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Pretty in Pink

Bill:
OK, so all this talk how the Devil Rays are actually a "really good 'bad' team" is supposed to make me feel bettah or something at dropping anothah?

 

Doug:
Yeah, it doesn't give me a high level of confidence in the outcome of the games where the Sox play a really good great team, you know.

 

Bill:
Totally. I mean it's the same kind of confidence I get when NASA officials say they have "no concern" over falling foam at liftoff.

 

Doug:
Those NASA spokespeople are cut from the same cloth as the always calm managers like Francona: "The foam which can come off has come off." Okey dokey then, move along, people, nothing to see here.

 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the office …

Mike:
I'm not at all surprised to read that Red Sox fans are made up of equal parts men and women.

 

Susan/Circle:
And why should you be? I mean your mothah was a Red Sox fan, my mothah was a Red Sox fan, and our mothahs' mothahs were Sox fans …

 

Mike:
Yeah, they just didn't wear pink caps and jerseys in those days.

 

Susan/Circle:
Well, that or they just didn't think to market to women back in the day. You know, I've sort of learned to accept the pink hat crowd.

 

Mike:
What?! You of the "loathe the casual fan bitches" pronouncements? Get the fuck out.

 

Susan/Circle:
Yeah, yeah, I'm lahge and contain multitudes and all that.

 

Mike:
So you're telling me that you're not miffed by all the Johnny and Janie come-lately been a fan only since Octobah 2004 types?

 

Susan/Circle:
Ah, jeez, we all need to get over this fetish with past. I mean according to the past, no team could evahcome back from an 0-3 deficit in the playoffs and yet … Know what I'm saying?

 

Mike:
Yeah but that miraculous comeback from 0 and 3 couldn't really be appreciated by someone who wasn't there for all the other hahtaches, all the other times the Red Sox were jacked by fate.

 

Susan/Circle:
Look, all I evah heah is how the Red Sox are like a religion. Well, you think if someone walks into St. Marks and says they want to convert that the priest is going to be all, "Well, dude, where the fuck were you when we were getting thrown to the lions?" C'mon.

 

Mike:
Yeah, well, I'm still not willing to accept the pink hats. I mean to continue your metaphor, it'd be like if after getting welcomed into the church your dude went up and said, "Yo, Padre, I'm like totally not digging the consistency of that host thingy in my mouth, so when I come forward for communion, I want you to use a LifeSavah instead, M-kay?"

 

Mike:
You just can't fuck with the symbols and rituals all willy nilly.

 

Susan/Circle:
Good point except that the pink apparel is officially sanctioned by MLB and the Red Sox, so if the Red Sox don't have a problem with it, why should I?

 

Mike:
Grrrrrrr …

 

Comments

Nice format, h.b., I really appreciate the multiple story line motif. Looks like Mike is blinded by science...er, logic. I actually agree with Cirle's logic. While not totally applicable, here in western Mass we have the Shaker village to remind us of a religion that died out for lack of new followers. RSN is a big tent...room for all.

Okay, the pink hat controversy finally spurred me to comment, after reading for years.
Loathe the pink hats. LOATHE. (The garments, not necessarily the people wearing them.) Here's the deal: You root for a team, you wear their team colors. It's like being in a gang, except for the lack of drive bys and such. (And when the Yankees are in town, well all bets are off.)
I kid, but still, my daughter is being taught to view the pink apparel with fear and loathing. As she should.

Personally, I like women, but the pink hat thing is a sign of creeping bandwagonism. As Patrice O'Neal says, don't give them control; be willing to walk the fuck away. Too late for me to say that about the Sawhx, but I am whaling away at the pinksmopolitans.

Anyone who says that the Red Sox are not about the past (I know, it's only a character in a creepy strip) does not get it.

Thanks for listening, and welcome back, h.b.

My 13 year old daughter is currently painting her bedroom the official Red Sox colors. Her first real interest in the Sox started in April (not October) of 2004. She's hooked for life. Oh yeah...she can't stand the pink motif.

Men cry at moments like this.

Uh, Tessie? I think Logan needs to be burped.:)

Welcome back, hb. Great strip...

