Time passes quickly most days down here under ground.
Has it really been 3 weeks since I cared enough about baseball to spill some electronic ink on Matt Holliday’s drop to cost the Cards game 2 of the NLDS? Were the Cardinals even IN the NLDS? Who did they play? Man, it’s tough when your team sucked as much as the Mets did this year.
I guess all that matters today is Phillies/Yankees in the 2009 World Series. As a Met fan, it’s no secret that this is a killer choice. I mean, of course I’ll watch the games, but since it’s impossible for me to passively watch any game in any sport “just for fun” without finding some (often ridiculous) reason to root for one over the other….I’ll have to eventually pick a side in this one. Trouble is, picking between the Phillies (ACK!) and the Yankees (D’OH!) for me is almost like deciding whether to wait for a week in the lifeboat and die of dehydration or to just jump in the water now and be immediately eaten by sharks.
Do I do the “New York” thing and root for the Yankees to win it all? That’s a tough sell for me, because I don’t view my allegiance to the Mets as having much if anything to do with me being physically located in New York. I became a Met fan because the seats were always cheap and plentiful in the ’70′s when I was a kid (and the Mets were losers) and my Uncle Danny (who worked at Shea) would sometimes get us in for free. I stayed a Met fan because of the early ’80′s promise of Hubie and Mookie and Ed Lynch and Keith Hernandez…who would turn us into winners…if I stayed loyal and wished for it hard enough. Which of course happened in 1986. I’ve remained a Met fan deep into my adulthood waiting for it all to happen again. Patiently most of the time, but recently with an urgency that has eaten me up.
Geography? Not so much.
Do I root for the Phillies because they’re from the NL East? Sounds like more geography to me. Not buying it.
To me, it comes down to this:
Had someone told me in the beginning of the season that while the Mets would be out of it (shocker), I’d have the choice of seeing either the Yankees or the Phillies lose the World Series and get embarrassed on a national stage, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Yankees. Again and again and again.
Because sometimes being a fan is all about flat out hating the other guy, and there’s no team I flat out hate more than the New York Yankees. Don’t get me wrong, I also hate the Phillies. But there are different levels of hate, and the Phillies just don’t spur me to the same level of disgust as the Yankees do. Maybe it’s because the Mets and Phils have both had their fair share of heartache these past 30 or so years and the Yankees seem to be perpetually awesome. Maybe it’s because I grew up with and continue to co-exist with oceans and oceans of Yankee fans who never let me forget that, you know, the Yanks are sort of good and have been for like a thousand years. In your face. Around the clock. Sort of wears on a guy, you know?
Phillie fans? Not so much. They’re way out in Philadelphia, which I’m pretty sure is in New Jersey. Sure, a pretty sizable group shows up now and again at CitiField when they make the trek up to antagonize me at a Met game. But other than that?
I can go whole weeks at a time without being made to eat shit by a Phillie fan, but I can’t walk 10 feet in New York City without being made to feel like I’m a leper for wearing a Met hat by some slack-jawed Yankee fan in a Giambi jersey.
Irrational? Sure, but that’s not unusual, is it?
I mean, it’s baseball, not molecular biology.