Hemorrhaging readers by the day, The Boston Globe employed a curious new strategy toward regaining popularity today by reminding its dwindling audience of the mainstream media’s relentlessly negative, monotone coverage of the Boston Red Sox.
Five years after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, the Globe looked back at the tone of local media coverage (themselves included) with the same sort of fondness a jailed pedophile may have when remembering his glory days as a Cub Scout den leader:
The Sox, their fans, and the city’s sports media were a different people then. Fenway Park was a monument to postseason misery, a place where dreams soared in summer and died in October. Globe lightning rod Dan Shaughnessy popularized the theory that the team’s 86-year legacy of futility was tied to a curse, and a tenacious Boston broadcast correspondent went out of his way to perpetuate the myth among a generation of Sox players.
Rather than sourcing former players or members of the organization, the story focuses on three of the more despicable members from the gaggle of annoying local media personalities: Dan Shaughnessy, Jon Miller and Bob Lobel.
Readers in the Boston area seemed puzzled when goaded into reading past the first paragraph of the article, which center-pieced the paper’s Sports section despite the fact that the Celtics begin the regular season tonight on national television.
“This story is kind of like the IRS mailing a summary to every American citizen detailing how much money they paid the government in taxes over the last five years,” said an irritated businessman on his lunch break in Post Office Square. “I’m sorry you made me read that.”
Mary Ursuline, 45 of Reading, said she did not need to be reminded that Dan Shaughnessy constantly inserted ‘curse’ references into his columns. “He’s the guy who writes a bunch of Twitter updates and pastes them together into a column, right?”
Business analyst Doug Tillings was fascinated by the originality employed by the Globe. “In terms of pure business practices, this is really unheard of in most circles. Antagonizing your customer base and opening old wounds isn’t considered a mindful approach to retaining business in just about any marketplace. Talk about cursing yourself…”
Regina Werth, 56, of Danvers, summed up the overall dismay voiced by many Red Sox fans over the course of the day. “It’s too bad they still think people are interested in these negative storylines. I vaguely recall a group of 30 or so guys who did their job on the field well enough over the course of seven months that they’ll always be fondly remembered around here. That 2004 team wasn’t too bad either…”