Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bandwagon Giants Fans Bring SF Columnist Alarming Discovery

I had to laugh when reading this article in the San Mateo County Times, in which Margaret Lavin is shocked that kids' baseball apparel might not in fact reflect allegiance and support for a specific team:

Kids across the Bay Area are wearing orange and black, and it's not because Halloween is right around the corner.

San Francisco Giants pride and paraphernalia is everywhere, and so I was surprised when I saw a couple of eighth-grade boys wearing Cincinnati Reds caps.

Mind you, the Reds won the NL Central and also made the 2010 playoffs, a fact that anyone with a passing interest in baseball, including the bandwagon Giants fan, should already know. But (gasp), there might be more insidious forces at work?

Knowing these two boys, I was sure they were not fans and would bet they've never even been to Ohio. I asked them the significance of the caps and received a typical, eye-avoiding answer of "I don't know."

Now, I am aware that the line between gang apparel and the latest fashions worn by pop stars and rappers is blurred. However, I do have enough street smarts to know that no child can be totally safe from gang influences.

Wow, that is a pretty good set of street smarts, Margaret. Especially when you factor in that these kids probably haven't been to Ohio; very clever deductive reasoning! Keep up the great work, Jessica Fletcher!

Always the sleuth teacher, I used Google [Sax's note: wait, not altavista or infoseek? How positively avant-garde!] to search for Cincinnati Reds caps, and my eyes were opened. According to various websites, Cincinnati Reds memorabilia is the second-most gang-affiliated sportswear. Los Angeles Dodgers clothing is at the top. I investigated further, and here's some of what I discovered.

It can be difficult to determine whether a young adult is advertising his allegiance to a gang or just trying to be fashionable. However, there are some obvious items of gang apparel.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Raiders clothing, bandannas and other accessories have distinct meaning to gangs in the Bay Area. If your family does not root for these teams but their logos are being worn excessively by your teens or tweens, they could be headed for trouble. Even if they have no interest in gangs, it's possible they could be mistaken for a gang member.

Sure, Complex magazine ranked the Dodgers at the top. But with the Raiders ranked down at third, it's a pretty dubious ranking system (also interesting is that six of the 10 spots were MLB teams).

And are you telling me that you live in the Bay Area and you never thought that Oakland Raiders apparel might in fact not signify support for a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2002 (to be fair, the 49ers have had a similar drought, so maybe this may not be that unusual)? Given how bad the Raiders are, it's almost better to be recognized as a gang member rather than a fan of a team committed to almost a decade of losing. And it was a wayward Reds hat on an eighth-grader that tipped you off--good work there.

Next you're going to tell me that those scantily-clad women hanging out on the busy corner at night aren't just bored.


Fred's Brim said...

Hey guys, check out my new cap!

I'm gonna show my Yankee pride by wearing this to East Harlem!

rbnlaw said...

Murder was the case they gave me.

BTW, The Jessica Fletchers rock.

Jason said...

We're number 1! We're number 1!

Oh, wait...

Josh S. said...


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