Here are a few examples of the feedback I’ve been getting in wake of the Mike Barnicle column yesterday that said Red Sox fans were so fanatical that they put their team ahead of the events of 9/11.

Some people have expressed the sentiment of “Who cares what Barnicle thinks? He’s been irrelevant for years.” Or even somewhat defending him saying that he was just trying to make the point that Red Sox fans are obsessive, or that what he said wasn’t meant to be taken literally. That’s not the point. Ask the families and friends of 9/11 victims.

The bottom line is that the column was insulting to Red Sox fans and was just another example of a media person trying to paint the fans with a very broad brush and make them into a group of people that embraces pain and suffering and is blind to everything else going on in the world. I resent that. Red Sox fans enjoying winning…did he see the cheer that the Super Bowl Champs got at Fenway yesterday? Red Sox fans are starving for a Champion. When it happens, we can only imagine the joyous reaction that will accompany it.

Onto the letters to Barnicle:

I recently moved from Manhattan to Back Bay, only six blocks from Fenway, I realize how serious sportsfans are here. Over the past few years, I've come to love the Red Sox and their never-ending dramas. Good thing, too. Boston is a serious baseball town. I was told in a Boston job interview that I could no longer be undecided about the Red Sox or Yankees. I had to declare myself a loyal member of Red Sox Nation or I would be a failure. It was easy to swear loyalty and get the job that depended on putting the Red Sox first, above the Yankees.

But no one in Boston has ever told me that baseball was so important that it could be compared to the events of 9/11, with the Red Sox taking priority over the most tragic day in my lifetime. I witnessed it, lived in the WTC neighborhood, have friends in NJ who lost spouses. Your column offended me deeply (even more than the 3 hours of sex versus Fenway at opening day comment on radio!). Shame on you. I've met you in person and you're a great family guy. You're better than that. Sex vs. Fenway? Red Sox vs. 9/11?

Please apologize. If I feel this negatively about your light-hearted treatment of "9/11 being a three-game series with Seattle," imagine how the 9/11 families must feel when they read your column.

Catherine K

Mr. Barnicle,
You cannot be serious. I am as diehard a fan of the Red Sox as there is and I would certainly not think of the Sox before my country and it's war on terrorism, Sept. 11, Condi Rice, the geopolitical landscape of the world, our economy, the recovering employment picture in America, or any other important issues of our time. But when I need a break from the daily issues of my family, my job, and the world, I do enjoy watching, reading, and talking Sox baseball. Just because we are labeled "Red Sox Nation" does not mean we put our country second. Hyperbole is the crutch of a weak mind or in your case a lazy writer. You certainly know better.

Alan F
Denver, Colorado
(Born and bred in Swampscott Mass.)

Come on Mike. Give us more credit than that. I have followed the Red Sox for years but I also have a family and have a deep interest in history and future of this country. I did watch Condolezza Rice, believe in President Bush, and think the war in Iraq was justified. My wife and I vote and hope the Red Sox finally win the World Series in 2004!

You are painting the wrong picture of Red Sox fans and the city of Boston.

Your comments are welcome.

Mark D
Medway, MA

Those are just a few examples of the reaction coming in. Those emails were also sent to Barnicle himself and cc’d to me. It will be interesting to see if there is any reaction.