The Pink Hats are Taking Over, Part I
Remember when being a Red Sox fan was a noble pursuit? You not only knew every player, but every kid in Pawtucket, Portland, and Lowell. You remembered not just Carlton Fisk, but Tom Brunansky’s catch against Toronto. You went to Fenway (didn’t need to save up for a StubHub purchase, either) and scored every pitch and talked baseball with the people in your section. Sure, the whole 1918 fixation drove you crazy because that’s not how you defined yourself, but the national identity of the Sox fan was one of loyalty, intelligence, and even a dash of sarcastic wit. And now? Now it is the Pink Hat.
We have lived with the Pink Hat Phenomenon for the last few years and it has been called out again and again. However, it has now gone national. The pink Red Sox hat has become the unfortunate national shorthand for obnoxious bandwagon Red Sox fans around the country, and this is a problem.
And yet it’s been surreal to watch the Sox evolve into a bandwagon superpower like the 1970s Cowboys, one of those successful ubercontenders that everyone in Boston has always despised. Home games have been overrun by pseudo fans, cute females and families in green jerseys and pink caps.
From comments: Nevermind the “President of Red Sox Nation” being stupid. The whole idea of a “Red Sox Nation” is fucking pointless to begin with.
The purpose “Red Sox Nation” serves is to make the “Pink Hats” feel more special.
There is even a great site called, appropriately enough, Pink Hat Hell, that chronicles the dreadful Sox Appeal among other topics. We asked Will Leitch, the brains behind Deadspin about the ‘Pink Hat thing,’ and this what he said: “I think the “Pink Hat” phenomenon is something that frustrates, from my perception, the hardcore Red Sox fans more than anybody else.”
True, but that hasn’t stopped the Pink Hat brigade from making serious inroads. In this multi-part Boston Daily special we will investigate the origins of the Pink Hat phenomenon, its impact on Red Sox fans and what can be done to stop it.
Tomorrow: Sowing the seeds: the fan-friendly Sox.