(AP) A New Hampshire man today filed suit
in federal court seeking $43,120,000 from the
Boston Red Sox for irreparable emotional harm
the team has inflicted upon him over the past
Bilodeau, 39, of Keene, claims the team "
knowingly and willingly used its monopolistic
place in the New England baseball market to create
false hopes among fans, including the plaintiff,
and for annually disappointing said fans to the
degree of causing their emotional make-up to become
depressed and negative."
made me what I am today," said Bilodeau in
a phone interview, "a bitter, pessimistic
man who cant fully enjoy anything in life
without waiting for the bottom to fall out."
said year after year of Red Sox failures, coming
on the heels of high hopes and early-season success,
have caused him to always expect the worst.
Christmas morning, I used to open my toys with
one eye on the door, expecting someone to come
in and grab them away at the last minute, like
Bucky Dent," Bilodeau said, referring to
the weak-hitting Yankee shortstops surprise,
three-run homer that knocked the Sox out of the
my daughter was born, it was the most beautiful,
magical thing of my life, but I couldnt
shake the thought that somehow shed slip
through the doctors hands and get away from
us, like that grounder that went through Buckners
legs in the 86 Series. It completely ruined
Boston attorney, Heywood Jablome, explained the
extent of the damage done to his client and the
rationale for the damages sought.
Bilodeau is a regular guy, like you or me, who
happened to have the misfortune of growing up
in Red Sox Country for lack of a better
term, virtually a prisoner of this team and its
malicious marketing and mismanagement. Think about
it: Every disappointing season ends with a Wait
till next year!, then the off-season is
spent making moves to acquire better hitters,
some more mediocre pitching, whatever, which the
team then touts in its advertising and in media
interviews as making the difference so that years
team will be the one that wins it all. But does
it ever happen? Of course not!"
said the damages include: $120,000 for time spent
over the years watching, listening or talking
about the baseball team; $3 million in earnings
not made because the "prevailing attitude
of a loser" the team has left his client
with has caused him to miss out on better jobs;
and $40 million for emotional distress.
claims the effects of Cincinnatti Reds player
Ed Armbrusters blatant batters interference
during the fourth game of the 1975 World Series,
Dents 1978 homer, Buckners faux pas
in 1986 and countless other blunders and injustices
have robbed Bilodeau and other long-suffering
fans of their optimism and left them unable to
cope adequately with life in American society.
face it," Jablome said, "America loves
winners, but cant stand losers. These fans
are losers, by extension, and they know it. How
do you think it feels to be them, talking with
people at work or the gym who are Yankee fans,
you know, those arrogant, condescending a-------s
who know no matter what, when all is said and
done, the Yankees will have bought another championship
and the Sox will still be waiting for next
his part, Bilodeau, an editor at a small daily
newspaper in New Hampshire, said hes known
a few Yankees fans who are arrogant and loud,
just as youd expect, but also others who
are "pretty nice, considering." But,
he said, all have a confident, positive attitude
that comes from following a winner.
humiliating. Its humbling. Its depressing,"
Jablome continued. "Mr. Bilodeau has been,
as a result of years of this scenario, unable
to fully utilize his talents and reach his potential
in the work force. I mean, hes a journalist,
for Christs sake. Have some pity."
said his vocational goal had once been to be an
Olympic ice dancer, but the fear instilled in
him through years of Red Sox watching kept him
from pursuing his dream.
true," he said. "Id be practicing
double lutzes, and suddenly Id picture myself
falling in the Olympic long program, or Id
see myself hugging my coach after a flawless program,
but the Russian judge was (major league baseball
umpire) Larry Barnett, and he only gave me a 4.2!
I couldnt go on, so I turned to journalism,
like all the other cynics."
Sox management declined to comment on the suit,
but a staffer who answered the telephone this
afternoon laughed hysterically when told what
the call was about. Told this, Jablome attributed
the reaction to the teams "callous
disregard for its fans in general, and Mr. Bilodeau
who Jablome says has undergone years of unsuccessful
therapy for his depression, first broached the
subject of a lawsuit this past summer after reading
about a Bronx, N.Y., man suing several fast-food
chains for contributing to his obesity problem.
first, I thought, What a freakin loser.
What a moron. You suck down McDonalds quarter-pounders
for 30 years, and then wake up and say its
their fault youre fat. Then I realized
hes a genius," Bilodeau admitted. "Its
so analogous. Youd think he was freely choosing
to eat at those restaurants, but everyone knows
you cant avoid them. And in New England,
you cant avoid being a Red Sox fan. And
he was fed, so to speak, this marketing that fast
food was okay, even good for you. No one fat was
ever in their advertising, except Grimace. Likewise,
the Red Sox always gave the appearance of being
good. The announcers were optimistic. The TV ads
could be the year!
it never was, and the cumulative effect, like
for the fat guy in New York, was poor health,
in my case, mental. It was suddenly all so clear."
Bilodeau said the Red Sox are unique in this fashion
because unlike, say, the Cubs or
who are always bad, or the Mets or Tigers, who
have won at least once in the past 30 years, the
Sox are always on the verge, but never quite get
the story of my life," Bilodeau said. "Its
always waiting for the other shoe to drop. And
its all their fault. I couldnt even
enjoy last years Super Bowl until after
it was over. It took three weeks before my few
friends could convince me the Patriots actually
won. I was still waiting for the kick to hit the
upright or the ref to throw a flag."
said if not for that game, actually, the Patriots
might be named as co-defendants, for their similar
history of futility. As it is, hes considering
naming Boston media outlets that have carried
or written about the Rec Soxs games over
knows," he said optimistically, "it
could even turn out to be a class-action suit.
Theres a lot of depression in New England,
and it aint all from the weather."
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