- Posted by Broz
- On 09/06/2015
- 0 Comments
A great read about the hardcore punk kids that built the Yankees Suck t-shirt empire. To say their tactics were anything but law abiding is something of an understatement.
How they dealt with competition:
Given the profits, it was inevitable the competition would start selling knockoffs. None of this was regulated. But the Suckers weren’t sold on the concept of free-market capitalism. They were robber barons. They did all they could to eliminate competition.
Maybe they’d take a grape soda and dump it all over your nice clean white shirts. Maybe they’d take your merchandise and dump it over the bridge, onto the cars streaming down the Mass Pike below. From there, the action could escalate quickly.
They had anywhere from 15 to 20 guys around the park selling shirts. And there were legions of hardcore kids just hanging out with their pals in the vicinity. They had energy to burn, and they’d grown up stumbling through scraps at hardcore matinees. In their Saucony Jazz sneakers and khaki shorts, their black pullover track jackets and ear plugs, they looked uniform: like a militia.
How they handled vendors who stole from them:
That day, at the end of the shift, while the sausage vendors were unloading their carts and equipment in a back lot, the Suckers struck. Led by Wilson, a crew of sellers approached and circled their enemy. A flurry of fists went flying, and the sausage guys were herded and placated quickly. One portlier sausage vendor hid in a box truck; the crew could hear him on his cellphone, frantically calling for help.
The death of the punk ethos:
In the process of winning their miracle title, the Sox had vanquished the Yankees. It seemed impossible, but they’d transformed the town’s demeanor. The resentment had vanished. Fenway, awash in a sea of Pink Hats, was almost optimistic. This was no country for fucked-up punks.
Stroll around Fenway on a game day and you’ll see a remnant of the original Yankees Suck empire. There are still hardcore kids out there, but they’re legal. They follow the code enforcers’ rules, and they stand up straight and quiet, neat and orderly behind foldout card tables of merch. The team got softer, the city got softer. Even the punks got softer.