Sunday, July 24, 2005

Baseball Fan Vs Yankee Fan/Interteam Relationships

This stupid question has been ballied around for a bit, so I'm going to bite. Are you a Yankee fan first or a Baseball fan? Infidels throw this silly accusation at Yankee fans as a not so subtle dig that Yankee fans mostly consist of front-runners who know nothing about the game. Who don't care about what happens in the game unless it concerns the Empire. Complete garbage. It's their way of making themselves feel morally superior because they root for teams that aren't as successful as the Yanks. "Rooting for a winner is too easy. Rooting for (fill in the team) requires character."

Bullshit. When the Steelers stunk for decades and then had that great run in the 70's, their fans were rewarded for the patience and loyalty. They also gained a lot of new fans because they were winning. When you win consistently your fan base grows. When you lose consistently, your fan base shrinks. Simple as that. Rooting for a team has nothing to do with character. Yes, there are people out there who jump team to team...and they should have their skin peeled off their bodies and fed to the rats. But most people are fans of a certain team and stick with it. If you're rooting for a team because it makes you feel morally superior than you have problems.

I grew up a Yankee fan because my father took me to games as a kid and Reggie Jackson. I loved those 70's Yankees team and won't apologize for it. I also have no problem saying that had I been born 20 or 30 years earlier, I probably would not have been a Yankee fan considering the overt racism and hostility Yankee ownership expressed toward Black fans and Black players. But King George III owned my Yankees and those teams had players like Reggie, Paul Blair, Willie Randolph, Dave Winfield, Mickey Rivers and host of others. So I never had to make that tough judgement call. My uncle did, and he was and is a die-hard Yankees fan. I doubt if I would have made the same decision.

I grew up a Yankees fan, but over the years, my knowledge and love for the game itself has grown leaps and bounds. As a teenager, I hated those 80's Cardinals team. I thought they were a pesky bunch with no pop in their bats except for Jack Clark. It wasn't until years later when I appreciated how good and special those teams were.

How important pitching and defense are. Their ability to move the runners over. How speed on the basepaths can affect the pitcher on the mound. From the pitches he throws, to the number of times he checks the runner, to the opening created in the defense because they have to hold the runner at the base. I didn't understand the amount of strategy that's involved in every game so I poo-pooed them and teams like them as pesky and boring. My mistake.

I learned to appreciate the nuances of the game and the more I learned, the more I loved it. Over the years, I went from becoming a Yankee fan to a baseball fan. I watched any game that was on. I made road trips to watch any game I could find. Didn't matter if the Yanks were playing or not. I just wanted to see a game. The Yanks are my first love. But if the Yanks were to go out of business tomorrow. After checking myself out of rehab after binge-drinking and drug use; I'd still watch the games with the same intensity that I watch now. Would I have a specific rooting interest? Probably not. But I'd still watch the games.

I'm not writing this to feel morally superior to anyone. We have to approach this thing in our own way. Most people love their team more than they love the sport. There's nothing wrong with that. As long as they're going to the games and not wearing pink Yankee caps, they're cool with me.

Another question that's been out there is the question of Inter-team relationships. Should you date someone who roots for someone who roots for your rival. My answer to that is: if you're cutting someone off just because of the team they root for...then you're destined to be alone. I've dated many an infidel. And yes, they can be annoying. But then again, so can I. And I'd rather date an infidel who is passionate about her team then someone who could care less about sports in general.

At least the infidel can empathize with you when you're talking passionately about your team. They won't bother you while the game is on with dumb shit that can wait. It's a game to be enjoyed. If that's the only that's keeping you from talking someone, you really need to get a grip. As long as they're respectful and not obnoxious, give them a chance. Life is too friggin short to be fighting imaginary battles.


Blogger FenwayParked said...

Dear Mr. Evil Empire
An interesting piece from your side of the baseball universe. Pink Yankee Caps?

Game and a half.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Chicks that wear pink baseball caps. I'm sure you've seen them. I hate those friggin' things...

3:52 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

I'm seen hoes wearing pink red sux caps, so don't act like you're immune from the sickness....

3:54 AM  

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