Carry On, Bandwagon Fans, Carry On
The Heart of the City
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 22:10
“Tom, this is crazy,” my mother whispered as my brothers and I piled into my parents’ bed.
“No,” my dad answered, “this is history.”
Around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2004 my dad came into my room and shook me awake. He was determined that my brothers and I would see a Red Sox World Series victory for the first time in 86 years. By rousing me that cool fall evening, my dad ensured that I would forever own a little piece of one of Boston’s most historic sports moments.
With the promise of another Red Sox and Cardinals matchup in the World Series, the drama with the Patriots game against the Jets and the Bruins winning against the Lightning, this past weekend was filled with emotion for the Boston sports fan.
Disclaimer: I am not a true, diehard sports fan, nor do I claim to be. All I can tell you about the Patriots is that Tom Brady is our quarterback and that victory parades are a lot of fun.
I have varying knowledge on our other three teams that comes strictly from osmosis of being around my dad, brothers, and friends.
That being said, I love Boston sports. Trust me, I see the contradiction in claiming Fenway to be one of my favorite spots in the city and not fully understanding the intricacies of baseball. I do not, however, think this means I cannot be a fan.
The spirit of Boston sports is what makes them so enticing. We are lucky enough to belong to a city with some of the most committed sports fans in the country. The fans of each respective team have their own unique personality but they are all united in the fact that they attract everyone from the polished Back Bay businessman to the bearded, Bud Light-drinking, body shop employee.
Every few autumns, when we are lucky enough to see the Red Sox make the playoffs, the energy that swells around Boston sports unifies the city’s competitive joy. It becomes the best kind of year, because we not only have the normal anticipation that comes with that beginning of the Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics seasons, but the added hope for one of those World Series titles we were denied for so long.
There is an added satisfaction of knowing our Red Sox have hung on long enough that Italian ice has been swapped for hot chocolate in Fenway.
Our pride for individual teams blends together and we relish in the fact that it is socially acceptable to wear a Red Sox shirt to a game in the Garden.
Of course, right around playoff time, bandwagon fans begin cropping up by the dozens, myself included. People will begrudgingly comment that they’ve been following since the beginning and how they’re the ones who have suffered the heartbreak. I understand the frustration of the diehards, however I also believe that at the end of the day sports are about entertainment and when a team is doing well people are naturally more inclined to watch. Part of why playoffs and championships are so fun is the extra buzz that arrives after the regular season ends.
Yesterday, I proudly donned my once-pink (now rather faded and worn) Sox hat. I think my hat embodies my attitude toward Boston sports teams in general.
Yes, it is pink, a mark of my lack of true commitment to the team in the eyes of a diehard fan.
Yet, it is stained and weathered just like all the best Red Sox hats are. I wear it with just as much pride as any other fan, not only showing a love for my city’s teams but a love of my city itself.
Go ahead, call me a bandwagon fan. I don’t mind—the ride is still just as fun.