Friday, December 12, 2008
What Do You Root For?
The Red Sox unveiled new hats and jerseys last night/this morning and my first thought was "so what." But soon I started hearing rumbling from my friends in Red Sox nation that they didn't like the change. The "B" on the hat is sacred and the red socks on the uniforms is cheesy, was what I heard from more than a few people.
I didn't really have a lot of time to think about it today, but it struck me when I was enjoying a beer o'clock conversation with my work colleague Derek.
In this day and age, the uniforms are what we root for... it's all we have left as fans. We long ago gave up the hope that a player would stay with the team for their entire career - free agency was the dagger in our heart there. So rooting for players is an annual affair, subdued by the revolving door also known as the "hot stove."
Team chemistry is annual roll of the dice, but those uniforms and hats... take 'em to the bank. We come to the Park year in and year out and feel an allegiance to a certain look, a certain color, a certain letter... quickly sewn onto a synthetic jersey somewhere in China. That's what being a fan has become.
So when Sox management has the audacity to change the logo and establish the "red socks" as de rigueu, we say "hold on a second."
As a business, it's certainly in their right to make some changes if it will help drive merchandise sales (the assumed reason behind the change). But the fans I'm talking to aren't buying it... whether it's a hat, an away jersey or a bumper sticker with the new logo. We're just fine with what we've got (or had, based on what you've just introduced).
What about you? What do you think about the hat and uniform changes. Should Theo Epstein and his team have asked you first?
I look forward to your comments, which will undoubtedly be better than this post. Thanks!