Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's Aliiiiive!

As the G:TB motto goes, self-seriousness is one of our favorite tilting windmills. But we’re not so deluded as to claim that we’re above a little lack of perspective ourselves. Nowhere is that more apparent than our oft-encompassing love of our favorite sports teams. For me, balance and rationality head for the exits where the Red Sox are concerned. Mark huddles into a little ball and sings nursery rhymes when Tim Tebow takes the field. Teejay and Rhymo put on fireman’s helmets and scream J-E-T-S in unison. Dennis thinks Joe Paterno is a saint. And Whitney, well, Whitney’s a Mets fan. We just generally leave him alone in the corner, muttering to himself.

No group of people in our society outside of the navel-gazing lunatics in Congress fails the self-seriousness test more often than sports fans. In the great tradition of Dr. Frankenstein, or at least of Gene Wilder’s characterization, G:TB’s crack team of scientists spent almost 15 minutes in the laboratory (luh-borr-a-torry) to sew together the most egregiously annoying and grating characteristics of Fannicus Americanus (we left the racist hooliganism of the European soccer fan for a future experiment). Behold, FrankenFan.

We started with a little bit of Red Sox Fan's Bandwagon Douchebaggery. Sister site Misery Loves Company weighed in on this earlier in the year, and the situation hasn’t improved. It’s a painfully acknowledged truth that the growth of Red Sox Nation over the past 5 years has been measured in both numbers and arrogant doucheyness. I’m not saying I condone the increasing hatred of Sox fans, but in the words of the great Chris Rock, I understand.

Eagle Fan's Contemptible Sportsmanship adds a necessary element of just plain ugliness to the mix. Start with an entire population’s inferiority complex, add nearly 30 years of major championship drought, stir in a toxic blend of South Jersey-style machismo, and top with the most inflammatory and reactionary local sports media in America, et voila – loudmouth boorishness nonpareil.

No self-respecting undead sportszombie would be complete without Yankee Fan's Insufferable Sense of Entitlement. Our monster will rise from the table uttering “I can’t believe how bad we got screwed by injuries this year. Oh, and Jetuh’s the best friggin’ shortstop in the history of the game”.

Cowboy Fan’s Susceptibility to Manipulation is particularly critical. Generations of insecure kids have been swayed by the big shiny star and the national media infatuation with ‘America’s Team’, selling their fathers and regional loyalty down the river for a few shiny baubles. FrankenFan’s gotta have a little of that lack of spine and front-running mentality.

Since we need to dress our creation, Raider Fan's Twisted Furry Fetish will come in handy. We’ll load him up with game-worn Black Hole Halloween costumes so he won’t be so conspicuous in the midst of a gaggle of loathsome losers.

National Fan's Narcissistic Head-Swivel is a useful physical characteristic. The monster’s gonna need to network, so he’ll master the D.C. cocktail party/ballgame staple move – I’m pretending to care about what you say while really looking past you to find the more important people in the room/stands.

Dodger Fan’s Broken Watch is the final piece of clothing we’ll strap on our buddy before we send him out into the world. We can’t have him showing up to Chavez Ravine (gasp!) on time for a game.

Brave Fan’s Negligent Indifference and Lack of Originality is probably the most important quality with which we’ll imbue FrankenFan. The ability to be both ignorant and spoiled is uniquely the province of Atlanta baseball “fans” – combine it with a borderline racist rallying cry that was stolen from Florida State and you’ve got a must-have creature feature.

Finally, and importantly, because our little guy is headed out into an uncaring world representing us, FrankenFan will have G:TB’s Coastal Elitism. Nearly all the attributes above come from fans securely out of flyover country. Midwesterners are so cute and non-threatening that we can’t bring ourselves to insult them. Although that may change when we build Bride of FrankenFan, College Edition.

49 comments:

rob said...

after last night, i think our little buddy needs some angel fan's love of goofy artificial spirit devices.

Rhymenocerous said...

I can't believe you didn't include the Jets' Fireman Ed as the resident "we got a guy in the stands who's so loony he's the face of our fan-base." As a Jet fan, I can unequivocally state that the guy is a tool. He actually believes he's a part of the game.

I was at Sunday's game and was talking to a buddy about him. I wonder what his life is like. He has to attend every single game and he can never leave early. He probably has missed weddings, communions and other important life events to be a faux cheerleader. He borrows from the Hulk Hogan "I just won a match" repertoire with his antics, pointing to his ears, flapping his arms and generally looking constipated.

TJ said...

Dammit, now I can't get the Hulk Hogan "Real American" song out of my head.

rob said...

we're here to spark discussion of the important events of our time, rhymo. there's a lot of stuff i left on the cutting room floor - nearly every team has some element of douchus fannicus.

Zoltan said...

I went to Padres/Gnats game in SD one time. There was no obvious douchebaggery, but there were only 69 other people at the game. Peavy struck out 17 in his previous start, and he struck out the first two guys in the first inning. With an 0-2 count on the third batter, I stood up and started clapping. No one else was doing this and everyone around me looked at me like I was a jerk for blocking their view. After Peavy struck the guy out, then everyone clapped.

So Padres fans are douchebags because they aren't really into it. Of course, Red Sox fans are douchebags because they are way way way too into it. There needs to be some middle ground.

TJ said...

The Manic-Depressive nature of Redskin fandom should be addressed here as well, though I will admit the 'House and GTB Skins fans do a goob job not to get sucked into the wild ups and downs apparent around the rest of metro DC.

rob said...

i love a nice goob job.

rob said...

the skins thing did cross my mind, i must admit.

Geoff said...

The Redskins fan piece you need is the "Charlie Brown trying to kick the football" aspect. Year after year of unrealistic expectations and promising offseasons followed by failure after failure. Yet, they never, ever learn...

Mark said...

TJ...have you met Geoff?

rob said...

the skins fanbase is deceptively redneckish (at least to the national audience). i think that's an underexplored angle. i should have put something on the dead tree crew in here, but that creates the risk of those douchemonkeys coming into our comments section and soiling our pristine environment.

Geoff said...

Mark, have you been watching HBO's new show True Blood? There's a rapist, bald, tattooed vampire that really reminds me of you.

Mark said...

I have been watching...thanks for thinking of me. :)

TJ said...

Mark, even Geoff's most melodramatic musings are 1000 times better than the average Skins fan.

5 minutes of local radio around here makes you question your faith in natural selection.

Geoff said...

I have all of the lows of the typical Skins idiot...without any of the Pollyanna highs.

rob said...

someone named dewayne wise just hit a 3-run homer for the chisox. huh.

Michael Jack said...

Rob, I've been looking at the tv listings and noticing that the Red Sox game and Cubs game are both slated for the exact same time on TBS. what is happening here? tell me that we aren't only going to be able to see one game here?

Vlad's baserunning error last night was both the best and worst moment of the game as I watched it last night. Best because Vlad looks like a cripple and I actually might be faster on the base paths than him. The worst b/c it sucked to see the wind kicked out of the Angels with a dumb ass play like that.

rob said...

sox game is tomorrow. you can climb down from the ledge.

rob said...

and i don't think it was a baserunning error - i think it was a spectacularly good play by youkilis. vlad's standing on 3rd on the same hit 99 times out of 100.

TJ said...

Whoa whoa whoa - it was a spectacularly bad base running play.

Geoff said...

Agreed. I've seen that highlight on Sportscenter 6 times now and that is undeniably a base running disaster.

rob said...

it sure looked like bad baserunning because of the result, but a) the angels are always aggressive as hell on the basepaths, and b) very few first basemen keep that ball from getting away from them after the dive/slide. playing the percentages, vlad's safe on that play 80-90% of the time, and looks like an idiot 10-20%. youks made a great play.

rob said...

looks like evan longoria's really letting postseason play make him nervous.

Geoff said...

Good point. The Red Sox are the best.

TJ said...

Seriously rob, stop being such a giant (er tiny) fucking homer. Vlad Guerrero's baserunning blunder is only matched by Gutter wearing the shirt of the band he was seeing.

rob said...

i award the victory for wittiest rebuttal to teejay. dc's effort was disappointing in both duration and quality. his wife has lodged similar complaints.

Geoff said...

Rob, it wasn't my negligent posting--it was that TJ is just so great. He's the Kevin Youkilis of GTB.

jerome said...

At Redskins games they have a big sign that comes telling fans to be quiet because the Campbell and the offense are on the field. That's sad.

TJ said...

To Swint's comparison: Vlad has no cartilage in either knee. I 100 percent agree that you could beat him in a race.

Someday.

rob said...

utah's an 11-point favorite over a team that just beat usc. i...don't...understand.

mayhugh said...