I just can't get exercised about the pink hat thing, frankly (perhaps because I have a light blue one?). I mean, we laud the Cowboys for not falling into the perfectly coiffed, corporate-looking Yankees mold, and rejoice in their wearing their pants baggy, their hair long, and expressing themselves as they see fit. I think these colored hats are a personal expression of a diverse Nation... The wearers are sporting the unfaltering logo in their own fashion (as I assume we are using "pink" as an umbrella under which also falls light blue, camouflage, certain whites, etc). As FoT said, it's a big tent, and like our boys, you can wear what you want.

I don't know what you mean by "creeping" bandwagonism. RSN is rife with bandwagoneers, and has been for donkey's years.

Rather than be concerned over the Johnny-come-latelies, it's the Franky-fair-weathers that should rouse the most bile. I like the religious metaphor/convert dealio. It's the guy who was like, "Whoa, yeah. Um, Jupiter rules! Don't know what I was thinking with that Jesus fellah. Could you feed Brian to the lions instead? Yeah? Sweet. Hail Caesar!" only to come back with Constantine and be like "Oh, yeah. I've been with Jesus since back in the day, you know? Remember when they fed Brian to the lions? I was right there, dude. I mean, right there." Franky is definitely your enemy.

Didn't the Shakers die out because they relied 100% on converts? For some reason, I thought they were against procreation of any sort. Not a good formula for continuance.

If pink merchandise is what it takes to get more women to the ballpark, I'm all for it ;)

It's a basic fact of American sports that successful teams will have a large bandwagon following. I'll still take our situation over that of my son, who is a Marlins fan. At least the Sox are trying to win, trying to appeal to their fans.

I completely agree with hating pink with one exception - I recently converted a nine year old from an all Yank family. To seal the deal I took her to her first Fenway game and got her up on the monster. All she wanted was a pink jersey to remember the day forever. I hesitated but then rationalized that I'd much rather see her in pink Sox gear than Yank gear for the rest of her life. But I told her at 16 she outgrows the pink and starts buying team colors or else! And by the way, her family is completely devastated which makes the whole incident that much sweeter!

I grew up South of Albany, New York and went to Shea to see the Mets every year, many times. I sat near my transistor radio concentrating on a fuzzy broadcast of Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy many times. In 1986 I was a diehard Mets fan. Moved from home and end up living in New England. I am now a rabid Sox fan but am also well aware that I don't have the same kind of, um...what is it?...credibility, maybe.

Somehow my being a Sox fan seems to have an asterisk next to it. In the moment it doesn't feel less worthy to me, but I have a feeling that my buddies who grew up in Natick and Walpole see it differently.

BTW-given our World Cup discussion of a couple of weeks ago, the game between Italy and Germany yesterday was incredible...and the refs let them play.

Just sayin'...

//To seal the deal I took her to her first Fenway game and got her up on the monster.//

Phew, glad that was written by a female, and not Uncle Creepy.

So vermonter...you're a carpetbagger. I guess you can't fight your gut, and if you feel the lift when the Sox win and the punch when they lose, then what can you do? But you're right to feel a little ashamed. What happened to your love for the Amazin's?

I always feel like I need to duck and cover when the pink hat conversation comes up. I didn't move to the East Coast until I was 13, after I'd been raised a Tigers' fan. Now, I watch or listen to just about every single game, unlike a lot of the 'born into it's I run into who couldn't even tell you who's actually ON the team aside from Ortiz and Ramirez, I have exactly one hat and it's blue and red.

But I still wasn't a fan until the late 90's. And while my love, respect, and interest in the Sox remains true, I find myself feeling very seperated from a lot of the fans that throw 'new' fans under the bus with the casual/fair weather fans mentioned above.

Dave S.- The thing that I'm not ashamed of is the process and my intentions. I didn't arrive in my new neighborhood wearing the Sox colors and hoping to be accepted by Sox fans, passing myself off as a life-long fan. It happened organically. For a few years I didn't really follow baseball because I was a man without a team. The Mets were many miles away and I just wasn't interested in the game for a while. Then the Sox began to seep into me. Friends talked them, I started watching a few games, it happened slowly.

