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Confessions of a Fen(way)qing or “Everything I know about Chinese nationalism I learned as a Boston sports fan”

I want to come clean: I am a Red Sox fenqing.  Mao may have had his Red Guards but I’m a card-carrying armband-wearing brainless slogan-chanting member of the 红袜兵.*  Hey, we’ve got our catchy songs and marching anthem too.

You have a problem with that? Didn’t think so, because there’s a bleacher full of guys behind me who will find your ass, pull you out of your seat and get all Dropkick Murphys on you…

You can hold me down, prop open my eyelids with rusty nails and make me watch video of David Ortiz plunging needles into his body like he’s filming the last 15 seconds of  Kurt Cobain: The Movie and I still won’t believe that Papi was juiced on steroids even though he went from hitting 20 home runs a year with Twins to bashing 50 home runs only after joining the Red Sox and making the acquaintance of one Manuel Ramirez.

The cover of Sports Illustrated with Nomar Garciaparra that caused every red blooded New England male to question their sexuality for .000001 seconds? Yeah, nothing going on there.  Oh sure…right AFTER steroids became a big deal Nomar started breaking  down like a decade-old Xiali, but he wasn’t slamming hog hormones between his toes. Nope. Nope.  I will NOT believe it.

Don’t talk to me about history…or at least history that makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t care about how racist the Red Sox were; How they were the first team to pass on Jackie Robinson and the last team to integrate.  That’s the PAST…We’re all about the future.  Here and now, leadership should do whatever it takes to beat the evil imperialist powers and emerge a stronger nation, respected and feared.

86 Years of Humiliation is not quite a century, but we trusted the regime — a closed inner-circle given to palace intrigue — to make it right.  We BELIEVED.  We had FAITH.

Stories of censorship and media manipulation are just New York Post propaganda.  Even though the Red Sox own their own television station and have the largest city newspaper firmly in their back pocket and Boston’s sports journalists — one famous columnist in particular — make The China Daily and The Global Times look like epic heroes of independent reporting, it DOES NOT MATTER.  If they tell me that $14 million is a fair price to pay for J.D. “Called Strike Three” Drew, then I will brook no counter-narrative.  It is THE TRUTH.

(Oh yeah…and that whole business about taking our most famous historical figure and preserving parts of his body for future generations…SO WHAT? Like you never pickled or froze a departed relative for posterity? Yeah, right…)

Nothing makes me more irrational than sports.  If you’re massacring kittens for the Burmese Army but you’re doing it while wearing a vintage Yastrzemski jersey, than hey — You’re okay in my book.  Saving drowning orphans from shark infested waters while wearing a Yankee hat? Yeah, hope you oiled yourself up in tuna fat first, buddy….

I am not just some loser supporting people who take my money and don’t care what I think…I’m part of a NATION!

And I am not alone.  If my team isn’t doing well, it’s not OUR FAULT, it’s because the Yankees have more money or the league hates us or ANY OTHER reason other than “We suck.”  Rational truth and reason ARE NOT my friend.  I AM A FENWAY-QING!

Game on.


*红袜兵 (For the Chinese-impaired, Hong Wa Bing (“Red Sox Guard”) a play on the Chinese name of the Red Guard 红卫兵 Hong Wei Bing.)

6 Comments on Confessions of a Fen(way)qing or “Everything I know about Chinese nationalism I learned as a Boston sports fan”

  1. I lived in Boston from 2003 to 2006. A 10 minute walk from Fenway Park. I’m sure you can figure out what 2004 was like for me.

  2. Speaking on behalf of Minnesota sports fans: it hasn’t escaped our notice that most of your success over the last few years has been accomplished via the use of Minnesota pro athletes whom – through hook or crook – you pirated from us in trades and other transactions that would make civilized sports fans blush (don’t think we don’t know that McHale was still quietly on the Celtics payroll when he surrendered KG to You People). Shame.

  3. Spoken like a true Bostonian Idiot. At least your semi-selfaware unlike most of your brutish brethren.

  4. OK…you know where I’m coming from here…music? Really?

    Maybe you’re a nation…we’re an empire….

  5. Very funny, Mr. 红袜兵.

  6. Haha, Jeremiah, beautiful rant. Your loyalty is truly inspiring!

    You make me miss home!

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