It’s not breaking news to anyone that Ben Affleck is a Boston Red Sox fan, right?

The guy refused to wear a Yankees hat in Gone Girl when director David Fincher asked him to, believing — correctly so — that someone wanting to be incognito in New York City would wear something that blends in to the scenery. Affleck said he and Fincher had a “legitimate fight” over the matter, but compromised and wore a Mets hat instead.

So it was quite a surprise when the diehard Red Sox fan walked on stage Wednesday night at the ESPYs to present Yankees legend Derek Jeter with the Icon Award.

What’s up with that, Affleck? Was this some kind of contractual thing for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice? Is Jeter playing Robin in that movie? (C’mon, would Jeter ever play Robin? That’s more of an A-Rod role.)

As it turns out, ESPN thought it would be a cool idea for Affleck to present the award to Jeter and he was the first person approached for the honor. Personally, I imagined that call going like this, which portrays the recent Batman V Superman trailer in a new light. “Say, Ben would you be interested in presenting an award to Derek Jeter?”


“The idea was kicked around in the office — ‘Who would be the least likely Yankee fan or New York City person to do this?'” ESPYs co-executive producer Maura Mandt told AdAge. “I said, ‘Ben Affleck.’ We had the creative we wanted — to be able to show that Derek Jeter was a guy even his rivals couldn’t really hate. So Ben’s name was first on list.”

Believe it or not, Affleck loved the idea and jumped at the opportunity. He wrote his introduction himself, noting that Jeter broke his Red Sox fan heart “100 times, if not more” and praising the Yankees shortstop for making the game “better for everyone.” I think it’s very possible this moment in the BvS trailer captured Affleck as he was writing that speech.


After Affleck’s introduction, Jeter took the stage and shared a word with the actor before going to the microphone. “I just told Ben I know it pained him to say every one of those words,” Jeter said to the audience. Affleck laughed on the outside, but we can all guess what he was feeling on the inside.


But I’m sure it was fun to be at the ESPYs with all those celebrities and athletes, celebrating whatever it is the ESPYs celebrate. Without this show, how else would we get celebrity Red Sox fans presenting lifetime achievement awards to retired Yankees stars? Staged drama is still drama, folks.

Ultimately, Affleck showed he was a bigger man than this century-long rivalry between two cities and their beloved baseball teams. But should we really have been surprised? He’s Batman.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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