“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends …”
The latest episode in the never-ending series “Ways the Yankees Drive Red Sox Fans Crazy” comes to us from Athol, Massachusetts, about 80 miles west of Boston, where the police chief has banned Yankee clothing in the police station, a ban that will be “strictly enforced.”
Here’s the letter from the department’s Facebook page.
So what spurred this, beyond the big Red Sox-Yankees series this week? From the story:
“The problems started Monday when the department’s custodian, who grew up in Orange, which the chief said is undeniably part of Red Sox Nation, wore a Yankees shirt to work. It was a bold move in a department filled with Boston sports fans. There’s even a police dog named Gronk.”
Well, that doesn’t seem smart. What would possess a man in the heart of Red Sox Nation to do such a thing?
“The custodian told the chief he’d been to a Yankees game as a kid and Mickey Mantle signed a ball for him.
‘He said he was a fan ever since,’ the chief said, adding that while he didn’t make the custodian change his shirt, he made it clear that wearing such things is frowned upon.
‘We’re east of the Connecticut River,’ the chief said. ‘I know things are different west of the river toward Connecticut, but this is Red Sox country.’”
I’ve lived in Massachusetts for 15 years, and the Red Sox fandom runs so deep, there does seem to be an undercurrent of “How can you be a fan of anyone else … especially the Yankees?” It’s why the staff at Lincoln Center saw me as some kind of hero.
I’m going to assume that this “ban” is mostly tongue-in-cheek, and that if I staggered into the Athol Police Department with my head busted open, they’d help me even if I was wearing my Yankees hoodie. (I’m also going to assume they wouldn’t send me on my way if I robbed a store in the same garb.)
But it’s picayune, and annoying, and just plain silly.
Well, at least I can go see the Lowell Spinners now, which is good. Spinners games are fun.