Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tales from the Bandwagon

Bandwagoners are my pet peeve. Not surprisingly, the two teams with the most fans are also the two teams with the most bandwagoners. So today I will tell egregious tales about both Yankees and Sox fans. Notice the nuances... A Yankee bandwagoner is a very different type of animal (pun intended) than a Red Sox bandwagoner. Yankee bandwagoners are omnipresent around the world. Growing up in NY state, I have accepted them my whole life. Red Sox bandwagoners, however, are a new thing. A new thing that makes me PHYSICALLY ILL.

Egregious Yankee Tale

I think you already know my little Rain Man secret: wherever I go, I always count baseball caps. If you read my Australia-New Zealand blog, you know I was disheartened that Yankee logos beat Red Sox logos by more than 10-1. Yet Sox caps came in 2nd among all team logos! I attributed it to:

A) The Matsui factor - Hideki has influenced the fashion trends of millions of Asians, and
B) The Versace factor - The NY logo has become an international high-fashion statement, like Reebok, Gucci, etc. [Note: If I didn't count pink Yankee caps worn by Asian women wearing pink sweat suits, the ratio would have been more like 3-1. And don't tell me Man U is the world's most prestigious sports team - Man U logos barely finished in the top 10.]

So I guess you could technically call all those tourists "bandwagoners," but that wouldn't really be fair. However, in New York City, it's a different story. Here, you wear a cap because you're a FAN. Every day I walk or ride the distance from 39th St. to 20th St., both ways. Sometimes I go the opposite direction, from 20th St. downtown to WTC. That's the way I've been going this week. And every day I count from 5 to 7 Mets logos and from 3 to 5 Red Sox logos. These numbers remain perfectly constant from day to day.

However, the count of Yankee caps (jackets, t-shirts, etc.) is WILDLY volatile. If the Yankees are losing (like 2 weeks ago), I'll count fewer Yankees logos than either Mets or Sox. However, if the Yankees are winning (like now), I'll count anywhere from 10 to 20. SUP WID DAT? That's just not right. During the post-season in '03 and '04, the Yankee bandwagoners were changing their clothes faster than Superman in a phone booth.

I had a former boss - extremely successful - who was one of these guys that was so egotistical that it was comical. When we talked about sports, he was very knowledgeable. But when you asked him who he rooted for, the answer was simple - "Evan, I root for dynasties." His teams were the Yankees, the Bulls, and, eventually, the Patriots. I remember clearly when Michael Jordan left the Bulls, he switched overnight. And I quote: "Evan, this year I think I'll root for the Lakers."

The Yankees are sooo big that they have lots of fans just like that. And many of them are right here in the Yankees back yard.

Egregious Red Sox Tale

Red Sox bandwagoning is a relatively new phenomenon, as you might imagine. As you probably guessed, not too many people were eager to bandwagon since '86. But since Oct 28, 2004 I have had more people tell me they are long-suffering Red Sox fans than have said that to me during the rest of my ENTIRE LIFE. That's just not right either, people. IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT! Every idiot knows who Bucky Dent is. But if you can't tell me who Bernie Carbo is, DON'T TALK TO ME!! I'm going to have to start giving quizzes to these morons. Here's a tale:

Since the World Series, I've had people from 4 different Boston-based companies come in and meet with me here in NYC. Three of them were PR firms. Folks, I have been involved in PR as a reporter, editor, and communications exec for more than 20 years. For at least 5 of those years I was based in Boston. NOT ONCE did a meeting with a PR firm ever start with a discussion of the Red Sox. Nor did a meeting ever FINISH with a discussion of the Red Sox.


Not one meeting. Not two or three meetings. But ALL FOUR MEETINGS. And I don't have to tell you what they said. You already know what they said. Bandwagoners in the back yard.

As El Tiante would say, "Ai caramba."


Blogger Gavriel said...

Nothing wrong with rooting for the Lakers. Nothing wrong with a bandwagon, as long as you strap yourself in and stay for the whole ride. I've been a Laker band wagoner for 25 years now, it's not so bad. Of course, this year we hit a little bump in the road but we'll be back.

And as a former Milwaukee Brewer's fan (former because I just can't bring myself to follow baseball at all anymore), I have to say that I hope the Yankees and Red Sox rot in hell together. [My baseball affiliations are frozen in time, about 20 years ago.]

Nice post.

8:17 AM  

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