Monday, August 27, 2007

Congratulations, America, You Can Have Them

Last week, USA Today came out with an asinine article claiming that the Boston Red Sox have usurped the Yankees as "America's Team" because they outdraw New York on the road. Now, the logic behind this claim has been widely discredited elsewhere. Fuzzy math, and all that.

But the very premise of the article is inherently flawed. It's a strawman argument, because the Yankees were never, ever considered "America's Team." The Atlanta Braves call themselves by that moniker, because they were on the Superstation before cable TV became popular. But in reality, no baseball team is universally loved enough to merit that nickname. Especially the Yankees.

The Yankees have as many, or more, fans than any other team, due to their location, success and tradition. However, they are also far and away the most hated franchise in sports, drawing disgust, ire and jealousy everywhere from Queens to the Bible Belt. No team that roundly hated can rightly call themselves America's anything.

Now, sportswriting is a difficult and tedious profession, and finding new things to write about daily or weekly can be a challenge. As a result, newspapers and sportscasts are filled with stories about nothing that prove nothing. This is one of those stories.

That being said, if people want to crown the Red Sox America's Team, I say we'll yield the throne happily and willingly.

For, let's not forget, this is an America that made Wild Hogs the number one movie at the box office. An America that (kind of) elected George W. Bush not once, but twice. An America that waits with baited breath to see which luminaries will appear on season three of Dancing With the Stars. An America that currently houses one out of every 32 adults in prison. An America that loves NASCAR. An America that allows Arrested Development and Veronica Mars to wither away into early cancellation while Two and a Half Men and NCIS enjoy long, fruitful lives. An America that impeaches presidents for lying about blow jobs but not for lying about the basis for war. An America that enjoys the musical stylings of Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy and Fergie. An America that allowed Crash to be named Best Picture. An America that is quickly becoming a vast wasteland of urban sprawl, Ruby Tuesday's and Linens 'n' Things. An America that, for some inexplicable reason, enjoys the NFL more than Major League Baseball. An America that has featured a professional wrestler and action star as governors. An America that wants to build a wall to keep brown people from other countries out. An America that sustained the worst ever attack on its own soil and then allowed the perpetrators to go free. An America that thinks Jay Leno is funny. An America, let's just say that I could go on for a while.

So Boston Red Sox, meet America. America, this is the BoSox. You guys are fucking perfect for each other.