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)
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.
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