The Red Sox clinched the 2013 World Series title last week in Boston, and an entire city collectively rejoiced.
The rest of the country collectively rolled their eyes.
As another classic October unfolded in the baseball universe, I was reminded of something I had known for years: I loathe Red Sox Nation.
Once upon a time, to be a Red Sox fan was a punishment. BoSox fans were scarred, bruised and battered. They had been close to a coveted World Series title before, only to come up short over and over again.
That’s why 2004 was so sweet.
The Red Sox had been in the shadow, and throttle, of the New York Yankees for decades. Sox fans hated them for their dominance and longed for their brand of success. When they finally upended the Yankees in the ALCS and then won the World Series, it ended a 96-year championship drought for the Sox.
I enjoyed seeing die hard New Englanders – like my high school Econ teacher Mr. Lantagne – relieved of decades of embarrassment and torment.
So, what happened? Shouldn’t I be happy for these guys?
Let’s jump back to present day. I conducted a personal survey during the Fall Classic this year. I asked sports fans and casual sports observers alike how they felt about the Red Sox-Cardinals matchup.
Obviously, Sox and Cards fans were excited, but the consensus from a majority of those informally polled was most telling:
“I don’t care who wins, I just don’t want to hear about it from the Boston fans.”
Just ten years removed from receiving the pity of the entire country, Red Sox Nation has become the most annoying fan base in sports.
I blame the bandwagon jumpers. The deep-rooted BoSox fan doesn’t bother me; it’s the fringe fan that jumped on in 2004 that I despise.
I blame Bill Simmons. The original Boston sports guy made it cool to root for the loser and then everyone else started doing it.
I’m aware that I’m jealous. If it was my team winning, I’m sure I’d be singing a different tune. Equal parts disdain and jealousy coupled with annoyance and cockiness appears to be the recipe for my distaste.
But take heed Red Sox Nation. Understand how the rest of us feel. If you’re not careful, you will quickly become everything you once hated.