With all due respect to Roberta D. Miller [“How about those Sox?” Oct. 25], I don’t feel that perseverance, hard work, commitment or being “true champions” brought about the Red Sox’ win, as much as their unfairly high payroll advantage. The numbers don’t lie and while a three-times higher payroll does not guarantee success, and didn’t for the Yankees, it certainly represents a formidable head start.
Allow me to thusly state some grievances felt by my non-Red Sox Nation friends and I:
We liked the ’67 Sox, but are disgusted with what the game, like the music industry (barring the Pearl Jams and Radioheads) has devolved to. We abhor the worship of Big Money and idols. We’re sick of reading and hearing about these managers and players like they created the Heavens and the Earth (we laugh at “player loyalty” when these idols quickly jump ship for more millions to “rival” teams).
We understand that the team with the best players money can buy is usually the one that wins — ably demonstrated by the $143 million Red Sox vs. the $54 million Colorado payroll.
We believe that the environment, health care, education, global genocide and so many other problems could really benefit from the time, energy and money expended by these fans who likely haven’t played the game themselves in decades. The nationwide image is of them swearing drunkenly about the Yankees in front of kids, littering, decked out with $900 worth of Red Sox clothing, $700 tickets and $10 junky sausages, their cars parked at $50 lots.
We deplore that children are growing up believing that only Number One matters, and Two or Three are shameful. This is highly destructive to their future self-esteem and character development.
We feel that teachers, social workers, pediatric nurses, community organizers and first responders should get the millions. We love being in other states where there is not a Red Sox cap to be seen.
Who beats who means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and this massive time, energy, idol-worship and monetary expenditure does not contribute an iota to the fragile and increasingly finite world we live in.
With regard to Roberta Miller’s admonition that Boston is quite a city because of the three teams she cites, I would respond that obviously, the nonchampionship Bruins mean little (and as I recall, it wasn’t too long ago that they had to reduce seats to $10 for Celtics games to get anyone to go), and thus once again, only winning matters.
Leaving aside the question of what kind of message that is to instill in children in this sports-obsessed city, I would like to throw out that the day after the parade, 20 people would have been a large turnout at Olympic sponsor Boston Volkswagen for a worldwide Darfur protest. Entertainment? I guess. But in moderation. Not so Boston, where spectator sports is the bane of existence for too many. Our priorities are skewed, and while Bostonians continue to idol-worship these teams to the point where it has replaced religion, the world’s ever-escalating problems are far worse off for all that time and funding that go elsewhere.
By Frank Levine
Thursday, June 19, 2008 -
As I hear the inevitable shrieking and the screeching of tires outside, I can’t help but recall that it was not long ago when the Celtics [team stats] were selling $10 tickets. I guess everybody loves a winner, and I guess only a winner, but is this only-winning-counts a good message for our children? These fans may worship the Celtics now, but they’re also fair weather.
To me, they are teenagers their whole lives, and I’m glad I’m not bitten by this bug. I have more important things to do, and more interesting hobbies than spending half my life and money as a spectator. I have no hope that all these hordes will read the rest of the newspaper, work to save the environment or even praise those who guard our safety or who work to improve education and health care.
With the way our priorities are going, we’ll all be losers.
- Frank Levine, Malden
And you grant valuable Letters page space to Mark Pogorzelski's July 3 inane, rambling rant about the roots of his fandom, the numbers he inscribes on his car with which he tests others' devotion over (a bumper sticker that says "Get a Life" comes to mind as a better option), with a teenager-level comment about 50-year-old fat guys in Red Sox T-shirts (I guess Pogorzelski doesn't grasp that most sports fans are idle spectators).
"Names" (and too-occasional front-page) celebrity and sports idol-worship are insufferable enough, but now you grant precious space to disputes over hat colors, not knowing intricate statistics, and ageism and body shapes.
Will it take anything short of a crushing energy, environmental and humanitarian crisis for these bozos to realize life is not overwhelmingly about juvenile entertainment and idol worship?
I can appreciate the fact that Bostonians have no real identity outside of their connection with the Red Sox. It's bad enough that you can't go anywhere in the region without having to listen to or watch the game whenever it's on.
But as shocking as it may seem, there are lots of people here who couldn't care less about the Red Sox. So, please, enough is enough: No more cloying stories about supposedly precious children blurting out insipid things like "Go Sox" or "Youk!" Every week in "Tales From the City," you print at least one story about some child who says something cute about the Sox or some player. No more! There have to be other things going on in this city that have nothing to do with baseball.