I have to admit, when the news that the Red Sox were going to establish an official “Red Sox Nation” President, I thought it was fun. “Why not?” I asked. It shows that the Red Sox don’t take themselves too seriously, and at the same time, creates some fan comradery. You want to have Tim Russert moderate a debate on NESN among candidates for President of Red Sox Nation, so be it. Sounded campy and fun.
That was last year. Now, the reality is, the whole “Official Red Sox Nation” is not poking fun at being a Red Sox fan, it’s got all the trimmings of a political campaign. I expect that this new version of Red Sox Nation will be campaigning for ways to improve the slumping economy shortly.
Case in point, the press release sent out where “newly established President of Red Sox Nation Jerry Remy and Vice President of Red Sox Nation ‘Regular’ Rob Crawford announced the creation of a ‘Five Point Plan’ that will guide their administration in 2008. The ‘Five Point Plan’ includes the appointment of governors, a two-year census, elected youth representatives, new benefits for registered Citizens of Red Sox Nation, and a commitment to encourage fans with access to tickets to make ticket donations to deserving individuals.”
When you get to the point where a “Five Point Plan” comes out of an "administration", it’s no longer “cute”. Here, in all its seriousness, is what Remy and “Regular” Rob have outlined:
Point One: Appointment of Governors
The President and Vice President of Red Sox Nation will appoint one governor per U.S. state, beginning with the states within New England. Appointments may also be made for representatives of countries and territories where the Red Sox have a following. Each governor will be responsible for organizing Red Sox viewing parties for fans in their state, and collecting feedback from his/her constituents.
Point Two: Two-Year Census
As part of an initiative to hear directly from Red Sox Nation, Remy and Crawford will create a two-year census, which will ask fans to give feedback on how the Red Sox can better serve their fans. Any and all ideas will be heard, and the best may be presented to Red Sox ownership for possible implementation. The census will also help put a face on the ever-expansive, worldwide fan base that is Red Sox Nation.
Point Three: Kid Nation Captains presented by Hood
Of utmost importance to the President and Vice President of Red Sox Nation is the representation and feedback of the team’s youngest fans. With that in mind, they will establish Kid Nation Captains presented by Hood. These elected leaders of Red Sox Nation will be responsible for representing Red Sox Kid Nation. They will also be entrusted to carry out Kid Nation’s “Kids Helping Kids” mission through the development and implementation of a new community service program supported by Hood, the Boston Red Sox, and all of Red Sox Kid Nation.
Point Four: New RSN Program Benefits
Remy and Crawford will establish a number of new, valuable benefits and giveaways for registered Citizens of Red Sox Nation, including: “Win a Day with the World Series Trophy Sweepstakes”; “Nation’s Way” Gate C prizes, where Citizens of Red Sox Nation win prizes when their Red Sox Nation cards are scanned at Gate C; Game notes and press releases sent to Citizens of Red Sox Nation; and a special benefit to New England-based registered Citizens to receive the first 100 lottery spots during the State Days ticket sale.
Point Five: Community Program/“Ticket Give”
Remy and Crawford will stress the importance of getting tickets to fans that may not ordinarily have the means to purchase tickets. Vice President “Regular” Rob Crawford initially took the lead on this initiative by promising to give away all of the tickets he received from President Jerry Remy to fans of Red Sox Nation. Loosely based on one of Crawford’s initiatives during his campaign for the President of Red Sox Nation, a plan will be developed to help facilitate Season Ticket Holders and fans with access to tickets who would like to give tickets away to deserving individuals. Some of these inspiring stories will be highlighted by Remy and Crawford throughout the season.
Welcome to the Dayton Peace Accords, Official Red Sox Nation style.
Look, it’s not to say that these initiatives aren’t worthwhile or even noble on some levels; they are. I mean, the Jimmy Fund has been around since the Boston Braves, it’s just that it wasn’t packaged and processed. It was done out of a need, not as part of some “agenda”.
I can’t help but glance at the new sanctioned “Red Sox Nation”, look at the initiatives and say, well… aren’t we suddenly awfully serious?
The view of what was— until it was copyrighted and trademarked as “Red Sox Nation”— something that never conjured up visions of some “Five Point Plan”. Red Sox Nation is something less contrived—loose. Prepared to be unprepared, if that makes any sense. An organic collection of fans, not something that sounds like you got it out of a cereal box.
Here’s to hoping that deserving fans that wish to see the Red Sox get their chance, and if it is through some initiative program, so be it. If this “five point plan” as over-the-top, and pretentious as it sounds, reaches charitable means, more power to it.
Maybe it’s me that’s curmudgeonly on this matter. Maybe I’m overlooking the good that can come out the organized version of the league of fans around the world devoted to all things Red Sox. Just pardon me if I reply when asked whether I’m a part of Red Sox Nation, “It all depends on which version.”
What do you think of the Official Red Sox Nation? Don't forget to add your comments
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