Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why It Is Okay to Cheer Against the Yankees

I grew up a Mets fan and for most of my life I have not been an anti-Yankee Mets fan, although I'm not quite ready to jump on Boomer & Carton's Mets Fan for Yankees train either. I used to pull for the Yankees when they were in the playoffs back in the late 70's more as a New York sports fan than anything else. But that attitude has changed. In fact this postseason has cemented in my mind that it's okay to cheer against the Yankees.And it probably should be encouraged.

The sad thing it pretty much has nothing to do with the product they put on the field. Look at Jeter, Canoe, Texeira, Rivera, Hughes, CC and Posada and you'll see that these are all quality players who command respect in baseball circles because they are guys anyone would want on their teams. A-Rod is obviously the lightning rod for baseball drama, but save for him the Yankees are not a group of arrogant or obnoxious players.

Unfortunately their fan base is.

It wasn't always this way, but I guarantee you know at least 2 or 3 "Yankees fans" who were fans of another team at some point in their life. I can name 5 off the top of my head. The Yankees have the largest bandwagon of any team in any sport. Not even the Cowboys or the Chicago Bulls of the 90's had as many as the Yankees currently do.

But it's not just the bandwagoners that are making this team hard to like. The lifelong die hards have become jaded too. Just yesterday I was talking with a guy who grew up a Yankees fan and has been a loyal supporter of the Yanks since he was a kid. We were talking about the baseball playoffs and pending World Series matchup when he made this comment:

"Yeah, I was upset about the Yankees losing, but 5 minutes later I was over it because I knew they'd be back next year."

That is hubris. And sadly this statement was heard more than once amongst the many Yankees fans I happen to be acquaintances with. Can you think of another sports team where their fan base would utter this type of statement after a devastating playoff defeat? Think about it. Not even Lakers fans or Patriots fans or USC fans would say something like this. It's unprecedented except for amongst the Yankee fan base.

I know for a fact that Phillies' fans don't think this way as many of them were as angry as Mets fans were when Beltran buckled under that Wainwright hanging curve.

You can cheer against the Yankees for your own reasons whether it be for spite or a deep rooted envy. But until the Yankees fan base is put in their place and this attitude of championship entitlement is squelched, you won't find this Mets fan showing any love for the crosstown rivals.