Sports Are Fun?Felger and Mazz is the highest rated sports talk show in Boston. In their past two shows, in less than 10 minutes of sampling, I heard the following scalding takes.
1. Red Sox players are wusses for getting the flu.
2. A Red Sox player was letting the side down by attending his grandmother's funeral rather than showing up for that vital third game of the season against the Tigers.
3. Golf was more fun when Sergio Garcia could be ridiculed as a loser.
4. Justin Rose was a wuss for displaying good sportsmanship as he dueled with Garcia down the stretch at the Masters and after his loss.
5. In fact, good sportsmanship in general is a turnoff.
That's entertainment, baby. Everybody of prominence in sports sucks and only you, the fan, is worthy. In fairness, Felger and Mazz will rip callers, too. And this screed isn't really aimed at them. They're just giving the people they want. It's the audience that wants it which bothers me.
Boston is one of about 15 American cities whose residents will tell you without being asked that it has the sports fans in the country. I find that a hard claim to reconcile with the area's obvious appetite for a view of sports composed of pure vinegar. The ratings suggest, no, state that Boston fans would rather hear something or someone denigrated than consider their happy status as of this date in 2017.
The Red Sox made the playoffs last year. The Patriots won the Super Bowl. The Bruins and Celtics are both in the playoffs, and the latter's prospects seem bright. Hell, Harvard made the Frozen Four. You'd think fans in this burg would be in the mood for sports chatter full of sweetness and light, or at least a little homerism. Guess not.
Look, if snide is what Boston fans want, that's fine under the no accounting for taste rule. But at least those fans should acknowledge their fondness for the dark and bitter take. I'm not asking for people here to become as irritatingly and professionally positive as Cardinals fans, just for a little balance. These are the fat years gang. Just like in the Bible, lean years will come soon enough. Why not have a harvest celebration of success?
I'm a Philadelphia fan. We're more honest. We're the worst and we know it. By golly, we're proud of it. We're willing to recognize our inner asshole as an important if not exactly praiseworthy part of who we are.
Better a plain boo than a snotty sneer.