Fear of a Pink Planet

You know how that girl in the pink Red Sox hat was cheering JD Drew last season, while you, the experienced long-suffering Sox fan, were booing him lustily? And you know how you thought she was just one of those recent bandwagon jumpers, who didn’t know a thing about baseball and didn’t deserve to be in the stands? Well, there was a reason she was wrong and you were right, or something like that. The pink hat means poseur! Your experience is authentic. Her fandom is fake. So the debate goes:

Next to Yankees caps and Giants jerseys, the pink Red Sox cap has
become the most polarizing piece of clothing a Bostonian can wear. Fans
of the hats think they’re simply a cute way to show their love for the
Sox. Haters say pink-hat owners are latecomers who only support the Sox
because it’s suddenly cool – even fashionable – to do so. Pink-hat
wearers haven’t suffered sufficiently, they reason. No one suffers in
pink.

If local sports blogs, fan sites, and talk radio are any
indication, the sniping is approaching fever pitch, now that the Sox
have two recent Series wins to their credit. Message boards at local
sites like Barstool Sports fill up with vitriolic comments – most of
which are unfit for publication – on both sides of the issue whenever
pink hats are mentioned. And now, even new Celtics fans are dubbed
"pink hats."

Clearly we have a Fight Club situation, that pseudo-intellectual look into the emasculating effects of consumerism on our culture. As a franchise enjoys its greatest period of performance on the field and at the box office, it goes for the gold literally. The market place is now filled with Red Sox products of all kind. And now we have entered the domain of the woman. Because to be a shopper is to be womanly. The man has stopped hunting, and is now a passive consumer. Whereas before he chopped the trees down, and worked night and day to make his dark blue and red Red Sox cap (which he would wear for the rest of his adult life, thank you very much), he is forced into buying caps that will fall apart in less than a year. This is the definition of male anxiety.

So the pink hats are now every where. At first the true (read: male) fans react. They grow out their beards, stuff their underwears, do anything to make themselves feel more male. But the pink hats just keep on coming. The authentic fans are reminded more and more of their impotence in the face of everything. And now we’re at the next stage of the battle: The media-led assault.

As a Yanks fan, I can sympathize. I knew our fandom was threatened when Fred Durst wore a red Yankees hat in that video about the cookie. But then I realized something. The more fans you have rooting for a certain team, the more diverse opinions about that team, and the more likely you will learn. For instance, maybe JD Drew’s contract isn’t so bad, and maybe a Pink Hat knew that before you.


13 comments… add one

  • “I knew our fandom was threatened when Fred Durst wore a red Yankees hat in that video about the cookie.”
    Just spit Diet Coke all over the screen. Durst has really fallen from the graces of the MTV crowd. He has gone from Christina Aguilera and crazy groupies to playing a bartender on the season finale of “House.” Sometimes life is just a kick in the gnads.

    John - YF June 27, 2008, 12:32 pm
  • I have been stuffing my underwear for years, thank you very much.

    SF June 27, 2008, 12:44 pm
  • The man has stopped hunting, and is now a passive consumer. Whereas before he chopped the trees down, and worked night and day to make his dark blue and red Red Sox cap (which he would wear for the rest of his adult life, thank you very much), he is forced into buying caps that will fall apart in less than a year. This is the definition of male anxiety.
    I bought my first Sox hat when we lived in MA when I was 10 years old. Kept that for the next 8 years, until the 2004 ALCS. When the Sox were down 3-0, I threw it away and bought a new one (the old one was pretty dirty at that point). Sox come back and win the World Series.
    So yes, I single-handedly won us a World Series in 2004. No need to thank me.

    Atheose June 27, 2008, 12:59 pm
  • For instance, maybe JD Drew’s contract isn’t so bad, and maybe a Pink Hat knew that before you.
    A terrific post, culminating in an even more terrific line.
    Great points, Nick. Just fantastic.

    Paul SF June 27, 2008, 1:44 pm
  • Or maybe that pink hat’s dad bought it for her to celebrate the end of his long suffering in 2004!

    Sean June 27, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • I don’t care about the pink hats, whether it be the actual caps or the nickname given to the fad fans.
    Welcome to all new fans.
    But if you’re gonna wear the colors and watch the games, shut the eff up about cute players, keep your effing cell phone off, don’t get so p*ss drunk that you disrupt someone else’s ability to watch the game, pay attention to the field, know how to pronouce “Yastrzemski,” don’t even try to talk about the ’78 playoff game or the ’86 World Series or Pudge’s homer in ’75 but otherwise know what the eff you’re talking about. Learn the effing game.
    If you can’t do that, the Rays need fans. Go there. (Their jerseys are SOOOOO hot.)
    Oh, and I don’t want to hear an effing word about “Fever Pitch,” either.

    I'm Bill McNeal June 27, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • This post is better than gold.

    attackgerbil June 27, 2008, 4:58 pm
  • “No one suffers in pink”
    Nancy Kerrigan. So there.
    Oh – and brilliant brilliant post Nick.

    IronHorse (yf) June 27, 2008, 5:04 pm
  • And don’t sing or memorize the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline.”
    Yes. Tremendous post.

    I'm Bill McNeal June 27, 2008, 5:15 pm
  • On a more serious note, I have nothing against these pink hats:
    http://www.bcsports.com/bc/ctl2400/cp5875/si1274521/cl1/boston_red_sox_st_patricks_day_hooley_cap
    In fact, they should just get rid of the plain pink hats and make them all have the ribbon and donate money from the proceeds. That would at least make them socially tolerable, right?

    SF June 27, 2008, 5:19 pm
  • Is there a Pink Planet reference I’m missing? =) If anything, I thought it should be “Pink Nation”.. ;)

    Lar June 27, 2008, 6:23 pm
  • I could deal if those chickies were halfway decent looking. They’re not. I miss NYC.

    A YF June 27, 2008, 6:51 pm
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