Confessions of a Fair Weather Fan

Forgive me, fellow Bostonians, for I have watched baseball all this week after mocking it for most of the season.

I have complained that baseball is boring, slow-moving, and un-athletic.  I have called some of the players chubby and sluggish.  I have accused others of excessive steroid use.

beardsI have even made disparaging remarks about my hometown team’s personal grooming habits, declaring that I can’t tell the difference between the Red Sox and the cast of Duck Dynasty.

I freely confess, now that “my” team is in the World Series, that I am somehow drawn to the game, the team, and the hype.  I have become that person I love to hate in all other sports:  The Fair Weather Fan.

I am sorry for this, and all my sins.

If it will help bring me absolution, please know that my fair weather fandom in baseball stands in stark relief to my genuine fandom in other sports.  I have pulled my kids out of school and bought tickets I couldn’t afford, just for the chance to see my college basketball team play in the national championship game.  I have endured freezing rain and sat on a hard bench for hours to faithfully watch every last down of a football game in which my team not only lost, but also failed to gain more than 3 yards of offense against our biggest rival.

Nevertheless, I have failed to show similar support to the Boston Red Sox.  I don’t even know when Opening Day happened.  I cannot name more than two of our pitchers.  Before the World Series began, I had never heard of the rule that designated hitters can’t play in the National League (and when I did learn of it, I indulged in a disrespectful rant about the game of baseball generally and the National League specifically).

I may have used the Lord’s name in vain during said rant.

Oh, ye of so much faith, fellow members of Red Sox Nation, please forgive me.  I promise to be a better fan.

I’ve already made some progress…two years ago I arrogantly tossed “I told you so’s” to all my baseball-loving friends, after the Boston Globe revealed that the Red Sox starting pitchers were drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.  Didn’t this prove what I’d been saying all along about baseball being a fat man’s game? I was so smug.

Fenway_from_Legend's_Box

This season, I hold my tongue when a beer belly topped by a scraggly beard and supported by churning legs gamely makes its way around the bases.  “Look how fast he can run!” I remark to my family.  They smile gently; they are pulling for me.  They know this is part of my penance.

Boston-Red-Sox-Logo-HD-Wallpaper

As for the rest of it, I will watch the game tonight.  I will wear my Red Sox t-shirt and I will resist the urge to channel surf between Bar Rescue or Wife Swap between pitches.  And I will rejoice if the Red Sox win the World Series.

As for keeping track of Opening Day, 2014, I can’t make any promises.  I’m still a work in progress.

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6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Fair Weather Fan

  1. John

    As far as I’m concerned, you’re absolved. I still remember the day of my own conversion. I wrote about it here, if you’re interested: http://wp.me/p2HivO-l9

    I was lucky to be in full fan-swing by 2004. Memories I’ll likely never forget. Anyway, nice post.

    Reply
  2. Diane Rose

    Good Evening Laura Uncle Tom and I so MUCH enjoyed your blog. As I was reading your take on the Boston Red Sox and baseball in general I was thinking of Andy Rooney on 60 minutes .. You write fully as well as he does and that would be fun for you as well… You could apply and do it electronically .. You are so talented and entertaining.. Have you considered that?If not you should do so Love Aunt Diane Here is a bit more of him… Maybe you recall him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_RooneyDate: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 18:38:41 +0000 To: sportygal@hotmail.com

    Reply
  3. Josh Gerstman

    A little late to the party on this one, but having grown up in Natick and born a Red Sox Fan, no matter how hard I’ve tried in the 25 years since leaving Mass, I can’t get Red Sox out of my system. I actually worked for the Detroit Tigers in 94 as an intern. I caught Mariners Fever in 95 when I moved to Seattle. My son was born the night John Olerud hit for the cycle during the magic of the 2001 116 win season for the Mariners and I named my second dog Edgar for Mariners DH Edgar Martinez. But my first dog’s name was Boston and I’ve never been able to shed that first love. The memories of the 75 World Series- seeing tears from my dad for the first time. The first trip to Fenway in the 80’s on the T with my friend Kevin and no adults along. The comeback against the Angels in the 86 Pennant and the agony of the ball under Buckner’s legs. I wasn’t moved to joy in the 04 and 07 series. And this year, I thought I had a right to root for the Cards- afterall one of our classmates- Mike Matheny, UM ’92 was their coach. I thought I had shed my Bostanity- but it came back in buckets full or maybe Bucknersful, when the obstruction call ended game three. I tried to make a joke of it- calling the play a Vowel Obstruction because the catcher had too many letters in his name, but that play was reminiscent of all the Boston plays of distant past and it reminded me what it was to be a Red Sox Fan. Thanks for the your post- in your absolution, comes equal one for those of us who have tried to escape over the years- fairweather- no I’m a true foulweather fan. I actually miss the days of the curse..Well there’s always our Dear Ol’ Blue…and afterall, I live in Seattle, the least # of national championships for a major city of its size!

    Reply
    1. lmctaggart2013 Post author

      What a great story, Josh. Especially liked hearing about your dog Boston. There are plenty of dogs around here with sports-inspired names (I know a Jacoby and several Brady’s) but once I met dog walker who called her dog “Markley.” I asked her where that came from and she said “my dorm in college.” A fellow Markley resident, here in Boston! Who knew.

      Reply
  4. Alec Rogers

    I’m the opposite. I tend to care less after the regular season ends. The Fair Weather fans are everywhere. I can’t tell you how many people in DC didn’t realize we even HAD a team until October 1st, 2012. Two weeks later, they didn’t remember that we did.

    Reply

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