The Skins talk inspired me to poll some members of my organization who are Skins fans to predict the score of this weekend's game. The results?

28-14 Redskins
27-10 Redskins
16-14 Redskins
38-13 Redskins

Only one of those scores seems remotely plausible...

rob said...

i had no idea you worked at snyder communications.

TJ said...

Knowing the Mayhugh negativism (not even remotely a word)...you expect them to lose to Philly by 14?

rob said...

teejay, not only are you witty, but you're smarter than you give yourself credit for being:

neg·a·tiv·ism /ˈnɛgətɪˌvɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[neg-uh-ti-viz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a negative or pessimistic attitude.
2. Psychology. a tendency to resist external commands, suggestions, or expectations, or internal stimuli, as hunger, by doing nothing or something contrary or unrelated to the stimulus.
3. any system of negative philosophy, as agnosticism or skepticism.

rob said...

or dumber, i'm still working it out.

Geoff said...

It warrants mentioning that, while 3-1, the Redskins point differential this season is +5 points after 4 games--by far the worst in their division.

TJ said...

OK, it's a dollar a guess. I've got roughly six to nine guesses so far...what will be the NKOTB encore song tonight? And to clarify, that means what will be the first song they come back out to after they fake end the evening?

I'm cutting the winner a check.

Mark said...

Is this like the bottle of Jameson that Rob is mailing to me?

Greg said...

Hangin' Tough!!! Definitely Hangin' Tough. (also, that's the only song of theirs that I remember)

Rhymenocerous said...

I'm gonna go with Step by Step, only because I remember that Donny (the guy who looked like he shot steroids directly into his jaw) NAILED Step Four in his low baritone voice:

"Step Four....I can give you more..."

FYI, In my high school class, there was a girl who was dumb enough to have been left back from a grade ahead of me. That means she was one of the lucky few in NJ who got their driver's license as a sophomore. That gave her a short spike in popularity.

The custom license plate on her car: "NKOTB5". I shit you not.

The Dirty Jerz never disappoints.

Rhymenocerous said...

And the best mock on that band I ever heard came from Dennis Miller, when he used to be funny.

On his Dennis Miller live show, he described Donny Wahlberg as a motorcycle guy in a moped band.

Mark said...

Thats prety good.

I have a question though. How is it that the girl who was left back was one of the only people in your class to obtain a DL during her sophomore year? Did everyone you know graduate at 17? That seems odd.

I can't speak for NJ, but it was fairly common for sophomores in my school to get their DL. Hell, both Greg and I had ours by the middle of the first semester. Of course, neither of us had a sweet license plate like your friend...or cars for that matter.

Whitney said...

You gotta be 17 to drive in NJ.

Oh, and you gotta love IROC-Z's and blaring "You Give Love a Bad Name" through the T-Top at ungodly volumes.

Rhymenocerous said...

Driver's license age in NJ is 17. I think it's 16 in Florida. I say this because I remember another girl in my grade who used a relative's home address in FL to get a license at 16.

So that means when you're young for your grade (as I was), you start your senior year in high schoool without a set of wheels. Sucked for me. And for my friends who had to tote my carcass to school each day.

Rhymenocerous said...

NJ loves it some muscle cars. And T-Tops were legitimately cool. Bu then again, so were pegged pants and mullets. It made things tough for the college prep crowd because the trashy girls always loved the guys with Camaros more than guys with great SAT scores.

Not that I didn't pull my fair share of wool in my 1986 maroon Dodge Caravan with faux wood paneling in the 7 months of my senior year that I could drive.

Mark said...

Okay, that makes more sense. For the record, I have no earthly idea what pegged pants are...

rob said...

he says, fingers crossed and hoping.

mike ness would be pissed at you.

Rhymenocerous said...

Pegged pants image is here:

http://k53.pbase.com/u37/madidotcom/large/24141324.1313134_IMG.jpg

In NJ, the look was completed with a pair of thick white socks (Wigwam was popular) and Adidas Samba sneakers. Other popular accents were a hairbrush (to keep your butt-part neat) or a tin of dip in the back pocket (to make sure everybody knew you dipped).

Mark said...

Ahhh, yes. I know of these "pegged pants" you speak of. I didn't know the proper name for that style, obviously. I do remember rocking that style in elementary school though which, I assume, was when you were in high school.

Good Lord, you guys are old.