After W.A.S.P. rocker and Yankees fan Blackie Lawless sneered at Red Sox fans in this space, we figured it was time to find a hard core Red Sox rooter. And who better than Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, the punk/rock/Irish folk band whose "Tessie" -- a remake of an early 20th century Boston anthem, with backup vocals from Johnny Damon, Bronson Arroyo and Lenny DiNardo -- has become de rigueur listening in the Fens? The Murphys are headlining today's scheduled playoff rally at Fenway Park.

Blackie Lawless called rooting for the Red Sox "the professional sports equivalent of stalking." Care to comment?

Well, I don't know what to say. I'm not a Yankees fan; Yankees fans to me are the most arrogant, obnoxious people in sports. What did he say, it was the equivalent of stalking? Well, yeah. The difference is we're just sticking by someone who keeps losing. But it's the same thing over and over again: rejection and defeat. So the end result has the same heartbreak, I suppose.

Who's more punk rock, the Red Sox or the Yankees?

I think it's a lot more punk rock to root for a loser.

Has "Tessie" increased your recognition, your celebrity?

Yeah, in a different way. I don't think it's really furthered us in the music world, per se, because we were doing okay. But when you call the golf course to get a tee time, the guy who used to give you dirty looks because you had tattoos, now he says, "Hey, I saw you on TV last night!"

Who's a better singer, Johnny Damon, Bronson Arroyo or Lenny DiNardo?

Well, Bronson Arroyo plays guitar and is actually a musician. Johnny is probably the worst of the three, but I don't say that in a bad way. I just say that as a guy who isn't a singer, doesn't play an instrument and just came over and belted it out. He was the most scrutinized, all the television cameras were focused on old Johnny Damon. Put it this way; he sings far better backup than I would play center field.

Any of 'em have a future in Rock 'n' Roll?

Um, Bronson might if he chooses some better music to listen to. We played a charity show once where he came out and played Pearl Jam covers on an acoustic guitar. I respect Pearl Jam, but Pearl Jam cover songs, we all can do without that. To make matters worse, he had Kevin Millar singing backups with him on the Pearl Jam covers, and that we really don't need.

What keeps Red Sox fans from just giving up?

Oh, you can't give up. You've got to believe. Unfortunately, I think the town's gonna burn to the ground when they do win.

How much credit would the band deserve if they did win?

All of it [laughing]. We're keeping a low profile on the credit thing, because if we start talking about the credit now, we'd probably take some of the blame if they lose. You call me the day after the World Series and I'll be taking a whole lot of credit then.

So we've finally got a ball team coming here next year. Any advice for Washingtonians on supporting a loser?

Just don't give up. Show up and root against the Yankees, that's all I can say. Although you'll probably be a National League team. Well, root against the Yankees anyhow.

-- Dan Steinberg

CASEY