Friday, October 22, 2004

The happy/craziness of the fans in Boston

This was written by my good friend Elliott, latex god and yoga teacher:


It's almost impossible to represent what it's been like here all week.  Since that Sunday night 14 inning game that went to like 2 in the morning, people have been walking around like zombies.  Strung out emotionally, exhausted physically -  Women and men.  People haven't been coming to yoga classes - they're staying home to watch the game or they're too tired from watching last night's game....   I myself watched the final 3 games like watching horror movies - compelled yet terrified.  Viewing the final innings through my fingers, hands across my face, anxious they were going to blow it and self destruct at any moment.   Some thoughts - from yesterday's Times: NYTimes:

"Until the final out, any Boston fan would have sourly insisted that
something dreadful could still ruin this huge lead."

"But that only raised the likelihood that Boston would suffer last night in
some new and hideous way."

and from today's Times:

Certainly anyone who was not a die-hard Yankees fan would say there was a kind of poetic justice to it all: an end to the dominion of the Evil Empire, a stake in the heart of the richest, most storied franchise in sports history. After 26 championships, after years of George Steinbrenner's outspending everyone, after decades of Yankees fans' taunting Boston with chants of "1918," wasn't it finally someone else's turn? And who better to do it than the Red Sox - national symbols, along with the hapless Chicago Cubs, of the perennial underdog?

And there were other morals to be drawn from the narrative. This is what happens when you don't cherish a home-grown star like Andy Pettitte and let him go. This is what happens when you chase after All-Stars like Kevin Brown, Alex Rodriguez, Kenny Lofton and Gary Sheffield, who are hardly true-blue, pinstriped Yankees. This is what happens when you think you can buy a championship team and strip-mine your farm system. This is what happens when you have the hubris not to correct obvious flaws on the pitching staff, like not having any ace left-handers.

Yes, Yankees fans have been horribly spoiled over the years. We did not know the pain of Boston. Or Chicago. Or even the pain of Jets, Mets and Knicks fans. We have taken tradition, luck and money for granted. And so there was that morality lesson as well.

Many Yankees fans had grown so entitled that they practically assumed a trip to the World Series was an annual autumn rite, and now that illusion has been smashed. And because of the shocking way in which the Yankees lost ("Hell Freezes Over," blared The Daily News), the result was not the usual disappointment that millions of sports fans feel every year, but something more disorienting - a kind of identity crisis, combined with a creeping sense of mortality, the realization that this was truly the end to the dynastic hopes that were planted in 1996 and that blossomed between 1998 and 2000. This, after all, was not the same Yankees team, and it did not possess the same mojo or the same ensemble feel. Only Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Joe Torre remain of the old Yankees, and there was talk, even before this week's debacle, of the toll that time and age were beginning to take on some of them."

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