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12/23/2005: "Johnny Damon Sucks, Then You Die"

I heard about Johnny Damon leaving the Red Sox via a text message- how 2005. My initial reaction was anger at Johnny Damon, but after I calmed down, I realized that he had done something even worse: he has made me question whether I even like baseball any more. Johnny Damon did something that all pro atheletes should hate him for. He broke kayfabe, which is a professional wrestling term for the old code of silence around preserving the notion that their sport is "real." Back in the day, when pro wrestling was considered real, the fans would get really into the matches, and would often try and physically assault the wrestlers they did not like. Doesn't this sound eerily similar to the comically absurd levels of hatred that Red Sox fans have about the Yankees?

It is widely known that most pro atheletes hate their fans much in the way that William Shatner despises the Trekkies. Johnny Damon, by signing with the Yankees, has revealed for once and for all, that pro sports are, in their own way, just as fake as pro wrestling. The major league sports zealously maintain kayfabe about this. If Johnny Damon doesn't give a shit about hitting those two home runs against the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, that it was just another day at work to him. So if Johnny Damon doesn't really care, why should I care the next time the Red Sox play the Yankees, or when any other sports team plays another?

When I was a kid, I used to see Red Sox games for $5. Now that same bleacher seat costs $50. Every seat in Fenway is filled with people wearing at least one item of Red Sox memorabilia, eating overpriced hot dogs and Coors Lite. This money goes through the Red Sox organization until it ends up in some player's paycheck. Consumer culture took what was once something fun that even a kid could afford and made it so you can only go to a sporting event if you know someone who'll let you use one of their company's season tickets or you have premium cable TV.

In a bizarre turn of events, professional wrestling seems more real to me right now. The other night, I watched TV for the first time in months and saw the WWE Raw show that was filmed in Afghanistan for the troops. The troops were so happy to see them, and were shocked that they actually came. A wrestler named Shawn Michaels said that one of the best moments of his life was when some young female Marine at a lonely oputpost burst into tears when he showed up. And you know what? I believe him. Or at least, I can believe in his sincerity. After all, he was "at work" too. Johnny Damon has peed on all those little blonde girls with their pink Sox caps that loooved Jawnee. Do you think they're ever gong to watch baseball again?

I am truly going to have a hard time caring about professional sports after this. Sure it's business, but at least my Dad explained to me that wrestling was fake when I was a kid. I don't know what to make of this realization that all that time and money I invested in caring about baseball was a waste. I could have been learning how to keep bees or repair transmissions, but I sat drunk around a television cheering for Johnnny Damon beating the Yankees. I urge you to boycott these sports leagues and refuse to buy their products, just as you should boycott Sony for putting spyware on their CDs. One way to start the revolution is to refuse to consume.


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