What Would a Yankee Fan Do?
I know me saying that is a little bit like Jews for Jesus, but hear me out.
Some of you may know that I have been conducting an experiment over at NYYfans.com lately, to get to the bottom of why it is that the Yankees would--as they seem to--dislike the Red Sox.
"Until now, my general impression was that the hatred was one-sided, traveling north-to-south on I-95," I said.
But lately...I've seen that Yankees fans appear to hate us right back.
I'm not looking to pick a fight. I seriously, sincerely want to know what it is Yankees fans have to hate about the Sox and Sox fans. If we hate your team, it's because you win all the time. Why would that bother you? If we hate your owner, it's because he has the most money. Why would that bother you?
I got some interesting replies. "Let's say you get in a fight after school every day with the same person," said user Stupid Flanders.
You fight hard, and well, and you just barely manage to win every time, but you're bruised and bloodied. You enjoy the victory, but does that mean because you won you should love your opponent?
The truth of the matter is that the Yankees and the Red Sox have finished in first and second place, respectively, for the last six consecutive seasons, the only such streak of finishes, The Rem-Dog in any sport in the history of organized professional games. So it's only natural if it gets a bit like that picture, I guess, of the pelican and the bullfrog, where the pelican is trying to swallow the bullfrog and the bullfrog is strangling the pelican.
And debating which is the better opponent is useless.
As time went on and I visited periodically to check the petri dish, I have to say the Yanks fans really enlightened me in one way with their responses on this thread. Time and again, their comment on Red Sox fans was that, as GoRocket put it, "(they) seem to care more about the Yanks losing than the Sox winning."
"I have a lot of friends who are Sox fans and we get along just fine," said patrick.o. "I also know plenty of people who claim to be Sox fans but are Yankees haters much more than they are Sox fans, and I have no use for their verbal diharrea."
Ed has begun a campaign this year to bring about more positive thinking on the part of Sox fans. Much of this has little to do with the Yankees, and more about visualizing the positives in a given situation. If Francona doesn't take Schilling out, instead of dreading the grand slam, we should picture a K. It can't hurt, right?
And if there's one thing that intelligent Yankees fans are good for, it's as an example of the kind of confidence we're trying to achieve with that method.
Example: The Sox are, as I type this, on their way to an 11-2 rout of the Yankees on their first trip back to Yankee Stadium since the fateful night of Oct. 16. I have to admit I was doing some serious gloating as D-Lowe threw six scoreless innings, Contreras gave up back-to-back homers, and then, in a show of poetic justice, it began to rain on them for good measure.
It's difficult to escape this engrained habit of hatred. It's hard to break the habit of taking petty pleasure in the misfortunes of others. And I'll admit, I'll be the first to talk some serious potty-mouthed smack about Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, who I think I'll always, how you say, dislike strongly.
However. It's one thing to want to beat the Yankees. The rivalry is what makes our team special. But maybe we need to take an example from the fans on the opposing side in terms of their attitude toward the game.
You have to admit it's a little sick to sit and savor an 11-2 victory in April. That's what a Yankees fan will tell you. They'll say, as they put it over on the thread, "The Red Sox are like Daylight Savings Time--spring forward and fall back."
Of course, if the Sox were losing 11-2, the Yankees fans would be saying, "See, look at that. We clearly still have the better team."
But hey. No one said it had to make sense.
Thing is, we slip into our roles so easily--the sky was falling after Francona's Grady-gaffe last night in Boston. Meanwhile, the Sox have already taken 4 out of 5 in the season series with the Yankees, but confidence still reigns in New York.
Boston waits for the other shoe to drop, and New York just waits.
If we want to "reverse the curse", we need to reverse these roles. We need to take both wins and losses more in stride. I'm not saying I've been successful in that yet, but from now on, I'm going to try.
So, tonight as Timlin struck out a Yankee as the rain still fell and as Manny blasted a homer to put the score on the Sox side up to 11, I thought to myself, what would a Yankee fan do?
The answer was easy: stop watching. Who needs to? They're clearly going to win. Next.
So that's exactly what I did. I put the TV on, sure, in the background, but I came down here and wrote this blog entry instead of hanging on every pitch as if it were October already--as if I were just another bitter Red Sox fan.