I would never claim to have the same connection to the Sox as my aforementioned pals, or most of you, their beating hearts were pulled from their chests...I know this...but I am always up front about this and I am clear that my strong and daily following of the Sox started well before '04.

A carpetbagger needs somewhere to hang his hat.

I think about the Mets like I would an old girlfriend. I have a soft spot in my heart for them, loved much of what they did for me, but life goes on.

"Well, you think if someone walks into St. Marks and says they want to convert that the priest is going to be all, "Well, dude, where the fuck were you when we were getting thrown to the lions?""

Best. Line. Evah.

I'm just busting your balls a little, Vermonter. I'm not even a Red Sox fan. I'm a Yankee fan who grew up in Delmar, NY...my dad's from Staten Island, and I've lived in New York for the last 11 years. So the chances of any seismic shift on my part are pretty slim. Now, if I could CHOOSE what team I loved, I probably wouldn't choose the Yankees. I wouldn't choose the Sox, either, for that matter. Personally, I think that fans of both teams are a bunch of assholes. Lovable, knowledgable, engines of this great game, yes. But assholes too, the lot of us. Yet my gut is my gut, and choice isn't part of fandom for a lot of people, RSN and Yankeedom included.

I'm speaking on the general nature of fandom, which is why I started off by saying that if you feel your teams' wins and losses in your gut, then that's your team. I totally appreciate the organic shift you experienced; I'd even say it's probably healthy if it happened to you in your formative years, say your teens, or even during college (that last bit, a stretch).

Anyway, if becoming a Sox fan got you back into baseball, then it certainly is a great thing. Just being a fan of the game is the best, whatever avenue by which you arrive.

Growing up, I had many different RS hat styles and colors, and right now I mostly wear a khaki hat cuz its cooler and my blue one is beat to hell. I got my wife and daughters pink hats cuz their more likely to wear 'em. Im just glad to see anybody wearing a sox hat when I go places in CA. I saw 6 different sox hats at six flags norcal Monday.
I cant beleive nobody mentioned the 19-1 drubbing the Tribe handed the MFY yesterday, made me all warm and fuzzy inside...

Vermonter:

I'm right there with you, and on about the same timeline. Born and raised in Stamford CT, Mets fan from 1964. Moved to Boston for college and over time the loyalties changed. Now I'm commuting to NYC every week from Hopkinton, MA and finding myself caught back up in the Mets again. But make no mistake - when the Sox and Mets played a couple weeks back, my money was on the Sox. (Really. Won some nice office bets with the local Mets fans). And when I was watching the games, my gut was with the Sox. And should they meet again in October, I'm RS all the way.

louclinton, Patrice O'Neal is very funny: I lamented the passing of the Colin Quinn's "Tough Crowd" on Comedy Central, where O'Neal was a frequent guest.

Clement shut down...Does anyone notice the irony of the Pavano-Clement BOS/NYY showdown of 2 years ago, and what a fucking waste of time it was for both teams?

Well, I guess I think that to be a "real" Red Sox fan, you have to have had your heart ripped out of your chest at least once. So if you've been a fan since before Aaron Frigging Boone did his little number, I consider you a "real" fan. Anything after that, and you'll still have to undergo some horrible, mind-blowing Sox disaster. Here's hoping it never happens. But, uh, it will. Ask Yankee fans about that. It happens eventually to every team.

We did a survey recently and the breakdown of men to women purchasers/visitors has been nearly 50/50 since end of 2005. As recent as 2003 guys outnumbered the ladies almost 2 to 1.

One word about pink, NEVER! We do get requests all the time but our no pink policy is iron-clad.

Hell, Bob, I remember plenty of Yankee heart-rips. Sox fans may think that 2004 was the first great choke of the Yankees, but you'd be wise to hearken back to the '95 ALDS, with Donnie Baseball doing everything but pitching, and the Mariners still coming back from being down 0-2 in a five game set, and then busting out this game:

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B10080SEA1995.htm

You may remember this being a series-ending extra-inning comeback win, all with the one Yankee worth truly loving having his first real playoff hopes dashed despite batting .414/.470/.708.

