Friday, September 28, 2007

Presidential Politics the Grass Roots Way – Electing a President of Red Sox Nation

As one who has followed the Boston Red Sox since I was 2 years-old (seriously – it was in the genes!), I am in awe of the continued growth of the phenomenon that has come to be known as Red Sox Nation. In every ballpark in the Major Leagues, a growing number of Red Sox fans fill the sits when the Red Sox come to town. Some of them are ex-patriot New Englanders eager for a glimpse of the old hometown team. Others are rabid Red Sox fans and current Boston area resident who travel to distant cities to see their beloved Sox in action outside of Fenway.

I was in Tampa/St. Petersburg last weekend for the three-game series against the Devil Rays. My sister lives in Tampa, so I try to time my visits to her so we can enjoy going together to see the Red Sox play at Tropicana Field. On Friday night, we were seated in the front row of the upper deck – looking down on the Red Sox bullpen. I saw a sign in left field that proclaimed: “Fenway Park South”! I had an unobstructed view of thousands of fans sitting in the seats below me. I counted hundreds – literally hundreds – of fans wearing Red Sox apparel. Familiar names jumped out at me from the backs of Red Sox jerseys – Schilling, Ortiz, Ramirez, Youkilis, Matsuzaka, Lester, Beckett, and Lowell. There were even a few retro jerseys reminding us of the glory days of Yaz, Pedro, and Fisk. As I scanned the crowd, I saw exactly one (1!) fan wearing a Devil Rays jersey – proudly proclaiming his support of Tampa ace Scott Kazimir.

In an article in a Tampa newspaper, Kazimir himself commented on the phenomenon of Red Sox fans taking over Tropicana Field and reversing home field advantage. Similar tales are told by players in Baltimore, Oakland and even the Bronx.

As Red Sox Nation has emerged as a recognizable phenomenon, it was almost inevitable that there emerge an election to choose a President to preside over the Nation. This morning, Tim Russert traveled to Boston to serve as moderator of a Presidential Debate among the finalists for the role of President of Red Sox Nation. That debate will be aired this evening on NESN after the telecast of the Red Sox game against the Minnesota Twins.

The list of finalists includes such familiar names as Peter Gammons, Jerry Remy, Rich “El Guapo” Garces, Sam Horn, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Mike Barnicle. I think it may be too late for Fred Thompson to throw his baseball cap into the ring!

To view the slate of finalists and their platforms, I commend you to this page on the Red Sox website.


And – Go Sox!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Does Pedro really count as "Retro?"

When I think retro, I think "a long time ago."

Fisk and Yaz come to mind, but not Pedro. Maybe I have a bad definition of retro. Or maybe I'm working on a connotation, rather than a denotation.

(Hey, I just got to apply my English degree for the first time in 12 years!!!)