When then-GM Dan Duquette announced that Roger Clemens was in the “twilight of his carreer” and allowed the hurler to walk, Sox fans didn’t really mind. Indeed, while he had occasionally shown flashes of brilliance, the last years of The Rocket’s career with the Red Sox had been mediocre. Plus, he’d gotten fat.

But then came those two years in Toronto. The wins and strikeouts and ERA all came back. The Cy Youngs started coming back, too. And then the unthinkable happened. Roger Clemens signed with the New York Yankees. And Sox fans were pissed.

But the t-shirt industry was elated. Almost immediately, shirts were available that read “Red Sox” on the front but “Yankees Suck” on the back, the words curling over Clemens’ famous 21. Then came the now-ubiquitous “Yankees Suck” bumper stickers. The enormous popularity of the anti-Clemens shirts led to the more explicit “Jeter Sucks” tees. After A-Rod signed with the team, the silk-screeners leapt into action again, creating the new (and even wittier!!) “Jeter Sucks A-Rod.” (Just as with the Clemens tee, these too spawned a bumper sticker spinoff, reading “Jeter Drinks Wine Coolers.”) The 2004 ALCS spawned another generation of taunting tees for Red Sox Nation. “Real Women Don’t Date Yankees Fans,” “Who’s Your Papi?” and “Choke: The Official Drink of the Yankees” were all born during this era.

Then Johnny Damon’s defection to the Dark Side created another spike in tee-shirt production. Now that Sox fans had burned all their “WWJDD? (What Would Johnny Damon Do?”) shirts–depicting the bearded, longhaired centerfielder as Jesus–they would need something to replace them. And so the “Looks like Jesus, Throws like Mary, Acts like Judas” tee was born. Now we were not only turning a clever phrase, we were getting Biblical allusions in there as well. What next? Iambic pentameter?

Alas, a girl will have to dream. For leaving Fenway on Thursday evening, I spied the following item:


Please excuse the crappy (no pun intended) phone-cam pixelation.

Really people, is this the best we can do? We’ve got more than 50 colleges and universities in the immediate Boston area, nevermind all the fine institutions of higher learning throughout the rest of New England, and all we can come up with is “Clemens Is a Bag of Sh*t”? I’m not angry with you, Beantown. Just disappointed. Very disappointed.

My anti-Yankees shirt will quote Shakespeare, dammit. “Jeter, thou thing of no bowels, thou!” “A-Rod: False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” “Damon, you egg! Young fry of treachery!”

Thus does “Clemens is a bag of sh*t” give way to “Clemens is a goatish full-gorged bum-bailey!”


One Response to “Yankee Hating: A Sartorial History”

  1. Sarah, you more than make up for yesterday’s Justin/Jason debacle with this post.

    Super classy.

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