Interesting topic. A lot to unpack. So let’s dive in . . .
First, what happened to that era? Nothing. Because it didn’t exist. The idyllic picture you paint is a figment of your nostalgia. The phrase “get rid of that bum!” certainly didn’t originate with today’s generation. That harkens back to a much earlier age. And the word “boo” was certainly created, and used extensively, going back decades, of not centuries. People have always known and recognized a bad product and made themselves vocal about it. I mean, here’s a story of how the Brooklyn Dodgers became known as “Dem Bums” in 1939.
But it became a quaint story. But it wasn’t to that cabbie at that time. But it’s the same thing. Fans are going to be happy or angry depending on the product their given.
and if you really want to say that fans way back when supported their teams, players, coaches, etc without condition how about when black players first came into the league? Right. I don’t even need to go down this path because it not only counters the sentiment, it absolutely obliterates it.
In addition the actual make up of teams were different. The players rarely changed because there wasn’t free agency.
So you didn’t have a choice. You got who you got. It made no sense to talk about “what if we could replace so-and-so” because it just wasn’t happening. It didn’t start in baseball until 1976, and even then it wasn’t the free for all it is today. We should all know when it began in the nba as it was Tom Chambers breaking the seal in 1988. It didn’t start in the NFL until plan B in 1989, and even that wasn’t the unfettered free agency we see today that began in 1992. So prior to all that we were stuck with what we had. When players became more mercenary and the names changed so did the level of support for them individually by fans.
And none of that even takes into consideration the proliferation of the press, Social media, internet, more information, more sophisticated consumers, etc. It wasn’t unusual for fans to not even know who the GM was eons ago, but now they are in press conferences, they’re regular interviewed throughout the season, etc. we also know more about what they do, more about the salary cap. Same can be said for coaches and players. We just know more now than at other time in the history of sports. As a result the consumer (and sports are a product) possesses more information about how the ingredients and how the meal is prepared than at earlier ages. And due to social media they have a stage from which to convey their opinion. Going back decades the only stage was at the game, talking to friends, or around the water cooler. So we were all also exposed to fewer opinions and perspectives.