Ron DeSantis claims ‘Red Sox Nation’ has more passion than Florida sports fans

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'People get excited, don't get me wrong, but this was just in the bloodstream in New England.'

Ron DeSantis may want to Make America Florida, but he’s making it clear that if he could, he’d infuse Florida sports fans with the passion of those in Massachusetts.

During a Tuesday interview on Boston’s WBZ, the Florida Governor waxed nostalgic about his fandom of the Boston Red Sox when they broke the Curse of the Bambino (incurred when they traded Babe Ruth) in 2004. He described a devotion to the team unlike that seen in the Sunshine State.

“I grew up a Braves fan in the Southeast and then when the Rays came, I was in college, so I was kind of getting into them,” DeSantis said. “But by the time I was in law school, like, I was part of Red Sox Nation, I was rooting for them more than, you know, and so when they went down three to nothing in 2004, I was like, man, is this ever going to happen?”

“When they came back to beat the Yankees winning four in a row, I knew the curse was gone. I knew they were going to beat the Cardinals and the feeling in that part of the country, not just in the city of Boston, in Cambridge and other parts of New England, the whole population was so into it,” said DeSantis, who was at Harvard Law School at the time.

That excitement was unlike anything he’d experienced at home, he said.

“And that was unlike anything I’ve seen in Florida because, you know, the Bucs have won a couple of Super Bowls. We’ve had other teams do. Well, we’ve had a lot of great college football and people get excited, don’t get me wrong, but this was just in the bloodstream in New England. And I’ve never seen so many people be so revved up and when they won it, it was like such a big deal.”

DeSantis hasn’t commented that much on Florida baseball as Governor, though in 2020 he did mock the sparsely attended Miami Marlins games as evidence that people could socially distance. Before that, he did acknowledge being a fan of the Atlanta Braves during the Dale Murphy era, when the team was a SuperStation WTBS staple.

Meanwhile, he has a history of transitory fandom when it comes to professional football. While he thanked a crowd in New Hampshire for the Patriots releasing Tom Brady so he could come to Tampa, he also claimed to have been raised as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Furthering his intersectional sports identity, the Governor has talked about raising young Mason to be a Jacksonville Jaguars fan. He took his son to Jaguars’ playoff games, though he did leave the win against the L.A. Chargers at halftime earlier this year.

Prior to that, he lauded the hiring of former coach Urban Meyer and mocked the team for a failure to “even sell out limited capacity” back in 2020, claiming it was “because some of the fans are concerned about some of the things we’ve been seeing out of the league.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


24 comments

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    August 15, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    New Hampshire primary voters still aren’t going to sleep with you Rhonda, no matter how much pandering you attempt.

  • Rob Desantos

    August 15, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    Fair weather fan, big surprise.

  • My Take

    August 15, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    A tactic in destroyig New College reportedly is admiting a lot of jocks on athletic scholarships.

    • Michael K

      August 15, 2023 at 9:53 pm

      Yes. No team, no facilities no league. But Ron wants ball boys. And Chris Rufo hates women and wants more men at New College. None of that artsy stuff. Dumbing it all down and then selling the property to rich Republican developer donors would not surprise me.

      • My Take

        August 15, 2023 at 9:56 pm

        The New York Times
        Opinion | At a College Targeted by DeSantis, Gender Studies Is Out, Jocks Are In

      • My Take

        August 15, 2023 at 10:00 pm

        FAU has seven highlevel positiòns open.
        Imagine where that’s going.

    • Dont Say FLA

      August 16, 2023 at 7:52 am

      Say, didn’t Rhonda go to college on athletic scholarship?

      It’s hard to believe Meatwad Ron was ever athletic.

      I suppose he must have been incredibly good at basketball since there’s no other way he ever would have been enrolled at any Ivy League school.

      Florida’s dim little bub would have been lucky to be admitted to Central Florida Community College based on academics and/or aptitude.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 16, 2023 at 5:17 am

    Ain’t no surprise! Desantis LIES to the attendees in ANY state!

    • Fear of a Black Planet

      August 16, 2023 at 7:48 am

      Ron’s not lying. Ron just has no idea Florida has sports other than the sports white folk watch on TV.

      Here’s hoping Ron enjoys his planned next career, coach at Florida’s new sports college, New College, heretofore to be known as the Robert E Lee College of Sports Ball because “New” is “Woke” and Florida can’t have woke college names.

      • Michael K

        August 16, 2023 at 8:34 am

        Ron hopes to be the leader of the New Confederacy. He aims to pick up where George Wallace left off – but he and Chris Rufo are in love with Hungary’s Viktor Orban, and that is their ultimate goal. It’s also their authoritarian, fascist playbook.

        Hitler also banned “gender studies” as one of his first acts of destroying people who did not conform to the Ayran ideal.

        • Fear of a Black Planet

          August 16, 2023 at 9:46 am

          “New Confederacy” will be a fine name for the college formerly known as “New College” after Ron DeSmantle is done ruining it.

  • Barney

    August 16, 2023 at 7:24 am

    Turns on his own. Just like trump when he trusted Putin over our CIA. We’ve seen this maggot act

  • Leonard

    August 16, 2023 at 9:12 am

    This may be the dumbest thing he has ever said. Apparently he knows NOTHING about FSU and UF football fans.

    • Natalie Garriga Meyer

      August 16, 2023 at 10:21 am

      This was my first thought! I became red Sox fan in 2000 because the fan base is so similar as I went to UF. Any UF/ FSU fan should be offended as they are just as passionate just as much in generational bloodstreams. I love our rivalry, this is so disconcerting to say the least. Thank you so much for your comment.

    • Cheesy Floridian

      August 16, 2023 at 12:32 pm

      Oh he had said plenty of dumb things

  • Lex

    August 16, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Florida is such a hodgepodge. More than half the people in Florida were born somewhere else. Most other states cannot say that. We have fans of almost every sports franchise that live in Florida and so for many the teams in Florida have to compete with the teams of people’s childhood. This is why we still have very strong loyalty to our college teams. It is certainly not a knock against Florida.

  • TJC

    August 16, 2023 at 11:03 am

    This is a cunning strategy that only our little governor understands: Whine about Floridians’ lack of sports enthusiasm, heap praise on sports fans in another state, then sit back and watch the Florida donations pour in to his presidential campaign!

  • Cheesy Floridian

    August 16, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    So when the Lightning won 2 Stanley Cups in a row and the Bucs won the Super Bowl at the same time and Tampa turned into Champa along with the boat parades we had no excitement? Or when the Panthers made it to the finals? Or the Rays going the distance? Get real Ronald. Florida over Boston any day.

  • Daniel Rousseau

    August 16, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    This shows how out-of-touch DeSantis really is. Many of the fans attending the games of the Marlins, the Dolphins, the Rays, the Bucaneers, or the Jaguars, are there to root for the VISITING TEAM. This is because most of Florida’s residents are from somewhere else and don’t identify with the so-called “home team.”

  • My Take

    August 16, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    DeSSwinetis’ dreggish base are just out-of-sight in their fandom: dogfights and bumfights.

  • My Take

    August 16, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    When Redneck Ron fails nationally, will he wage renewed unbridled war against Florida public institutions to create an extreme-right state?

  • Mr. Haney

    August 16, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    What exactly would DeSantis know about any sports?

    • My Take

      August 16, 2023 at 3:58 pm

      He probably hates sports. Sports havè rules.

Comments are closed.


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