Fair-weather fans frustrate

There is an illness spreading around Boston, the outlying areas of the city and even across the nation. Everywhere you look, girls are decked out in Red Sox gear. Women proudly display Johnny Damon T-shirts and pink hats while discussing his scruffy good looks.

This population is giving intelligent female fans a bad image. Even worse, however, they are fair-weather fans. If you do not know what a fair-weather fan is and are currently sporting some sort of Red Sox garment, then you are one. The fair-weather fan is a person who supports a professional sports team only while they are doing well but can't be bothered with the team when a downward slope hits.

Since Boston won the World Series, Sox talk is rampant. In the course of a year, these "fans" have become experts on the game. Too bad these "experts" can't tell me if the game is home or away on a given night or if there is even a game at all.

One even asked me what the "P" stood for on my Philadelphia Phillies hat. A big part of me wept inside for her ignorance to the game outside of the Red Sox. My friends seem to be slowly succumbing as well. Calling them up this year has lead straight to voicemails or the response, "Oh, but the Sox game is on now, can I come over later?" Click. I refrain from contact with such people until they use their brains again and apologize for disrespecting me in favor of Sox worship.

When they do manage to pry themselves away from the game for a night out, the common question is "Did we win?" Who is this we? What is your number on the Red Sox? The proper sense of "we" in reference to professional sports should be used to describe the fans. For example, "We stuck with the team for 86 years."

It is improper to say "We won" unless you are David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez or another player on the Sox payroll.

This is a minor detail to the ill-mannered fair-weather fan, but a huge spotlight in finding the disease. The fair-weather bug has even threatened small children. Whole families walk around Fenway Park with matching hats and T-shirts. The thought of the family sharing a common interest is nice but at what expense? To spread the vile germs of fair-weatheritis? Honestly, who raises their children that way? Parents must be educated on keeping their offspring fair-weather free. Some fans not born within the borders of "Red Sox Nation," however, have starting claiming citizenship (see www.facebook.com, the Red Sox Nation group). People from states like New Jersey, Florida and as far away as Washington have made the attempt to stretch the boundaries. Just because the Major League Baseball team in your hometown is terrible does not mean you can latch onto the most recent champion. That would, in theory, entail being a fan of the San Antonio Spurs, Tampa Bay Lightning and, of course, the New England Patriots.

The whole ordeal is as frustrating as seeing someone in Ugg boots and a skirt-it just doesn't make any sense. The more awareness spread about the illness the faster we can find a cure and return to normalcy, if that exists in Boston.