All Aboard!

When you’re hot… people come out of the woodworks to bask in your glow.  For the first time in a long time… that’s a “problem” for the Celtics.  More specifically… it’s a problem for some of us die-hards that paid attention for 82 games of “let’s play hard and lose.”

Today… guest columnist Pat McGregor expresses his disdain for the bandwagoners that are sure to start showing up at the Garden just to be seen.  (Links to follow the column)

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All Aboard
By Pat McGregor

Before the Red Sox made the playoffs in 2003, the Red Sox and their fans were a lot closer to the Celtics than you might have thought. The stadium, prior to contrary belief, did not sell out consistently, there was a negative aura around the team, and only the true die-hard fans cared enough to watch. Sounds pretty much like the Celtics of the past two or three years doesn’t it? When the Sox made their original run in 03, and moved on to win it all in 04, they became an entirely different entity. All of a sudden everyone was a Red Sox fan, you couldn’t get tickets, and there are more groups of 20-something girls all dolled up for a night on the town at Fenway Park than groups of true long time fans. I’ve been suffering with the C’s for the past few years, watching just about every game, in that half filled arena, hoping for the day when Celtics games mattered once again. Now that they do, and we expect them to at least go deep into the playoffs, I’d like to discuss the downside of having a good team like the one the Celts have become, the bandwagon fans.

Everyone knows a bandwagon fan when they see one. They have all the latest team gear and shwag, they attend as many games as they can, but they also couldn’t tell you jack sh– about the history of the team or what it was like during the lean years. Personally, I hate bandwagon fans, they infuriate me. Nothing aggravates me more than watching a Red Sox game, looking in the front row seats and seeing some guy in a suit talking on his cell phone, or some hot blonde in a pink hat texting on her blackberry instead of watching the game. This was something we didn’t have to worry about with the C’s, until now. Expect to see the pink hats with white shamrocks hit the market any day now, if they already haven’t. One of the reasons I’ve fallen in love more than ever with the Celtics in the past few years was their somewhat underground nature. Only people that really cared were watching, and it was a refreshing change considering what the Red Sox had become. You had to go to places like redsarmy.com to get Celts info, because the Globe and Herald had basically ceased their coverage of the team. After Danny Ainge took over and gutted the roster, most Bostonians could probably name Paul Pierce and would have to stop after that. It reminds me of in high school, when you’d have something like a car, or some kind of style of fashion, that was yours, and all of a sudden one of the cool kids gets it, and then everyone else follows. You started the trend, suffered through it, and now have to share it with others now that there are benefits to be reaped. That’s almost what I see the Celtics becoming this year.

Except to see people like Dan Shaughnessy and Jackie MacMullen to all of a sudden remember the Celtics existence and start writing columns about them, in Dan’s case, negative columns about Doc Rivers. Where were they when the team sucked? Where were they when I wanted to know why Al Jefferson had ankles made of glass, or when I wanted to know if Doc Rivers’ employment had something to do with compromising photographs of Wyc Grousbeck and/or Danny Ainge? They were firmly implanted in the Red Sox and Patriots bandwagon, that’s where, and personally, I don’t want to make room on the bandwagon we’ve been riding the last 3 years solo for people like them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond ecstatic that the Celtics have Kevin Garnett, I’d describe more as orgasmic. I’m willing to give up the Celtics innocent nature to see some playoff games. I don’t have to like it though, and I sure as hell can call attention to was there when it wasn’t fashionable, and who wasn’t. This is what I’m trying to tell the loyal Celtics fans, the fans that watched just as many games involving Justin Reed and Orien Green as games they will watch involving KG and Ray Allen. Don’t let the bandwagon fans take over, and make sure they know exactly what they are. Those people have taken over Fenway Park, and I don’t want them taking over the TD Banknorth Garden come November. We cant stop them from attending games, or watching games, or buying team gear, but we can sure as hell make sure they don’t take over, and make the Celtics another corporate entity that values money over winning like the Red Sox. This is the most crucial time for us, the true fans of the Celtics, the ones that can tell you just as much about Brett Szabo or Tony Delk as they can about the aforementioned recent arrivals. Now is the time when we can make sure this team remains our team and our passion, to make sure that when people think of Celtics fans, they think of us, not pink hats and yuppies.

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Today’s Links:

On GotGarnett:  63 Days Until Opening Night!

Herald: C’s put ball in Rondo’s court  |  Bob Ryan is warming to the idea of C’s in playoffs  |  Big Al helps kids affected by Minn. bridge collapse  |  Cuban wanted KG  |  Loy’s Place: Concerns amidst the Kool-Aid  |  Ruben Patterson will screw up signs with Clippers  |  US beats Uruguay by 39  |  Yi Jianlian is really 22

9 Responses

  1. Nice work. I agree with you except the notion that the Red Sox are “another corporate entity that values money over winning.” The Sox brass clearly understand that winning makes them money, and allows them to cram shows like Sox Appeal down our throat. If the Sox sucked, no one would be watching NESN or those lame shows.

