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
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
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.