Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"The Enemy is Us."

So the one thing about the Herald's latest Anti-Patriot atrocity that bugged me the most is the recent trend that seems to be popping up more and more frequently among the Three Horsemen of Boston's Sports Media (the Herald - plague, WEEI- war, and the Globe - boredom) is the concept that Boston sports fans are idiots. While listening to WEEI would give you that impression, I would counter than most Boston fans are normal people with normal lives who have jobs and families to worry about. These people aren't obsessed, but they do like Boston sports teams. For some reason, the general perception of sports fans in Boston are obsessive twits in multi-colored Red Sox hats who have plastered their mom's basement with "Yankees Suck" paraphernalia and couldn't find the letter "R" if you branded it on their forehead. I have yet to meet one person like that who wasn't a character in an awful Jimmy Fallon movie. ESPN latched onto this image for dear life when the Red Sox dared to win another World Series. We make great villains.

Yet, this bizarre characterization didn't start nationally. It started when Glenn Ordway began to refer to Big Show listeners as guys calling from their parent's basement. It then transfered to Pete Sheppard referring to people he didn't agree with as "turds" or "burger flippers", Ted Serandis screaming "I'm only human!", DeOssie and Smerlas practically challenging people to fights, and the utter disdain Dennis and Callahan have for everyone in creation. Soon, WEEI became a bizarre spectacle of a group of hosts who acted like they didn't like sports fans - or in some cases, even sports themselves. It reminded me of those Guns and Roses concerts where Axl would insult the audience and then stomp off. The difference was, this was happening daily.

Now we have four incidents in the past year where the Boston Herald tried their best to antagonize Patriots fans: the blatant New York Post rip off that was "Bellicheat", the sourceless Tomase article, the aforementioned Tony Massarotti abomination and the recent mind vomit from the Pink Hamster - who isn't even a sport columnist. Why would the Herald - which isn't exactly rolling in dough - going out of their way to anger Boston sports fans? It doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when none of these stories had a thing to do with "facts".

I'm starting to get the impression that with all the movement in the print media, a lot of people are trying to get "promoted" to other markets or end up at ESPN. What better way to impress the brass in Bristol than trashing the new Satan of American sports, the Boston sports fan?

The point isn't that Boston sports fans are wonderful and great at everything. We're not: a recent caller on WEEI didn't know that games in the AFC East counted as much as games outside the division and I have a bad feeling he wasn't alone. The point is that you can't trash your audience forever and get away. Or at least you shouldn't be able to.

One of these days, someone will kindly explain to me when we stopped being customers and started to be the enemy. And the better question is, why do we tolerate it?

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