  2. […] buyout on the table?   Patterson signs with the Clippers       Red’s Army   All aboard       Concord Monitor   WEEI will expand north to air on 11 stations         JS […]

  3. Thanks. I would argue no one watches those shows like Sox appeal anyway, but I dont know the ratings. As for the corportate entity stuff, in my opinion, the Red Sox understand they have to field a team that is at least in it long enough for tickets to sell out for the entire season, anything after that is a bonus for us fans. Look at the 2006 season, that team had no chance of making the playoffs, yet every game sold out because they didnt fall apart until the tickets were sold. If the Red Sox valued winning over money, someone other than Coco Crisp(who was brought in for marketing purposes) would have replaced Johnny bleepin Damon. The signing of Posey really made me happy because it showed me that Wyc is willing to do whatever it takes to make this team a winner, not just a contender that sells out.

  4. […] Red’s Army All aboard […]

  5. good points, and i just wanted to chime in with an echo using the patriots as an example. as the young fellow that i am, i didnt really become a fan of them until the 95 season…and then after the 96 season when they returned to mediocrity for a few years, it was hard to find good news about them anywhere. I dont remember many spots on nfl.com’s front page, and etc. Since 01 (really 03) the whole world has been on the patriots dick, and as someone that was around before brady i did get that shoved aside feeling. i can only imagine its worse for someone that watched them go 1-15 year in and year out…
    as far as the celtics go, i have to admit that i joined the fan world a bit late. Honestly, last season was when I got into the celtics, before that I just knew that they used to be pretty good, but hadnt won a title since before i was born (or gerald green was born for that matter). And really, I hated to see them lose, but it was nice in a way to be able to root for an underdog team, as the patriots seem to get picked to go to the super bowl every year it seems. i know that complaining because the team is too good is something only boston fans could do…there was just something refreshing about cheering for gomes and rondo and al and delonte. One losing season was enough, and I’m really happy that the celtics are going to be contenders again, but I’m already forming those ‘where were you last year?’ responses, and i’m sure that feeling is a lot stronger for those that have been fans since about Bill Russell’s rookie year.

  6. What team has a better list of no name players during the 1995-2002 era? Sox or Celtics?

  7. A few thoughts.
    I hope I never see a pink Celtics hat. I know you are probably right and it will happen, but I’m still holding out hope.
    I also hope that what has happened with the Red Sox does not happen with these Celtics. It was not that long ago that you could get tickets at Fenway on the night of the game for pretty cheap money(2002). You could not even pay me to go now. The bandwagon is so full of people who know nothing about baseball or even about recent Red Sox greats like Jon Valentin, Mike Greenwell, Troy O’leary and others that it is kind of sickening. Ask a suspected bandwagon fan about these guys or about John Wasdin and wait for the blank stare. Ask a new Celtics fan about Milt Palacio or Vitaly Potapenko and you should get the same reaction. They will never understand why I cannot stand Gilbert Arenas, and the satisfaction I got out of Pierce’s game winner a couple years ago in Washington.
    You basically just have to ignore the bandwagon fan. They are going to be around. People I know that have “not watched since Larry Bird left” have been talking to me about the Celtics lately. What can you do. This season will be fun . We must enjoy it and not worry about the bandwagon.
    Now that Paul Pierce is surrounded by All Stars, I believe he will have his best year ever. I am a big Jayhawks fan and I have been watching him since college. If all goes well we should see plenty of articles from Boston writers kissing his ass and talking about how he has redeemed himself from the Indiana incedent (The flop that was blown out of proportion), and has become unselfish(Never Has Been). Beware. Bandwagon fans will repeat to you whatever was written in the newspaper on a particular topic. They really don’t know what to think about the game because they are not watching it like a fan. They need the writers to provide them with slanted personal opinions.
    Wondering if REDSARMY is going to put out an ANTI GILBERT shirt. I hope so.
    Keep up the good work. Ilove this sight

  8. Shit… I might have to start selling the pink hat

  9. Word on the fuck gilbert arenas sentiment that dude blows and his blog is some whack shit. But interesting article and interesting situation for true and long standing c’s fans. I am beyond excited that the c’s are finally getting some love becuase I have preached giving them respect for years now but the whole scenario is kind of bitter sweet. Tough to see those hard working kids, that I grew to respect (minus telfair that dude is a scrub and always will be), packing. Having said that, I have always enjoyed KG and Ray and this team looks legit. So my plan is to ignore all the fair weather fans. sit back, drink a beer, get in my hiensohn state of mind, and enjoy this time for my beloved c’s. I know I will appreciate it far more than those kids that just hopped on last month. Also good for paul pierce. he deserves some national attention and some support on the offensive end. Ohh and since we are throwing out some old school obscurity how about some E-strick love that dude was a scrapper

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