You also might remember 2001, with the Yanks storming back from an 0-2 hole and taking three games at the Stadium, before Rivera misplayed a bunt, Gonzalez choked up on his bat, and a bloop single won the D-Backs their first WS.

I'm all for new fans coming to the Red Sox bandwagon, that's great. I'm not for the pink hats, because it's quite obvious the wearers are more interested in matching the hat to their outfits than showing their love for the Sox. That says to me that, were it not for pink hats and jerseys (I've seen these, beleemee), these chicks would not be expressing their red sox love at all. That says to me they aren't very big fans of the Sox. I keep seeing the chicks in 41 walking up the aisle with the jersey they just bought wide open to show off the half-shirt, cheap navel ring and fake bake to all the guys in the stands. It's quite obvious they intend to take the shirt off in about three hours, bunch it up at the bottom of their bag and go clubbin'. So I don't really see them as Sox fans, but hangers-on. As if to say, Sox tickets are hard to come by, everyone's a Sox fan, so I'm going to go to Sox games, chat on my cell phone and not pay attention to the game. And that's what really burns me, knowing wankers are in our ballpark cheering only because they see everyone else doing it, and meanwhile some poor die-hard has to sit in Game On or the Cask (if he can't get in there, even) and watch the game on TV.

I totally wouldn't throw a new fan under the bus, because we all were too at one point. But I wonder if they're just along for the ride.

the thing i hate about pink hats is that they clearly denote the female fan, make her stand out in a crowd, make her something "other". they imply, intentionally or not, that the female fan needs to be marketed to, addressed and treated differently by a major league sports franchise than the male fan. it solidifies the female fan as the "new" fan, and a secondary fan at that, since she's apparently too fashion-conscious to actually wear the team colors.

know what i hate the MOST? when i show up to the ballpark in a replica jersey and a red hat, you know, in the official actual uniform colors, and all the pinkhats in their pink varitek baby-doll tees look at me like, "dyke."

but that seems to be more of a feminist / general sports fan issue since the sox are far from the only team to have pink / pastel gear marketed to women. as far as "you have to have been a fan since..." to be considered "genuine" i say fuck that. and i totally agree with the christian converts / lion analogy.

dave, I certainly remember that Mariners series (I was in the old Foxboro Stadium parking lot after a Pats game watching someone's TV as the Mariners' scored the clinching run.

The thing is, that was a DIVISIONAL series. painful, yes. But hardly as nasty as a League Championship or World Series gut-buster.

As for the D-Backs win, well, yeah, that must have hurt, especially after those amazing comebacks. But remember, you already had some recent W.S. titles under yur belts.

I guess the Pirates W.S. win over the Yanks in, what, '60, must have been horrible for you guys, but I wasn't alive yet. :)

I was thinking similarly to Beth regarding how pink suggests women fan are somehow "different." Reading the Globe article when the girl (she was only 16 I think) said she likes the pink specifically for that reason (i.e., "it represents the female fan") gave me pause.

I also wonder if the pink thing isn't a way for some women to just feel more comfortable wading into the sports apparel realm.

Of course, I'm not really the best person to address the issue because, personally, I don't like to wear to much of that stuff. I'll wear my Red Seat or Kintee stuff around the house and to the gym, but I rarely wear it otherwise.

I don't own any of the "official" merchandise, and I'd never wear an official jersey. That is NOT to cast any sort of aspersion on those that do, it's just not my style.

Here's a question: How is the pink stuff different from the green/Irish branding the Sox put out?

Do the MFY have pink hats? Just askin'

Excellent question, h.b.!

Is the green different than the pink? Perhaps the green is easier to take because the Irish/green represents one thing while the pink another.

