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October 24th, 2004

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07:08 pm
Finally got a chance to listen to the Dropkick Murphys' Tessie, the supposed rallying song of this year's American League champions. While the nod to history is very nice (invoking "Nuff Ced" McGreevy, one of the more colorful non-player characters in the history of baseball and I don't mean NPC) and the tune very earmeme-friendly, which is one of the reasons why Nuff Ced and his Royal Rooters (don't laugh, Aussies) used to sing the original "Tessie" over and over and over in the stands nearly 90 years ago, I find that I am not sure if I can like the song for several reasons:

1. I don't care too much for the Dropkick Murphys, especially the way they attack this tune. The lead singer sounds like he really wants to be Dicky Barrett, though he definitely doesn't have the baritone for it and none of the personality either. Even the "old-timey baseball version" I heard with park organ and bagpipes instead of the guitars has him screaming over it, giving the whole thing a real fratboy feel of it, which leads me to

2. The fact that the story of the song tells how Nuff Ced and his Rooters showed up at the park one day to find their seats had been sold, so they stormed the field and incited a riot. Had I heard this song even a week ago I'd have probably enjoyed it far more than I do now, what with the events of the game 7 aftermath and all. Now I'm not sure how I should approach the song. I realize the lyrics (penned in part by some Boston baseball scribes, whose names I've promptly forgotten) are meant to show the exuberant wild spirit of our fans in the Fenway, and it's all supposed to be in good, raucous fun, but apparently the people around the game had the opportunity to have raucous fun to celebrate the victory and they decided to take things out of hand and fuck shit up.

You'll notice I don't call them fans. Real fans don't overturn cars, bust windows, or light fires with other people's property. You hear that? REAL FANS DON'T FUCK SHIT UP. They can whoop it up, yes, and tear it up, but they don't fuck shit up. There's a difference here and I hope this is illustrated perfectly for future reference. Real fans can scream, they can holler, they can stomp down the street singing "Tessie" all they want, they can drive around in Jeeps going "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO", they can paint their faces or other body surfaces, they can make signs, they can dance, they can bang pots and pans together, they can holler from their balconies or decks, they can do all this clad in nothing but red socks if they so desire (though that's inadvisable due to weather concerns and certain city statutes) but when it comes down to it, real fans do NOT go "Oh, hey! Look! Someone else's stuff! LET'S SMASH IT!"

Real fans have respect.

We lost that respect last week. We as a group, as a fanbase, as a city.

We lost it when a drunken mob, many of whom probably couldn't spell Yazstremski, many of whom probably couldn't say how long they'd been waiting for this victory, many of whom probably didn't even care about the team at the beginning of the season, so fucked up the Kenmore Square area that police felt compelled to fire upon them with the now-repeated phrase "non-lethal force." Not everybody was in on it, that's for sure; not everybody who goes down Lansdown on game day wants to break stuff. Not everybody wanted to set things on fire and turn cars over. Many just wanted to be real fans. But some jackass had to go and throw a bottle near a cop on horseback, who immediately turned around and snap-fired two shots with his "non-lethal" force-ensurer in the general direction of where the bottle came from. It's no surprise William Tell hit a completely innocent bystander with his quick reaction time there. Do we even have his name? What sanctions have been levied against him? Has he tried to make amends with the girl's family? Or is he being hidden behind a cloak of city bureaucracy while good ol' Mumbles Menino says something about maybe banning alcohol at venues around Fenway Park? (Tip from Europe: Apparently that doesn't work all that well.)

I've had a lot of time to mull things over this weekend and I've discovered that I'm far more disgusted with the whole thing than anybody should be. I'm not sure if it's to try and take some of the collective guilt because I fail to see anybody else doing so, or maybe it's because I want to leap to the defense of the true Boston fans? I'm sure the press elsewhere in the country is really playing it up. That and the riot footage from UMass Amherst, where -- no surprise -- it all took place in Southwest, the rottenest goddamn dorms on the entire campus, the dorms that are always first to give the college a bad reputation. (Nobody up in Orchard Hill ever does anything stupid, no, they're too busy smoking pot and getting mellow. Nobody in Northeast does anything because nobody cares about Northeast. And Sylvan? Isn't that, like, in Sunderland? But when it's time to bring out the "oh kids these days" accusations, the finger goes right to Southwest.)

I still love this baseball team and I love what they've done and I'm pretty sure I always will, but I just can't stand to see what other people, other stupid people, other complete fucking idiots have done in the name of the Royal Rooters. We had a good thing going and you jackasses had to go and ruin it for everybody. You'd probably have done so regardless of the sport or the team. Any excuse to get drunk and smash stuff is fine with you. So go on, get out. Get out of my city. Get out of my goddamn state. You don't deserve this ball club. You don't deserve to carry on the memory of Tessie and you don't deserve other people thinking you're carrying it on.

Thanks for nothing.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:October 24th, 2004 11:51 pm (UTC)
Well put. Why winning has to escalate into violence and vandalism, I have never understood. Losing, I can see. I don't like it, but I can see it.

And yeah, I know the Royal Rooters. The Robins really hated them in 1916.
[User Picture]
Date:October 25th, 2004 12:14 am (UTC)
a) Augh. Fuckin' Dropkick Murphys. I've got a binderful of entry-level celt/contemporary fusion, and they're not in it.

b) CongratulationsI'msorry. You have baseball hooliganism.
[User Picture]
Date:October 25th, 2004 01:09 am (UTC)
We haven't had much hooliganism here on the Redbird side of things, but when the games start hitting Busch Stadium, I fully expect there to be some shit started.

Just one more reason I feel lucky that I don't actually live in the city.
[User Picture]
Date:October 25th, 2004 02:54 am (UTC)
It's testosterone poisoning. No, really. I'm too lazy to google 'em at the moment, but there have been a couple of recent studies showing that fans of the winning team receive a testosterone surge, while fans of the losing team experience a testosterone ebb. This is true for both men and women, although reportedly the effects are smaller in women, because of the lower normal levels of testosterone in our bloodstream.

That's why it's the winners who riot.
[User Picture]
Date:October 25th, 2004 04:34 pm (UTC)
I heard one of the measures considered to crack down on violence was to ban cameras from the areas around Fenway. People always drop what they're doing and act like buffoons around a live TV camera, that's for sure. But haven't they used footage in the past to identify perpretrators?

Anything that keeps people from going WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo too much is okay with me, though.
[User Picture]
Date:October 25th, 2004 06:05 am (UTC)
I love Dropkick Murphys, fot the record.

If it gives you any solace, nobody I've talked to in Los Angeles had paid much attention to the pepper-spray-ball killing.

Which maybe is sad all by itself.
Date:October 26th, 2004 04:10 am (UTC)
Earlier this year, I bought two advance tickets to see the Dropkick Murphys play at Avalon. I brought along this chica who was my drinking buddy at the time, but she couldn't handle the sound (she then told me she never heard of the band, which was a wonder to me as she said she wanted me to get her a ticket) and while I could have stayed beyond the first few songs, we then left and got drunk at the Tiki Room down the street. Point is, I wouldn't call myself a Dropkick fan but I'd add their music to the eclectic range of my music appreciation.
[User Picture]
Date:October 25th, 2004 07:22 am (UTC)
As an English soccer fan, I know exactly what you're saying.

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