Yo, you know I couldn’t just ask about the Yankees. So here’s a couple of three questions about the Red Sox while we’re at it.
Cast of Characters: (In almost alphabetical order)
Mike Carminati (Mike’s Baseball Rants)
Cliff Corcoran (Cliffís Big Red Blog)
Jay Jaffe (The Futility Infielder)
Derek Jacques (The Weblog that Derek Built)
King Kaufman (Salon.com)
Rob Neyer (ESPN)
Patrick Sullivan (The House that Dewey Built)
BB: Now that the Red Sox have won the World Serious, how will it change the culture of Red Sox Nation?
Mike Carminati: I wonder if there really is a Red Sox Nation or a collection of individuals who were acting the mob because of the rallying cry of the curse. I think that theyíll become more atomized as their one glaring issue evaporates.
Cliff Corcoran: Everything will be different. Their entire identity changes. They’re no longer pessimists, they have no reason to doubt. They’re no longer losers, they’re the defending World Champions. Long-suffering and cursed are stricken from the list of applicable adjectives. All that remains is a fervent devotion to their team and the sort of boorishness that can be found as easily in the Bronx and in Beantown. It’s over. Everything that Red Sox Nation was (other than obnoxious and devoted) is suddenly ancient history.
Jay Jaffe: In the short term, Yankee fans are going to have to listen to all of the bullshit they dropped on Sox fans’ heads directed back at them, the “1918” and “Who’s Your Daddy” chants and all that. And much of it will be deserved. What goes around, comes around. In the long term, the Sox will come to be seen as another wealthy northeastern team whose spending keeps them among the league’s elite, and whose fan base won’t be quite as endearing once the fruits of success have been tasted. You’ll see less of a bandwagon as various entities attempt to cash in on RSN chic, and somewhere along the way there will be a backlash. Which isn’t to say that the Sox won’t continue to have an intelligent, boisterous (if occasionally obnoxious) diehard fan base. The line from Spinal Tap — “Boston’s not a big college town” — has been cracking me up lately as I think of the RSN phenomenon. You’ve got a veritable factory for churning out the kind of folks that we come into contact with online all the time, and they’ll continue to maintain their presence and their connection with this team, especially over the next few years while members of the championship club remain on the roster.
Derek Jacques: We’ve already seen the bandwagon swell to bursting. I was walking through the Upper West Side during game 4 of the World Series, and you could see people crowding outside of the bars, cheering the Sox on. The fact they were standing outside showed some enthusiasm, but it also indicated that they only came out to watch the game after the sixth inning. I wonder if these guys have given their ’86 vintage Mets gear and ’98 vintage Yankees gear to the Salvation Army, or do they just keep it in the closet, collecting dust while their owners wait to see which way the wind blows next year?
King Kaufman: Completely. Not because I like to pull this obnoxious move but because I was up till all hours writing on this very subject and don’t want to get into it again, I’ll just refer you to my column and pull out this excerpt:
The Red Sox had finally done it, had finally buried the ghosts of 1918 and Babe Ruth and all those years. “We forgive Bill Buckner,” read a sign in the Busch Stadium stands. The Red Sox were champions at last.
In other words, they’re just another team now. The sackcloth and ashes are so 2003.
There’s something beautiful, almost holy, about rooting for a team that, for all the close calls, hasn’t won in so long. Any Red Sox fan will tell you that what they’ve wanted for as long as they can remember was a championship, that they’d give up anything to get one, anything.
And now that they have one, they’re just going to want another.
Rob Neyer: Biggest Myth of the Year: Winning the World Series will change Red Sox fans. Red Sox fans, or at least the great majority of them, donít waste their time thinking about the stupid curse that doesnít exist and 1918. They worry about Pedroís arm and they worry about how theyíre going to get tickets for the Yankees game next weekend. And those worries arenít going to change just because the Sox happened to win a World Series.
Patrick Sullivan: Now it’s about baseball. No inferiority complex, we can stick our chests out a little more…other team’s fans can’t mock us. My great hope is that Red Sox fans become more fans of the sport itself rather than simply being “fans” of this popular and likeable entity known as the Boston Red Sox. My feeling has always been that first and foremost you should be a fan of a sport before you are a fan of a team. There are too many Red Sox fans and not enough baseball fans in “the Nation”. But maybe now that the peripheral storylines have been wiped out, the focus will turn more to baseball.