Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Know Thy Enemy

Which one is the Yankees fan?

1. Pants and polo shirt a little too baggy; sneakers are very new and very white; cap is fitted New Era wool, free of lint, in perfect condition, with very straight brim; gold chain is evident; face is clean shaven and smug.


2. Jeans and old player's t-shirt are broken-in; sneakers are worn and comfortable; cap is fitted cotton, sweat-stained, with seriously curved brim; face is scruffy and hopefull(y) wary.

We all know which one is the Yanks fan; it's #1. And yes, it's completely built on stereotypes, and yes, not everyone fits into one of those two categories. Even without a cap or a team-defining piece of merch on, I still think I could look at 10 guys and tell you which five were Yanks fans and which five are Sox fans. And if I couldn't tell on sight, I'd ask some Yankees trivia. Probably 7 out of 10 might know the answer, and five of those seven would be the Red Sox fans.

"I guess the umpire saw me out there, so I think they know that sometimes I take close pitches," Abreu said.

That's what the Yankees new mercenary said regarding his 9-pitch (2 strikeout) checkswing walk last night. The arrogance contained in that statement, which basically implied that he's Ted Fucking Williams or something and that if he doesn't swing, IT MUST BE A BALL, is so representative of your typical Yankees fan. There is an element of "you owe us this" contained in Abreu's statement that is woven into the fiber of every god-forsaken satin Starter Yankees jacket. And the fact of the matter is their fan-base is not as savvy or as knowledgeable as they think, just as ours isn't, thanks to all the johnny and jenny come lately's brought of the woodwork by '04. The core fans know their team backwards and forwards, but it's usually not core Yankee fans with whom we're having these arguments (scroll down to see the idiot in the comments section). It's the tag-along bandwagon meatheads whose serious allegiance probably only goes back to '98. Those sorts of idiots probably don't even go all the way back to '96, because at the time that was considered an anomaly, not the beginning of a mini dynasty.

And Jere's right when he says they're quiet when they're losing; they never speak up. We all (and some of you much more than I) have those Yankee friends who blow up your cell with texts every time the Yanks beat the Sox, but you can't get them on the phone when they lose 19-6 to the Rays. They are the biggest-mouthed, thinnest-skinned friends you probably have.

Every thing has come too easy to the Yankees fan, to the point that he forgets one of the most basic facts about the game: it's really hard to play and win. Now, that fact lends credibility to the mythic nature of that magic cornerstone of the Yankees rhetoric: "26." But by forgetting that simple fact, it also robs the Yankees fan of the absolute joy that comes from winning. The joy they get is not from the winning itself, but from being on the winning side. See the difference? It is that sort of mob mentality, that sitting with the cool kids at lunch thing, that drives so many Yankees fans. It is an unattractive quality. Not that there aren't Sox "fans" who only follow the team so they're not left out of every other New England summer-time conversation. I'm sure there are, but in my experience they don't make themselves the most obnoxiously vocal, the absolute centers of attention. Because they know they're posing, and they'd rather keep that to themselves. As opposed to the Yankees poser who puffs up his chest and yells "1918" and hopes to win the argument on posture and bravado alone.

I'm not usually the guy to vent about all things anti-NY. I leave that to some of the rest of you out there. But DaaaaYankeesWin just got me incensed. And like a typical Yankees fan, he has nothing to say on his own, unprovoked, about his team. Yankees fans don't go out in the rain; they stay inside till it's nice and warm and dry and then they make their big appearance. And if you didn't get the metaphor there, well, make sure the brim of your hat is nice and straight, would ya?


Blogger Michael Leggett said...

& WHEN that team goes down, "The Toilet In The Bronx"(To borrow from Jere), will be as empty as their knowledge & rhetoric:

The "Circa 1998s'", are attempting to pose(Very-Badly, I may add)@ Shea Stadium, on a New Bandwagon with the Contending Mets;

But, they ALWAYS give themselves away as asshats & October Arrivistas.

2:22 AM  

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