A Chicano Beantown Fan

Red Sox

I wasn’t born in Boston nor have I ever been to Boston. Someday, though, I do plan on taking a tour of the revolutionary city. I mean, Bostonians do know how to riot and all. So who knows, I might learn a thing or two from the legacy of good old Sam Adams? I suppose there’s only one way to find out.

I’ve been told that I am Boston’s Prodigal Son. And I love it.

To tell you the truth, I am born and raised in good old Boyle Heights. Nevertheless, I am a passionate sports fan of the Boston Celtics and the Boston Red Sox.

I am not a New England Patriots fan because as I admit jokingly I do not like their helmets. I am not a hockey fan, but If I had to choose an NHL team it’d be the Boston Bruins.

By the way, I am a Dallas Cowboys fan. America’s Team. Oh, the irony!

I always get asked the proverbial question: how can a Chicano born and raised in Los Angeles with a legacy of championship teams root for Boston sports teams?

Its pretty easy, actually.

As a youngster growing up in Boyle Heights, I had this emerging rebellious spirit of going against the norm. It hadn’t, of course, been fully developed yet at that time, but who doesn’t like challenging something at some point in their life?

Everyone was a Laker and Dodger fan. So I wanted to be a fan of something else. It made sense to me.

Plus, I had the added bonus of growing up during the coming of the “white savior” into the National Basketball Association. After leading Indiana State to the NCAA title game, eventually losing to the Magic Johnson led Michigan State team, Larry Bird arrived in Boston with full honors and great expectations.

“The Hick from French Lick” entered the sports scene and AmeriKKKa was reborn with a B-movie actor as president to boot. Yikes! In retrospect, I now realize the full power of assimilation and how it creeps up slowly to ravage the spirit and soul. So be careful Raza!

To be sure, the conditions were ripe for me to jump on the Boston bandwagon. I mean, who doesn’t like to root for a winner especially when you’re young and naive?

I remember the Hollenbeck Jr. High basketball lunch games that pitted friends against friends. It was the Lakers vs Celtics nearly every day during basketball season. It was always difficult to find anyone wanting to play on the Celtics teams with me though.

So as destiny would have have it, the Celtics would win three NBA titles, while the hated “Showtime” would win five titles in the 1980s. Bird vs Magic was a classic matchup that literally saved the NBA game.

I have never looked back since. Always a Celtics fan for life. ¿Y que?

As for the Boston Red Sox obsession, it had to do with the fact that they were always on Monday Night Baseball playing the hated Yanks. This was a time when true “public” television dominated our viewing habits and you weren’t forced to pay for something that was legally and technically “free” since the public owned the airwaves. Oh my, how times have changed. Those darn de-regulators of the Reagan Administration ruined everything.

Anyways, constant exposure to the Red Sox made a fan out me instantaneously. I also loved the red caps. Red has been my favorite color ever since.

A star-filled team with the likes of Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, the Yaz, the Spaceman, Dwight Evans, Carlton Fisk, and the list goes on and on merely ensured that the baseball cards I wanted to collect the most were players from Boston.

The Red Sox were always among the best teams in the American League. But somehow they managed to lose to the hated Yanks or the Big Red Machine when it counted the most. The mantra of “wait until next year” kept our hopes up, however.

And we waited. and waited.

But it was the “Curse of the Bambino” that kept us from winning it all if you want to know the truth. The Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series since 1918. Then something miraculous happened in 2004 and 2007. The “Curse of the Bambino” had been broken. The Red Sox were World Series champions again.

I still believe that any Red Sox player who leaves the team for the hated Yanks is a traitor. It is worse than the actions of Benedict Arnold that’s for sure.

All of sudden, after those World Series wins, Boston Red Sox caps started appearing throughout Los Angeles. I guess everyone likes a winner.

I’ve been a Boston fan con orgullo since I can remember. No regrets!

I still love chanting the “BEAT LA” slogan whenever the opportunity presents itself.

If you ever see a Chicano walking down Whittier Blvd. wearing a Boston Red Sox cap that’s probably me.

c/s
cultural sovereignty

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