Happy late 4th of July. In that vein, "This land is your land, this land is my land..." and that applies to old and new Red Sox fans. No one has control over when and where they were born. I grew up in the Philadelphia area and am still loyal to the hapless Phillies, but have adopted the Red Sox as my AL team just as I have adopted Boston as my home. I made the decision to go to college and settle here at the age of 16. I am also a lady, and have been a general baseball fan for a very, very long time. So, after about 3 years in New England, I extensively studied the history of the franchise and made sure I brought a scorecard to Fenway just as my father brought his to the Vet. As for the pink hats; we have come a long way if that is our greatest complaint. There are many different colored hats for all teams now, and freedom of expression should not spoil our summer and our enjoyment of our 50-31 team. Of course, people should show manners at games, and that applies to both genders. It is rude to chat on a cell phone, get up during the middle of an at-bat (barring a Mother Nature-related emergency) and otherwise disctract and annoy other spectators.

The contention that the Sox need to "market" certain products to attract women bothers me in its implication that women bide their time spending money. I don't personally care for clothes or shoe shopping myself, but, to each his/her own.

On behalf of levelheaded women fans and "new" citizens of the Nation, I say, let's focus on more important matters-like figuring out how to beat non-NL teams on the road.

"Here's a question: How is the pink stuff different from the green/Irish branding the Sox put out? "

exactly... i've seen the green, shamrocked sox hats, white sox hats and a number of terrible MLB hats (the black leather Yanks hats come to mind)yet these seem to be viewed differntly than the pink gear...

Huh. I'd thought that the various green Red Sox articles were tied to the Monster, or the general green-ness of the Fenway experience.

All good points, Bob. Keep in mind the context of the '95 ALDS, though. There had been, by Yankee standards, a huge drought. I was 22, so my previous Yankee WS wins were hazy, sort of memory/legendary. Don Mattingly was at the end of his career, the one star of an otherwise forgettable decade of Yankee flotsam and jetsam, and we all knew, this was his one big chance. Plus, the Yanks were up 2 games to none. They were up in the LAST game. In extra innings, no less. Does Dents home run mean any less pain because it was "only" a regular season playoff game?

2001, despite coming after a glut of wins, did come pretty much directly after 9/11. While I hate the politicizing that's surrounded that event, at the time, NYC was pretty nervous and raw, and the Yanks' incredible home sweep during the WS was really ridiculous. I was at the game when Tino tied it up off of Kim with a two-run shot, and I have simply NEVER seen the Stadium like it was at that point. The catharsis of that moment was really major for the city.

But your points are good...it's pretty hard to get into it with a Sox fan for heartbreak/cruel fate moments. ;) I was just pointing out that the collosal failure of the 2004 Yanks to close out the Sox wasn't the first time as a Yankee fan that I had my dick knocked in the dirt.

The green is a little different than the pink. It has been worn by the players, at least. I still told my friend not to get green when we recently purchased jerseys this year. He ended up with red and I took white.

Loathe the pink...

The uniform is a symbol and you don't think the following is appropriate, right?


http://magictolaughby.tripod.com/rchalrescircle2.jpg

The "worn by the players" argument is a good one, but I take the opposite tack on this one: I don't want to wear anything that is actually worn by the players because I am NOT a player. Those guys work their asses off and/or have a degree of talent that I don't have so I feel it kind of devalues the symbolism to wear the official gear, i.e., they earned it, I didn't.

Again, that's just my own personal take and I don't begrudge others for wanting to deck themselves out like Manny or Tek or whomever.

True, the green is worn by the players, once a year in a meaningless spring training game. It think that's no excuse to abandon the "colors", although to be honest, I like the look better than pink. I also like the blue/faded blue hats, even though the team doesn't wear those.

For you old timers, you will remember the painter's hats that MFY (that's mofo Yawkey) used to hand out in the seventies. Mine has DEWEY, PUDGE, STANLEY, JIM, DRAGON (Dick Drago), YAZ and maybe a couple of others on it (I'll look at it again tonight). I used to wear it to opening Day every day, but it sustained some critical structural damage shortly after THE BALL WENT THROUGH HIS LEGS in October '86. It rested in my drawer until October 2003, when it was brought out for karma. Ok, that didn't work out, but it made a reappearance in October 2004. I wore it proudly upon the WS win that night and again the next day.

That's a goddamn fan hat, let me tell you.

lc

If anyone gives a crap, France just beat Portugal 1-0 (goal was on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute).

