Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Boo Birds

Dan Shaughnessy, a man not exactly known for his civility, would like to inform you on manners at the ballpark:

This is not about Boo Radley, Boo Weekley, Honey Boo Boo, Boo Williams, Boo Ellis, Halloween, or Yogi Bear’s partner in picnic basket thievery.

This is about the noise fans make when they are displeased. This is about the nightly referendum at professional sports contests.

Whom do you cheer? Whom do you boo? And why?

This week, Jonathan Papelbon became the latest former Boston sports star to feel the wrath of fans who once worshipped at his size-13 feet. Pap returned to Fenway with the Philadelphia Phillies and was roughed up by Hub fans when he came out of the bullpen to face the Red Sox in the ninth.

Emotionally, this makes sense. I guess.

Being a fan is an emotional experience. It does not require reason or common sense. Cheering and jeering is all about laundry, right? Booing is on the fans’ Bill of Rights.

Still, booing Papelbon seems too dumb for words. It’s sort of like booing Johnny Damon when he came to town with the Yankees or booing Adam Vinatieri when he lines up for a field goal while wearing a Colts uniform.
It's unintentionally funny for him to acknowledge booing as not rational, then have him lecture us on who should be booed and who should not. You'd also think that a Boston Globe columnist who's infamous for writing the occasional nasty column about local athletes ought to have a level of awareness when he writes an ironic column such as this one.

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