “cool” at the time and can’t formulate their own opinions because they don’t understand enough so defer to the Felgers of the world to formulate thoughts for them. Then, well let’s face it, there are just some ignorant narrow-minded people in the world and they act as such when it comes to their sports fandom. So what makes us different from any other sports fan bases? Nothing really, we can just be counted among the 5 or 6 cities in this country that have a heightened passion for our teams. No more, no less. Maybe it’s time to stop worrying about our athlete’s personal lives and start worrying more about our own. Wins and losses are not as important as raising your children, fighting a fire or a crime, or finding a cure for a disease such as cancer (although coincidentally if you are an athlete and you want to help people who do you better check with the fan base first and see if it’s ok). Sports were invented for people to sit back and enjoy so my advice would be to do just that.