"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Cease and Desist - The pink hats have got to go

My brother and I have an ongoing debate. This debate reached epic proportions around the dinner table on Christmas Eve with the added input of Manley sisters Beth, Jen and Carolyn and Carolyn's charming boyfriend, Butch. We argued about the disturbing phenomenon of pink Red Sox hats. Well, disturbing if you're me, Beth or Jen, adorable if you're Kevin or Carolyn (who owns one). If you're Butchie, you reside firmly on the fence because it was in fact you who bought said hat for your girlfriend and you realize that you'd do well to keep your mouth shut in this debate less someone call you to the carpet for supporting the bleacher bimbo industry.

Now, I have no problem with women supporting their favorite sports teams. Quite the contrary. If you've read any of my entries before you undoubtedly know that I wear my rooting passions on my sleeve. Or on my head. In the form of a hat. A blue one.

I am of the mind that the colors of the Red Sox (or the Patriots for that matter as this pink hat nonsense has started to creep into NFL merchandising as well), are red, blue and white. Not pink. And yes, I realize that pink is simply red and white combined but this is not a freakin' Valentine's Day card, it's a baseball hat. Why you need a special color scheme to let the rest of the world know you're a girl is beyond me.

My brother tried to get me to admit that it is the girls who wear such hats that I have such hatred for and not the hats themselves. He may have a point though I would only go so far as to admit to hating what the hats "represented." As far as what that means, I can only assume that there is some evil little man in some evil little office somewhere deep in the recesses of the Major League Baseball marketing department and he's watching men across the country dragging their girlfriends to baseball games and wondering how he could make the game more "girl friendly" because clearly buff atheletes in tight pants and the presence of Gabe Kapler are not enough. (Bye, Gabe! Enjoy Japan. We'll miss you!) And whilst twisting his evil little mustache he got the "Eureka!" idea to start making team apparel in "girly" colors. Hence the pink hats. And now there are pink jerseys. This must stop.

My problem is not with female sports fans. My problem is not with the color pink. My problem is not even with guys dragging their girlfriends to the parks because they want them to have a common interest. My problem is that creating a subset of athletic apparel specifically for a certain demographic is demeaning and panders to women. I don't care if women don't like sports. I don't care if some girls don't know the difference between a touchdown and a home run. I don't care if they'd rather spend their time doing their nails and shopping for shoes. Hell, I love a new pair of shoes as much as the next person. What I hate is that Major League Baseball is essentially saying, "We know you don't really care about baseball and you're only here because your boyfriend made you come but look, we made a cute little pink hat just for you so you can be a fan too." It's like they're making it easier on people to pretend to be fans. And I don't like it. If you want to be a fan, you can damn well wear a blue hat with a red "B" just like the rest of us. Hell, you can go retro and get yourself a Pat Patriot hat with old school logo if you want. Go crazy with the throwback jerseys too. But do it because you support the team and the players and not because you saw J-Lo wearing the same thing in a video where Ben Affleck grabbed her ass.

Perhaps I'm too sensitive about this. Perhaps I'm making too much out of it. And maybe my brother is right, it's the girls who wear the hats whom I truly can't stand (except for Carolyn because she is lovely and knows baseball and smells like flowers and kittens). But I do feel that the pink hats are a transparent attempt to appeal to the bleacher bimbos with the overly processed blonde hair who to go games and sit beside their boyfriends and whine that it's cold and that their feet hurt when no one told them to wear fake fur and high heeled boots to a freakin' baseball game in late October, especially one at Fenway Park which is only NINETY years old and is known neither for its comfort nor its warmth and they are taking the seat away from someone who would gladly sever an arm for the privilege of squeezing ourselves into a slot-backed chair made for someone in 1912 who was three feet tall and weighed sixty-eight pounds and not complain about it but would instead enjoy the game and not only not bitch to your boyfriend but also chat him up about the fact that Pokey hasn't been the same since hurting his toe and would even buy him a beer because he would get the next round. And we would wear a BLUE hat with a RED "B" on it while we do so. Because we are not making a fashion statement. We are supporting our team. If you don't want to be here, don't come. Leave your pink hat at home and go get that manicure. We'll keep your boyfriend company over a plate of hot wings at Boston Beer Works after the game.

I simply cannot abide the pink Red Sox hats. And the Patriots hats? Please, can you think of anything less likely to say "smashmouth football" than a powder pink hat with a tastefully rendered "Flying Elvis" logo? Perhaps needlepoint bench cushions for the players on the sidelines? I feel bad for people who's favorite team wears purple or teal (sorry Vikings and Panthers fans but there are no less threatening colors in sports) and I would feel very, very sorry for New Orleans Hornets fans if any existed since the sartorial transgressions of both purple AND teal adorn those uniforms. But unless you are a 12-year-old girl in 1992, there is no excuse. I don't even consider pink a particularly girly color. Men can wear pink all they want, no thanks to Russell Simmons. But it does not belong in a sporting arena. And it does not belong on your head. Stop it. Stop it now.