Sunday, October 14, 2007

Red Sox Nation and Clay Nation Collide

I'm a big Red Sox fan, as I noted in my Boys of Summer blog back in the spring. The Sox are battling it out with the Indians for the American League Championship with the winner headed to the World Series. I hope the Red Sox make it all the way and I hope the World Series doesn't go any longer than six games. If it stops before 7 games, I get to see Clay Aiken on a celebrity/charity edition of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.

This morning on the website for Major League Baseball, writer Mark Newman did a piece on 20 characteristics of a Red Sox fan. I couldn't help thinking of the similarities as my two Nations intersect once again.

Clay fans certainly have our rituals, from the way we purchase tickets to the things we do to prepare for a concert to the fact that (as Clay once told an audience)we spend “25 hours a day” on the message boards.
2.Always a Love Story: The point of Newman's story was that romances are created among Red Sox fans. I don't know about romances but some of the best friends that I have right now, I've met since 2003 when Clay stepped on to the Idol stage. One fan interviewed for the MLB article said
It's almost like a culture. It's probably not an accident that 'cult' is in 'culture.' We have so much in common."
3.History Buff: I know fans who can see a picture of Clay wearing a particular shirt and tell you every single time he's had that shirt on camera or at a concert. And that's a feat to be proud of as Clay tends to stick with clothes that he likes.
4.Respects all other fans: Unless of course they have a sign, are stealing a front row seat or are just plain famewhores. But I think that applies to Fenway too, at least until they stop selling booze in the later innings.
5.Passes it down: We're definitely on second generation Clay fans at this point, whether it be family or friends or just somebody you met at the grocery store when Invisible was played on the PA (that's public address system, not Pink Armchair) and you may have squeeled a little less discretely than you had intended. Newbies at concerts? Clay Nation members by the time we get through with them. Clay explains here.
6.Never Forgets: The good times like the AMA award or every concert you ever attended. The low points like the Vincident, the Anamoly, the fauxhawk hair for the 2005 Christmas tour merchandise. Those things are right up there with Bill Buckner in the 86 World series or Bucky Dent's pop fly that somehow ended up in the Monster screen for a home run.
7.Passionate: Sometimes to a fault, but nearly always with the right intentions.
8.Crazy: Apparently a synonym for enthusiastic.
9.Loyal/diehard: Jimmy Kimmel, honorary Clay Nation member, said it best here.
10.Knowledgeable (baseball/music) fan: Clay Nation knows about HDD and Media Base and what a radiospin means and that a drop isn't when Manny Ramirez misplays a flyball
11.Willing to travel: Some fans report the first time they ever got on a plane by themselves was to go to a Clay Aiken concert. Need to know the best route to get to a mid-west show and the best deal on a hotel? Ask a Clay fan.
12.Loves the players: We love Clay but we also love his band. I was happier to see
Quiana Parler get a little screen time on AI Rewind than anybody in the top 12.
13.Knows the words to Sweet Caroline: This is the Red Sox 8th inning song. I think most Clay fans would turn their heads when they hear the AI theme song (or else get that nervous feeling in their stomach)
14.Best Dressed: Newman was referring to Sox gear. Most fans have some Clay shirts and the really err... enthusiastic fans tend to take that one step (or 10 steps) farther than that. But yes, I had my red shoes during the AI tour. But that's so 2003.
15.Hates the Yankees: I guess Simon Cowell qualifies or any of the slovenly bloggers who eat too many donuts to try to make up for the lack of brain cells.
16.All walks of life: I've met students, business owners, doctors, LA Assistant Movie Directors, stay at home Moms, teachers and just about any profession you can think of as a member of Clay Nation. We have other things in common and we disagree on a lot. But, we all like to spend our money on Clay.
17.Loves an old ballpark/Venue: Some of the most beautiful venues I've ever seen are the restored old ones. And some of the best acoustics I've ever heard are from venues that just look like a roof and a stage. Each one brings its own memories. Now the only thing I need is for Clay to play Fenway.
18.Gets here early and is happy to stay late: Fans have waited for hours in the cold for a quick handshake after a concert. And the pre-concert parties which lead to the post concert parties are a way of life for us. It's all part of the experience.
19.Hardy: I believe the temperature was in the 20s the night fans slept on the sidewalk for a book signing by Clay the next day. We've also melted in 109 degree weather in the summer and it never stopped us from dancing.
20.Likes Sausage.....I really didn't know how to match this one, perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words.
Personally, I think this is more like Bratwurst.

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cindyldoe said...

corabeth, I love you! I am a red sox fan by "marriage", when we married, I became a red sox fan, and he a UNC tarheels fan, it has worked out well! I am a proud member of the REDSOX NATION!!! He is also a Clay fan, therefore, a keeper! But, who stayed up til two this morning? Me! Not him! He doesn't quit understand the info before sleep thing, he'll learn!
Love you! Love all your posts at the Clackhouse, I'm not a member, but read everything you write.

Go Sox!!!

Debbie said...

"I believe the temperature was in the 20s the night fans slept on the sidewalk for a book signing by Clay the next day."

It depends on the book signing. In Chicago, hardy fans waited over 4 hours in single-digit temps.

Just like in baseball--stats are important to a Clay fan. =)