Monday, October 26, 2009

Back In The High Life (God Is A Yankee Fan)

Whoever said that God must be a Yankee fan was indeed a smart individual. And I'm sure it wasn't me who first made this initial observation, although I have since repeated it many times.

In the interest of brevity, I'll simply state how entertaining it is watching the Yankees churn through the playoffs. That observation may not be sophisticated, impressive or particularly note-worthy, but each time I see detractors critique the Yankees for their off-season acquisitions, their professionalism or a multitude of other complaints, it actually entertains rather than irritates.

In dispatching the Angels, not only did the Yankees accomplish something they've been attempting since 2003 -- gain entrance to the World Series -- but they managed to irritate everyone that labeled them as "chokers."

Each time I hear the hardcore fans in any stadium deride another team en masse -- including those in Yankee Stadium -- I cringe. I remember earlier days when booing was a relatively light-hearted affair. Even in 1996, the year when Roberto Alomar spit on an umpire and was mercilessly booed by the Yankee Stadium crowd, it wasn't an evil, angry mob of people, it was just a bunch of fans expressing their opinions. With each passing year, however, it feels -- or at least appears -- that being a fan isn't so much about cheering for your own team but deriding and rooting against another team. I'm not sure that phenomenon is inherently American -- after all, the term "football hooligan" originates from the UK and its European brethren -- but it disappoints me, on some level, knowing that the Yankees winning and reaching the World Series makes some people feel as shitty as them doing so makes me happy.

Put another way, when did being a fan morph from rooting for a team to simply rooting against another one spewing bile, anger and disgust? When/if my team(s) loses, I don't feel the need to criticize the other team or somehow minimize their accomplishes by ridiculing the names of the opposing team, its players or the city in which said team originates. So anyone that feels it's appropriate to use the labels "Skankees," "Red Sux" or something similarly creative, try focusing on your anger and the cause of the derision rather than simply focusing your derision, blame and unhappiness on something other than your own unfortunate dysfunction.

Oh...and go Yankees!

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