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Thinking caps

Now I have a couple of credos I live by.  The first and foremost is that actions should have reasons behind them that make some objective sense.  If you don’t want to do that, at least have some other, more subjective reason.  Do it for art, do it for the Revolution, do it for some reason.  Don’t do it because you just happened to be plodding along and this was the default action.  Don’t do it because it was the thing that the teeming masses of that area were doing.  Question yourself, and question the dominant paradigm.  Of course, by introducing my comment in this fashion, you know that I’m about to talk about baseball caps.

Now back in my day, prior to the meteor impact, people wore baseball caps because they were fans of the team, for the most part.  You were a Dodgers fan, you wore a Dodgers cap.  Not too complicated.  Sure, there were fair-weather fans – teams like the Dallas Cowboys and N.Y. Yankees and, preeminently of late, the Red Sox, wouldn’t exist without them.  They wore the caps because they wanted desperately to be cool, and hoped that the team from the distant city in which they’d never set foot and would be hopeless lost and miserable if they ever did would sympathetically lend them that little bit of cool to bolster their lousy self-image.  (I, OTOH, would frequently choose losing teams from other cities in leagues where I didn’t have a dog in the race and wear their stuff, just to try to give some balance back to the universe and stand out a bit.)

At one point many years ago, when she was in her teenerdom, my little sister apparently suggested to my mother that I be given a San Jose Sharks t-shirt or something as a gift.  Sharks merch flew off the shelves at the time, which I chalked up to the team being new.  But it wasn’t just that.  With their cutesy teal colors becoming de rigeur for every single damned sports team that began play at that time, the Sharks began the trend of sports team as fashion statement.  Now people didn’t even care how the team did, or even what sport it was – it was simply wearing a logo.  I’d say it was free advertising*, which it was to a certain extent, as the team did get some money from the sale of the apparel, but in another sense, they weren’t even selling the team’s tickets.  It was simply adapting a sigil as one’s own, and not having the originality to make it for yourself.

Later, the whole thing came completely unglued.  Teams started to put out different colors of their apparel; there were red Yankee caps.  Girls started demanding pink hats, and the impossible to read black-on-black caps became a statement of…something, don’t know what.  Tags were left on, the brims were worn flat, caps were made to be permanently worn backwards (thus defeating the whole purpose of keeping the sun out of your eyes), and other asinine-looking silliness sprouted up.  But alas, this was and is fashion, which is a word meaning, “a large number of people making asses of themselves more or less in unison rather than simply one or two”.

Today, I spotted a kid on the Metro with a black cap sporting a green logo.  It was the same as the Red Sox “hanging socks” logo, but of course, divorced from that context in that it was green; it could have been for the White Sox as well, given the circumstances.  As I still think in the old-fashioned, making-sense way, I assumed that the guy was a fan of a minor league team, the Green Sox, which probably exists out there somewhere.  (I checked; they don’t.)  The only other thing on the cap was an MLB logo in back; it too was entirely in green, but more to the point, its presence indicated that this was indeed the cap of a major league team.  But which one?  Was it indeed a Red Sox cap?  Did they get the money for it?  Could the White Sox not press charges, saying that they should get half the money for that cap, since it may as well have been theirs…?  And there’d be no proving it, because it’s not the cap of a Ghod-damned major league team!

We have actually sunk to that point.  The Red Sox don’t even have to wear a bit of red.  By the time I saw the Latino kid at Fort Totten wearing a Yankees jacket and a Dodgers cap without any apparent embarrassment, I was just past the point of disgust.

Now I hate to just bitch about things without suggesting some kind of positive remedy, and I did indeed come up with several for this particular problem…however, all of my proposed remedies contained the phrase, “…and then we beat them with sticks”, which people tend to frown upon as a solution – despite the fact that I would recommend that for Red Sox fans just on general principle.  Of such things are comments columns made, so, have at it, I suppose.

*Actually, I should indeed charge money to companies for the advertising space on my t-shirt.  You want me to wear the Nike “swoosh”?  No problem; just cross my palm with the appropriate cash and let me know what you want the ad to say.


3 Responses

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more about the crazy baseball-caps-as-fashion-trend, but one little detail: I had nothing to do with any San Jose merchandise you may have gotten. Until I read this, I didn’t know you had anything related to the Sharks, and I never knew their stuff sold well. Plus, I ALWAYS hated the teal team color trend, so unless I recommended it as a gag gift, then developed complete amnesia about it, this never happened.

  2. Welcome to Geezerville, Scooter, here’s your Geritol.

    Now maybe we’ll be seeing a bit more of each other … 😉

  3. How often do you yourself play basball and what position, or do you just write about it?

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

    Baseball greats you should write about next!

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