Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Class Warfare?

Imagine my surprise at a Boston Globe columnist complaining about the types of fans that attend New England Patriots home games nowadays.


Not when Shank leads off with perhaps John Lennon's funniest comment:

“Would those of you in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.’’
Shank then goes on to rehash Tom Brady's comments from last week concerning Patriots fans leaving early from the win over the Bengals. Anyone who has experienced the pleasure of driving Route 1 northbound after a Pats game would probably tell Tom to ride shotgun (better yet, let him take the wheel) during said drive, then ask him if his opinion's changed. According to Shank, we're all cool with Tom Brady's opinion:

Typically, most Patriots fans accepted the slap. New England football fans rarely challenge Messrs. Kraft, Belichick, or Brady on any topic.
Shank then puts a few words in Tom's mouth:

This explains why Brady can call them out as overstuffed brie-eaters who want to beat the traffic.
Way to interject yourself into the story, Shank! Brie must taste better when it's force fed down your gullet. That's how they fatten up geese, right?

Finally, Shank puts his finger on one of the reasons for Tom's comments:

They admit they are quiet. A lot of them are in a rush to get out; Route 1 on game days is a blacktop gulag. Some have complained that they are not encouraged to stand and make noise during the games. After Brady’s remarks, there were calls to talk radio from fans who said they’d been told by security that they cannot stand during the games.

“We don’t have a policy that you can’t stand,’’ Patriots publicist Stacey James said. “If there are multiple complaints about someone standing the entire game, then sometimes an usher will try to mediate and ask people to sit. But it’s got to be multiple complaints.’’
Interesting remarks: "most Patriots fans accepted the slap", doesn't quite square with "there were calls to talk radio from fans who said they’d been told by security that they cannot stand during the games" unless specific numbers are involved, does it? So who's lying, the fans or the publicist? I'll go with the publicist. Can't be Shank lying to us...

The other reason for the lack of noise: Gillette Stadium is basically open on one end, which makes it quite different from, say, Arrowhead Stadium, which Shank touches upon later in the column.

One more Shank oddity coming up:

Brady’s words won’t change anything. Ours is not a football culture.
But what did you tell us a mere eight days ago, Shank?

All football all the time. Nothing else matters.
Dan Shaughnessy, the Ultimate Weathervane.

UPDATE at 7:30 PM - It may have been Shank who coined the phrase 'pink hats' to describe recent (post-2004) Red Sox bandwagon converts; we need something equally condescending for recent Patriots converts!


girlanachronism said...

Times like this, I just think, Dan, if you have such contempt for both your subject and your audience, why not find something else to do?

At the very least, spare us these rambles in which the only thing you really elucidate is that while you hold us in high contempt for many things, what you most hold us in contempt for is the fact that we will not join you in loathing ourselves and our own teams. It's quite gauche and stubborn of us, I know, but your oft-repeated point about our idiocy for not joining you in trashing our own players and / or team ownership has fallen on deaf ears enough times, has it not?

Monkeesfan said...

Shank is so insufferable that even when there's some validity in a point he's trying to make it blows up because he's a jerk. The reality is the audience at Patriots games isn't as ferocious as it is at Indianapolis (even with Bill Polian's pumped-in crowd noise) or Pittsburgh, and I've heard too many stories of security telling people to sit down to buy Stacey James' argument. The Titans game in 2003 where Steve McNair touchdowns were cheered because at the same time the Red Sox made big plays in their playoff game is the extreme example of this weird phenomenon.

Paul said...

You'd think the Patriot-haters in the local sports media would want fans to leave during the game. Isn't leaving early a sign of contempt? Won't the Krafts lose money if fans leave early? Isn't that what they want?

Monkeesfan said...

Paul, I have no idea what the Patriot haters in the local media want anymore. I tried to listen to Bertrand & Gaspar this morning and they were so insufferable I couldn't - they tried to portray Belichick as some kind of demagogue with nothing but contempt for differing opinions and this is why he hasn't hired outside coordinators or delegated more authority, as though it is actually happening that he's taking more and more power and responsibility (and if I hear one more love letter to Weis & Crennel in such missives I'm going to gouge my eyes out because those two were buffoons).

Here's a challenge to Shank -

Who should replace Bill Belichick as coach of the Patriots?

Anonymous said...

Didn't catch this article ...

I think the Shank and everyone else missed the point ...

Brady should just concentrate on what he can control ....

Seems that perhaps the current Patriots are missing soem emotional strength (especially late in the game) and Brady & Co. are pulling all the stops to get an edge ...

To me having Brady speak in these terms shows a signa weakness in the Patriots camp ...

Most athletes will describe how whne they are in the zone ... they hear silence ...

So Tom must be hearing plenty of noise in the locker room that he needs the fans to drown out ....