The Westfield Voice

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How Neil Diamond Ruined Baseball: Why Red Sox Nation Stinks

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So its fall again and school is here, and everyone is excited to be back. Not so much for the education, but for the extended family, extracurricular activities, freedom and those, other extracurricular activities that my advocating here would be looked down upon. Anyway, my name is Matt Castonguay and I’ll be leading a voyage through the sports world via this column every week here in The Voice and/or on my supplement group at facebook.com titled “From the Cheap Seats.”

I was asked by the editors to explain a bit about myself before I got into the sports so, this will be a short introductory piece explaining a bit about myself. First of all, I hate the New England Patriots, Red Sox nation (not the Sox, I love the Sox but I HATE the nation, so don’t accuse me of being a Yankee fan), Ron Artest, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, politics in general and a lot more. Conversely, I love the band The Police, the New York football Giants, Paula Creamer, golfing (my favorite drinking game) and I love the Manning family almost as much as my own family. That being said, I look forward to checking my inbox ( hatemail_myfavorite@yahoo.com or wefing_is_shaking_his_head@yahoo.com )and wall posts at the group, telling me how wrong I am and all that jazz. Actually, I hope to put out a mailbag column every couple of weeks or so, so other readers can see how much flack I’m taking for what I’m writing, or to find out for sure that I’m not alone in my love of the Mannings, Cooper included. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the sports.

In 2002, Tom Warner, John Henry and Larry Lucchino came to Boston and changed the lives of Red Sox fans everywhere. And, as we’ve since learned, those freaks are, everywhere. The Nation is taking over the world slowly but surely, where every random person you meet is a Sox fan and everyone wants to see Papelbon “DO THE DANCEEEEE!!!” Frankly, I’m sick and tired of the dance, these random bandwagon jumpers, the “fans” who can’t name more than 10% of the 40 man roster and Jerry Remy. And Neil Diamond for that matter. Point is, I’m thankful that the Sox won their two World Series, if not for me, for my grandfather, who is 75 and a die-hard Sox fan and for all those like him. For my friends like Monahan who cried for three days after Aaron “bleepin’” Boone crushed the hopes and dreams of Boston in 2003 (Actually, I don’t know if he cried, but he was distraught for a while. Kind of like all the Patriots fans this past February.)and, well, that’s about it. This other group of poser Sox fans that never existed pre-2003 is killing just about everything Red Sox. Be it the bleachers, the NESN broadcasts, pop culture or anything else you can stick a logo on, these idiots have ruined it. Basically, since winning the two World Series titles, the Sox have become this money making machine, partly because of these idiots, who just can’t wait to get to the ball park and cheer for Papi, Coco, Paps, and, until thank God July 31st, MANNNYYYYY!!!! Their rabid devotion coupled with the tiny-ass (but don’t get me wrong, historic, legendary cathedral like) ballpark, allows ownership to drive the prices up to astronomical heights, knowing these clowns in their “Nation” t-shirts and pink Coco shirts will fill up the bleachers, eat $7.00 hot dogs and sip $5.00 waters without thinking about it, like a pack of lemmings heading for the edge. Anyone who’s been to Fenway lately knows that, though. Think about this. Two years ago, Chrissy and I went to a game at Fenway in May. Saw Beckett beat the Oakland A’s from 7th row dead center field, and it only set me back about $270 for both tickets, ($150) parking, ($30) food ($50) and about $40 for a Carlton Fisk t-shirt in the over-priced gift shop. Conversely, this summer Ricky, Tom, Jason and I went to Ohio to see the great Adam Dunn with a stop at Jacobs Field and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inbetween. This entire trip, before gas, ran us about $180 a piece. I’d really like someone to explain to me how driving to Ohio, in my mothers’ 30 gallons-to-the-mile Chevy Suburban none the less, two nights in two separate hotels, two baseball games and admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, cost me nearly 50% of the one trip to Friendly Fenway Park. Mmm, smell that? Robbery. The other thing I can’t stand is, having to see the old home team, everywhere. At one point, I thought it was cool, but now I’m kind of sick of it. Case in point, I’m watching my newest vice, “Burn Notice” on USA (On a side note, I absolutely love the show, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something good on television. If for nothing else, watch it for Gabrielle Anwar. Sooo hot, want to touch the heiny, arrrrrfff! Thursday nights at 10:00 on USA) and during one episode, for about a minute, there is a clip of a NESN broadcast of a Sox/Angels game. Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo are talking about how invaluable Josh Beckett is to the Sox and the “State of the Nation” blah blah blah. I’d rather hear Heidi Watney (mmmmm, Heidi Watney….) talk about it on Sportsdesk on my own time rather then during my new favorite show. It’s one thing for well-placed Sox hat or a reference to a player, but this placement all over the pop culture grid makes me sick. I don’t care if Michael Westin (Burned Spy, main character in my new favorite show)is a Red Sox fan, it won’t make me want his kick-ass sunglasses more than I already do. In fact, if David Ortiz announced he missed batting practice because he was catching up on season two of “Burn Notice” on his Macbook in the club house, I’d be more apt to be a die-hard David Ortiz fan for the rest of my life. My point is, is that being a Sox fan has kind of evolved into something similar to, to, hmm, to what would happen if you were to knock up some really, really hot skirt on a one-night stand. Next thing you know, you’re roped in. All that joy for a fleeting moment and, yes yes, you’ll forever be able to say you “got that” (World Series title) but at the same time you’ll be shelling out money hand-over-fist for the rest of your live, being forced to deal with her friends every time you just want to go enjoy yourself. You’re only two options after that, are suck it up and hope she forgets about you ( team never wins again) so you can go back to enjoying life (everything Red Sox) without enduring the hell that is her friends (bandwagon fans, Sweet Caroline, etc.) and just having to deal with the money you’ll have to keep paying out, which, let’s face it, for the peace of mind of being able to freely drop the f-bomb in the bleachers without having a mother of two turn around and tell you that’s inappropriate, is well worth it. The only other option is to cut and run and brush up on the history of another team and bleed for them. The Cubs look good this year. I really can’t see anyone jumping on that bandwagon after they win their first title in a century this fall, can you?

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Written by Westfield State College

August 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Posted in MLB, Sports

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