I like a few things about the pink/pastel fad that is sweeping female sports fans. One, 95% of the games I attend are in Oakland & yes I am an A's fan til the Sawx are in town. The west coast gets pretty hot & during the day games, wearing a dark green cap & jersey's just makes me hotter. & sweaty ladies are rarely happy ladies. On those hot days I usually wear the white jersey of whoever's throwing that day with one of the pastel tanks underneath & matching cap for when I get too warm.

Two, ladies love our shoes (& purses, & any other accessory that we just happen to need to take to the ballpark for whatever reason)… If we want to wear our favorite shoes cause we feel comfortable & confident in them, but they just happen to clash with the team colors, there’s a good chance we’ll have to either shop for hours trying to find them in a more suitable shade, or change outfits four times till we give up & wear sneakers. There’s simply too much of a chance that we’ll spend way too much time contemplating this. I have some girly-girl sisters & friends & I’ve witnessed this to almost no end. The pastels give us the option of wearing nearly normal outfits while still giving us a sense of team pride.

Three, jerseys on the whole are made for guys. Almost all ladies look silly in even the one’s made for women, unless they’re unbuttoned & they’re naked underneath holding a 6-pack. But jerseys are still the coolest, most expensive part of the stadium experience out there. When girls realize that part of the experience doesn’t work for them, it’s nice to have the baby tee’s & pastel visors, that we know how to wear, available.

& as for Boston marketing the green jerseys & that being cool because the players wear them... Didn't quite a few of the teams wear pink jerseys, or pink ribbons for that big Breast Cancer Awareness push on Mother's Day? I really respect the way they've grasped the pink trend & made it about breast cancer. It really impressed me & I was happy to fork over the cash for yet another pink hat. (Yes I have 3, plus 1 baby blue & one lavender.)

Whatever you may be into, someone out there is going to market items just for you. As long as you're not buying the pastel stuff from the dude on the street after the game for $5, I say do what you like in your own way. I just think it's about supporting the team, financially, fashionably & confidently.

The Sox just won, what 11 in a row (12?) and you're concerned about losing to John Madden and the Raiders-I mean, Joe Maddon and the D-Rays? Man, you guys make Phillies fans look calm and contented.

John,

From reading the comments thread it seems we're far more focused on debating the merits of pink when combined with Red Sox branding than we are the D-Rays.

But I guess if the reality doesn't match the preconceptions, just force it to. :)

Quote: Here's a question: How is the pink stuff different from the green/Irish branding the Sox put out?

I see the difference as the green being about being proud of your heritage, while still being a Sox fan. It doesn't imply that you aren't knowldgeable, only that you are Irish.

The pink, however, sends the message that Beth brought up:

"it solidifies the female fan as the "new" fan, and a secondary fan at that, since she's apparently too fashion-conscious to actually wear the team colors."

I think that if I, as a long time fan who follows the game closely, were to wear a pink hat to a game, most anything I said would be automatically dismissed or taken more lightly b/c of the hat.

The pink gear has helped bring my 4yr old daughter on board. The pink hat has gotten my wife to support something she could have cared less about, being the daughter of a MFY's fan. Now they both watch the games and ask questions. Kum-bay-ya! Don't drive angry.

well

here in astroland, FORTUNATELY thee ain't real too many pink wearers. females at the game are wearing stros tshirts or real stros colors. my mama and her friends won't wear pink neither.

i will wear pink the day the players do.

and i was sitting near this guy who got his little grrrl a pink cap and she sez
nooooooo daddy
i want a REAL one

agree with beth that it make us seem "different" like we worrying bout what shoes should we wear with the jersey.

far back as i can remember (ok, the late 80s for me) at LEAST 1/3 people in the stands were female. when i see games of other teams on tv, looks like most of the people in the stands are not.

lisa

Hey....please answer this question to sandymac@sccoast.net...a transplanted
BoSox fan...don't get much redSox news here in southcarolina...please respond... WHY do the REDSOX occasionally (mostly at home) wear RED JERSEY'S?????

Some people just LOVE pink and LOVE the Red Sox.

Geez. It's not the color of our clothes or accessories but the faith in our team that matters.

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