Loyalty and the Red Sox

October 20, 2006
By

Maybe I should take at least partial blame for this season’s Red Sox implosion. I grew up in Red Sox Nation, and for about 45 years I have followed the team. But not this year. For the first time since I became a loyal fan, I could not watch the Red Sox on TV without paying for it, i.e. subscribing to Sox-owned NESN.

I was amazed to think that the ticket sales, concession stands, souvenirs, commercial endorsements and the ubiquitous marketing of the Red Sox trademark still were not generating enough revenue for the Red Sox corporation, so they decided to pull the network-televised games on Friday nights. I was reminded that the Red Sox, like all professional sports teams, are profit-maximizing corporate entities that provide entertainment to the masses—no more, no less.

It is obvious that the Red Sox are not loyal to their fans, but they expect loyalty—like some sort of dysfunctional relationship. I’m glad that I decided not to pay for NESN, and to save my money for something more worthy.

Henry Barbaro
Jamaica Plain