A couple of weeks ago, I found myself anxiously jumping on ESPN.com in the morning to see if the Yankees were winning. They were still a game or two behind the Sox and I was surprised to realize that I was really pulling for them. I was even rooting for that goonish thug Giambi to smack one. Now I have not been a full –fledged Yankees hater over the years – and , in fact, always find myself rooting for them in the Playoffs and series despite myself, usually because I am watching with Uncle Ben.
Still, it’s hard to explain but I have always been more a pinstripe hater than lover. And when I was a kid, I always liked the Bosox as my AL team. Not sure why – partly because Fred Lynn and Jim Rice were cool. Partly because that “B” was always attractive to me (similarly, I always had an affinity for the Tiger’s gothic D). Partly because my best friends Evan and Gregg Michaelson had an aunt in Boston and went there a few times and came back with BoSox hats and stunning tales of the beauty of Fenway.
But now, here I am half world away and I find myself rooting for the Yanks. Clearly, this is partly because I just miss home and the Yankees are so emblematic of home to me at this point. It is also partly because I have developed a true hatred for the Patriots which has spilled over to the Sox and all Boston fans. I see Bill Belichek and his ugly turtleneck and headband in every Boston athlete now and I can’t help but wish them pain (emotional only, of course).
I confessed some of this in an email to Uncle Benny last week and was ready to come out of the closet publicly, right here. Then I got this response from His Honor:
“Another Yankee fan!!! I never thought you could be seduced to the Dark Side. But I guess I should have known from your Costco Conversion and your recent DVD capitulation that there were some weaknesses which the Dark Lord Jeter could exploit. Welcome.”
And just like that I turtled back inside my shell, reminded of why we hate the Yankees and their smug, mookie fans. But now more days have passed and I am on my knees. I must capitulate to the Dark Lord and admit it; I am rooting for the Yankees. Forgive me, Roberto. Grant me understanding, Wilver Dornell. It’s still Chicken on the Hill time in my heart. And this is still my favorite recently discovered website, courtesy of Rip Citron: http://www.al-oliver.com/index.htm. I am on board the campaign to get Scoop in the HOF. The Pirates are in my blood and in my heart, but the Yankees are receiving my cheers for now. And I admit it.
Yankee fans never apologize. (Well, maybe for Steinbrenner). But, as the greatest sports franchise ever, we must accept the envy and enmity of those who we have stomped into submission so often.
That comes with the territory. OK, I will root for Pirates, until they play the Yanks.
Can’t believe you would root for goliath! Of course the Yankees should win–their payroll soars each year while the MLB average has fallen. How can you reconcile the $38M salary of your beloved Pirates with the $208M the Yanks get?
Don’t take it out on us Boston fans just because your Steelers can’t get past the Pats in the NFL, where there is parity. After 30+ years of suffering, I’ve just had the best sports year of my life: super bowl, world series, super bowl! You can’t take that away from me, even if you do wish me emotional pain!
Alan, it’s completely understandable. Here you are, 1/2-way around the world, utterly powerless, as Michigan is having a disastrous season- losing to Charlie Weiss no less, and the Steelers have already lost to the Pats. Of course you would need to resort to such a cowardly retreat. But remember, in the end, Luke withstands temptation and the force prevails. You’ll come to your senses eventually. (By the way, I enjoyed the Al Oliver site- he should be in the Hall.)