By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Good riddance to the cult of suffering

In my latest for the Guardian, I take on so-called Red Sox fans who are nostalgic for those losing days (and years, and decades) that preceded 2004. (Yes, that means you, Brian McGrory.) This actually went up on the Guardian’s Web site Monday night, so apologies for not posting earlier.


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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Nice piece.But really, the only members of the “cult of suffering” that I have ever met are newspaper columnists unable to come up with a better angle.Also, metro columnists trying vainly to support the bad angle supported by extremely overrated sports columnists of the same paper.Gee, maybe those guys are the same.There are dozens of Red Sox blogs that cover the team, from play-by-play to the “emotional” stories and can run circles around our local newspapers.Again, nice piece.

  2. another face at zanzibar

    Dan, I don’t think it’s the fans. It’s the media–they’re the ones who miss the glory days of game 7 in 2003 and the like. Writing about winning is so, you know, boring.

  3. Anonymous

    Hey Dan,Couldn’t agree with you more. The “woe is me, poor Red Sox fan” was loathsome even before 1994. I’ve been following the Red Sox since 1967, and I’ve had to “suffer” during that 41-season period through six losing seasons. I had a college buddy from Cleveland who pointed out that the Indians were never pennant contenders from 1960-1993.But I want to enlist your help on one thing. Can’t we kill the “Hub of the Universe” moniker once and for all. Holmes called the State House “the hub of the solar system.”Bob in Peabody

  4. Peter Porcupine

    No, no, no, Bob – Hub of the UNIVERSE! Not some dinky solar system!BTW – I have a theory about this. The Red Sox won five World Series between 1903 and 1918 (although they were called the Boston Americans for some of this time, the club still takes credit for the wins). Now, they have won twice in 2004 and 2007. After they have reached five victories, perhaps aroind 2015, there will be another 85 +/- years of losses.Sort of an athletic Halley’s Comet!

  5. Anonymous

    Dan, aren’t you the one who was still critisizing Francona for not starting Beckett on short rest in Game 4 of the ALCS, AFTER they had won the pennant?Rest assured, the cult of miseray and suffering is alive and well.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 2:59: No, I’m not. You’re wrong.

  7. Anonymous

    Dan, this is your comment in the thread for “Crisp’s Last Stand,” a topic you started on Oct. 22. – sure reads like criticism to me:Dan Kennedy said…What are you talking about? By using Wakefield — injured and rusty — in Game 4, Francona gambled that the Sox wouldn’t go down three games to one. And he lost. Maybe Tito knew the Sox were going to come back from a 3-1 deficit???1:04 PM

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 3:46: Never respond to the troll, but here I go. If you go back and read that thread, you will see that I was explaining to a commenter that Francona had made it clear he wasn’t going to use Beckett on three days’ rest. Here’s what I wrote just before:”So we also have to assume that he didn’t start Beckett on three days’ rest [against Cleveland] either because (1) Beckett was gassed after Game 1 or (2) he didn’t want to risk an injury to his ace. Which leads to a final assumption — that Francona’s going to keep Beckett on normal rest in the World Series. If he doesn’t, then I’m really going to wonder what Wakefield in Game 4 against the Indians was all about.”And, as we know, Francona was so determined not to use Beckett on three days’ rest that he started Lester in Game Four. In other words, in the World Series he gambled again, but this time he won.Here’s the back-and-forth.And here’s my ode to Francona, posted on Sept. 3 — obviously well before the team got hot again and blew through the post-season.Got it?

  9. Anonymous

    1. I’m not a troll. Thought one could challenge you here without immediately being labeled as such.2. Your “ode” to Francona missed the point. Shaughnessy was actually right, for once (hey, it happens). Despite all Francona has accomplished, Red Sox Nation is full of people who fretted and griped all the way through two world championship seasons and wanted him fired every time the team lost, and often even when they won.

  10. another face at zanzibar

    Hey, Dan, Imus is back: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119394851366379484.html?mod=hps_us_whats_newsWonder what this will do to the WTKK/Howie situation?

  11. Dan Kennedy

    You ignored evidence that was staring you right in the face that disproved your point. Thus.

  12. Anonymous

    It doesn’t disprove my point. The comment I cited reads as critical, even in context. More importantly, your Guardian column and your comment on CHB’s piece both miss the point: the curse of misery and self-loathing is alive and well. And New England is full of people who never managed a little league team but who think they know better than Francona.Tell you what – why don’t you contact Francona for a comment?

  13. Notta Yawkey

    Yawn… Season’s over. Red Sox gracious in victory. JP dancing across America via TV. I, for one, never equated loving the Red Sox with loving losing. The sports media/press of Boston has always been overrated – mostly by itself. Again, the Red Sox are 2007 champs. Let’s enjoy it.

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