Yes, I do live in New York, and yes I loathe the Yankees. This troubles me – there are many intra-city rivalries – Football, Hockey, Basketball (never my fave) and I have my teams: but I do not hate their cross-town rivals. When the Jets are over, I can root for the Giants. Years back finding myself in an arena in Quebec City, the Rangers were my boys, if only for a night.
Yet some years ago as the Yankees battled the Diamond Backs – a team from a forsaken land - there I was pulling for the D’Backs, not a planned moment but as inexorable as the tides. As one who over analyzes everything in life, I have given this a little thought and I am aware of the answer. Yet the other day when the answer again was flaunted – thrown into my face (well the whole City’s face, but this is all about me) it crystallized better than ever.
Now I need to digress for a moment. I was a smart kid, a good student. In high school other than that pesky French class I never – never - received a grade which did not have a 9 as the leading digit. It therefore is no surprise that I ran with the smart kids, better known as fellow geeks. And smart they were: Dan is a brain surgeon (quite literally) and Mark after being valedictorian has gone on to amass great wealth via real estate.
So home I would come, grades in hand, and would tell Dad – a 93 for example. He would ask how Dan did, what about Mark. Well, shocker, they did even better. So here I am with a 93 wondering why I did not do better.
Back to the Yankees. They surely got a 93 this season – won their division, made it to the playoffs – part of an elite group considering the size of the leagues now a days. Not bad by any measure. Yet George Steinbrenner issues a statement when they are eliminated and he uses a particular word: unacceptable.
Now maybe I am guilty of projection here, maybe it is a little too close to my feelings growing up, but how does one not hate that man. Someday George will be gone and I will still be a Met fan, but maybe then my feelings to the Yankees will return to appropriate benign neglect – much healthier than the current loathing.