BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s face it, we Bostonians can be a negative bunch at times. We have our reasons. The soil is rocky, the winters are long, the traffic is terrible. And if you don’t like it, you can lump it, take it down the road and dump it. But the calls for abandonment of a positive local tradition aggregated in the Boston Globe strike me as pushing the flinty New Englander thing just a bit too far.
Believe it or not, a supposedly growing number of folks want to get rid of “Sweet Caroline,” the goofy Neil Diamond sing-along that’s been a staple of the eighth inning break at Fenway Park for 16 years. Every time I’ve been to the park since then, the fans seem to love it. Diamond himself came to sing it at the first home game after the marathon murders.
And you may recall the song actually helped bring together the irreconcilable, Red Sox and Yankee fans, when it was sung in the Bronx after the terror attack. But all of this is too much good feeling and positivity for some, who tell the Globe they’ve tired of the “Sweet Caroline” ritual, it’s run its course, it’s annoying, and so on.
They’re even complaining that “Sweet Caroline” singalongs have become popular in other cities and sports, as if that somehow tarnishes the experience. By that same logic, shouldn’t we be doing away with the National Anthem too?
I like to think I’m as cynical and snarky as the next Bostonian, but this is too much for me. I say, keep “Sweet Caroline.” It’s fun, and what the buzzkill crowd doesn’t get is that fun is so good, so good, so good.