Monday, October 6, 2008

I Wish the Pink Hats Would Just SHUT UP!!

Calling them Pink Hats sounds like I'm singling out the ladies since not too many guys own a pink hat. I'm not. They can wear whatever the hell they want (as can gay men for that matter). I don't understand women's fashion and I don't pretend to - I'm not about to start setting rules for it.

I'm talking about a different group. I'd call 'em Powder Blue Hats, but UNC fans rightfully wear that color. And camo hats can be a way of supporting our troops, so they get the benefit of the doubt.

So let's call them Pink Hats.

You know who you are. You're the guy mugging for the camera at Yankee Stadium in a yellow Yankee hat. Or in the front row at Fenway on your cell phone, rocking the powder blue Boston cap.

You're also the one who knows Tony Romo is the best QB in the world, even though Peyton Manning is ambulatory and Tom Brady has a pulse.

And who gloats over Notre Dame's win against Stanford. Stanford. At home.

Or blames the loss in that same game on the refs.

And you can't wait to tell everyone because you think it'll convince us that you're a true fan.

Every single team has them. The ones above are some of the more notorious and the better teams have more, but even the bad teams have 'em. Their favorite players can do no wrong and are always being treated unfairly. Their favorite teams have never suffered a legitimate defeat and every win is the most impressive in the history of sports. They snap up each new trendy bit of paraphernalia they can afford (children are excluded; like women and gay men, they get to play by different rules).

Usually it's because they just hopped on the bandwagon and are desperate to convince anyone who will look or listen that they have been there for years. Not always.

I saw the ugliness firsthand during the 2002 World Series. It didn't bother me at the time because nothing else does when your favorite team comes 5 outs from a championship and blows it. But I can't even count how many Rally Monkeys and crisp new Angels hats adorned fans who couldn't name the starting infield. We Giants fans had our share too.

But the most egregious examples can always be found in print.

For instance, I read an article gloating after Notre Dame beat Stanford. It started by touting Jimmy Claussen as the front-runner for the 2009 Heisman. I don't claim to be a college football expert, but it's probably a little early to hand out the 2008 Heisman. 2009? Besides, I'm guessing the Heisman will continue to be the best player from one of the best teams. As long as the Golden Domers keep getting roughed up by the likes of Michigan State and sweating out teams like Stanford at home, they aren't in the discussion.

But in true Pink Hat fashion, the author couldn't stop the insanity there. Apparently beating Stanford wasn't enough, he needed to insult us - really twist the knife. So he accused the Stanford Athletic Department of approving the infamous performance that got the Band exiled from ND's campus.

I graduated from Stanford, was there during that HILARIOUS performance (not in ND but at Stanford). Some of my friends and former dorm-mates were in the Band. I also had to deal with Stanford's administration frequently as a fraternity president, including the AD since we had our own issues with the football team There is simply no way they or any other administration would approve a performance like that.

Use some flippin' common sense people. They knew the Band was going to conduct with a crucifix and approved it? They knew the Band was going to mock a historical tragedy and said, "go for it, we don't have any Irish or Catholic alumni who might be offended?"

Anyone who buys this either despises Stanford or blindly loves ND or both.

I will tell you exactly what happened. The Stanford students who led the Band exhausted every brain cell and creative impulse they had to come up with an ingeniously sinister plan. They gave the script of and rehearsed a vanilla performance for the administration, which was approved. But when they were half-way across the country and the administration couldn't do anything about it, they gave the virtuoso performance everyone saw (and everyone outside of ND and the church thought was funny).

I think they even came up for a name for it - the switcheroo. Keep an eye out for it; I'm sure it will become a popular ploy.

Besides, I'm supposed to get worked up over someone mocking the Catholic Church? The same church that turned blind-eye after blind-eye to rampant pedophilia and child-molestation by its priests. Forgive me if I'm saving my sympathy for a worthier cause.

I've got no beef with individual Catholics or the faith itself. I repeat, my problem is not with Catholics or Catholicism as an idea. But the organization that passes itself off as the church can blow me. Of course, I'm 29 so that offer is probably 20 years too late to generate any interest.

It gets better. He delivers a couple kicks to Chris Marinelli, who stupidly shot off his mouth before the game. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have a problem with that. There is clearly no excuse for trash-talking a superior team; plus he was needlessly rude and personally insulting. However, even when he's right, the author shows how little integrity the Pink Hats have.

The author says he was at the pep rally and Pat Kuntz read Marinelli's comments. Now, we all saw that footage on NBC. Pat Kuntz didn't read the comments, it was some other dude who then handed the mic to Kuntz. Yes, Kuntz may have read them at another point, but c'mon. We all know Kuntz can't read. He plays football for Notre Dame for Pete's sake (OK that's a mean joke, he's just a young kid who was rightly fired up and it's not his fault ND's got so many Pink Hats; he can take it though - he's a BIG boy and played one hell of a game).

But seriously, a real Notre Dame fan knows not to draw attention to a game in which his supposed national powerhouse struggles to beat what is essentially a glorified Ivy League team. Not only that, perhaps you shouldn't point out that a Stanford player mocked your team. After all, that wasn't bluster (Stanford isn't exactly known for bluster); he genuinely believed Stanford could go on the road and win.

If Notre Dame were a legitimately dangerous team like Oklahoma or LSU, do you think Marinelli would have shot off his mouth? You think he would have had any illusion about winning?

Like I said, that author is not the only Pink Hat braying into cyberspace. It's virtually impossible to avoid them. Just this morning I got misdirected to another breathtaking example: an article touting Felix Jones as the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Offensive Rookie of THE YEAR after four games! And Jones really has only one great game plus another great run of 60 yards. That's it.

Shockingly, the author was a Cowboy fan. The biggest one ever I'm sure.

Hey, I'm not saying that Claussen won't be the front-runner for the Heisman. I'm not saying Jones won't be the Offensive ROY. I'm saying that, at this point, those are ridiculous statements. They mean nothing and prove nothing except whomever made them has no grasp on reality nor on what it means to be a real fan.

A real fan recognizes strength and weakness. He/she loves in the face of those weaknesses - even the ones we know are most likely to break our hearts.

A real fan doesn't have to lie to himself/herself or anyone else in order to love a player or team. Nor to show that love.

So Pink Hats, just shut it. You're just embarrassing yourselves.

We ain't buying what you're selling.

No comments: