Saturday, May 05, 2007

This is news?

Ah, the Boston media does it again. For the last several days, the city has responded in outrage and horror after the publication of one shocking & disturbing photo.
Yes, close your eyes. Patriots’ Quarterback Tom Brady is strolling the streets of Manhattan with his Brazilian supermodel girlfriend…wearing a Yankees hat.
The last time I checked, Tom Brady played for the Patriots. A football team. Football & baseball are two different sports played in two different seasons. But the city is reeling in horror because Tom Brady is not wearing a Red Sox hat.

I remember the last time a picture like this emerged, back during the 2004 playoffs. Seems one of the Northern California-bred Brady’s good friends from his NCAA days in Michigan plays for the boys in pinstripes. That bastion of journalistic excellence, the Boston Herald, warned Brady that one should not wear a Yankees during “high season” in these parts.

Over two years later, he’s done it again. Who the hell cares? I certainly don’t — and I don’t even like Tom Brady. We’re the same age, Brady and I, and while I can admit he is attractive in that All-American quarterback kind of way, every time I look at him, I am taken back to the mid-90s. He’s the kind of hot football star in your AP History class who you might have a pleasant if tipsy five-minute conversation with at some parents-are-out-of-town party because you’re sharing a joint with his not-going-to-play-collegiate-sports, weed-smoking buddies. And for those pleasant if tipsy five minutes, you briefly entertain the thought of going on a date with this guy, riding with the windows down in his slightly-used GMC Jimmy as Blues Traveler plays on the car stereo. But then you snap back to reality because you know the teenage caste system was pre-determined by the second week of 7th grade, and gals like you, the ones that resisted the Rachel haircut and never even tried out for any sort of cheerleading squad, just don’t get that sort of dating option. You know on Monday, he’s not going to recall your pleasant if tipsy conversation when you get to AP History. He will take his seat next to the short obnoxious kid who is his good friend only because he was grandfathered into that particular crowd because he had two soccer star brothers who went on to Princeton, and they will laugh at the short obnoxious kid’s jokes which are loud yet never funny.

Honestly, I do not suffer from any high school caste system scars, but there are some truths that remain universal. Perhaps it is because we are the same age, but every time I see Tom Brady, this is my association. Wait. I will amend that statement. Brady does get props for the Digital Short he did while hosting SNL last year. It’s all about sexual harassment in the workplace and it too provides another universal truth which people never want to admit.

Maybe I don’t think it’s a big deal that Tom Brady was wearing a Yankees hat because I, too, am not originally from this area. I’m from St. Louis, where our baseball fanaticism runs as deep or deeper than that of Red Sox fans. Sure, I can finally admit that in 2004, I really did want the Red Sox to win. I was conflicted about my devotion, yes, but you couldn’t not want the Sox to win after watching the incredible comeback against the Yankees in the ALCS. I also knew the Cards would win it within the next couple of years and the Sox would possibly have to wait another 76, so hey, my rationale makes perfect sense. And for all the fanaticism that runs rampant in St. Louis, I can never recall a situation where a Blues or Rams star player was publicly chastised for his support of another city’s baseball team.

I don’t understand why Sox fans expect a player from another team in another sport, one that doesn’t even make Boston his off-season home, to be a die-hard fan. It’s stupid, yes, but the truly annoying thing about the “situation” is the media’s eagerness to cover it. They’re the ones that created this nonsense, and I understand it even less than I do the need for St. Louis sports fans to wear cheap plastic beads for any home game (and "rally", parade, open-air mass gathering and apparently whenever anyone wants to sit down and take a crap) when it is not Mardi Gras and New Orleans is a 14-hour drive south.

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