Yankees or Phillies? (What a Conundrum!)

Earlier this week a local columnist, named Bob Baird, penned an article in The Journal News called “What’s a Mets fan to do?”  Root for the division rival, who knocked us out of the playoffs two years in a row?  Or, for our crosstown nemesis; the Evil Empire (dark side) Yankees?

It succinctly wrapped up how most of us Mets fans feel about the situation, but it can always go further.  Bob mentioned his father’s rule:  Root for your favorite team and whoever is playing the Yankees. This is very similar to my favorite saying:  The next best thing to a Mets win . . . is a Yankee loss.

Now, this attitude really has very little to do with the Yankees, as a team.  There’s no one abrasive or objectionable on the Yankees.  They’re all likable, talented guys.  And they have a very level-headed, down to earth manager in Joe Girardi.  Even the ownership has become palatable, because George has mellowed/faded to such an extent, and his sons have split the duties, and they are nowhere’s near as bombastic as the ol’ man.  No.  The thing that really irks Mets fans isn’t the Yankees themselves, it’s the attitude of Yankee fans.

Bob Baird said that Yankee fans attitude isn’t necessarily one “of confidence or hope, but of entitlement.”  Because of their team’s storied history they almost feel as if it’s, somehow, their right – and their right alone – to regularly have a world championship team.  And, when things don’t go their way . . . they can get downright nasty.  Just look how they’ve treated A-Rod.  Every year since the Yankees have had him he’s been made the scapegoat for their not making the World Series.  He’s a perennial All-Star, usually leads the league in one (or more) hitting category or another, but it’s his fault they’re not wearing another ring!  Sure, they’re loving him now, but if he should hit a funk in this series . . . just watch how fast they bring up the old blame game.  It gets very tiresome.

The entitlement issue bothers Mets fans,  but the bigger issue is the level of outright arrogance many/most Yankee fans demonstrate.  They’re not “proud”.  It’s much much more than pride.  (Yankee Pride refers more to the team, and has more to do with how they – as a team – conduct themselves.)  Too many Yankee fans actually believe that they, as fans, are better than fans of any other team . . . most of all Mets fans.  They go out of their way to demean and belittle the Mets and their fans.  Their favorite two-word reply/retort is: Mets Suck! What is up (wrong) with a mentality where in order to make yourself feel good/special, you have to try to make the other guy feel lousy/second-rate?  It’s pretty pathetic, when you think about it.  When you factor in the almost total media bias it really makes it a challenge to be a Mets fan.

Year in and year out, the Mets fan comes back “brimming with faith, loyalty and forgiveness”, regardless of how the previous year ended, or how the immediate future looks.  As Bob Baird asked, how hard is it “to support a team that has won 40 pennants” and 26 championships???

Bob goes on to discuss various Philly/New York sports rivalries over the last 49 years, but for me it really just comes down to one question.  Which will be harder for me to stomach, Yankee fans crowing about yet another championship, or their (continued) whining about A-Rod letting them down again?  That’s a tough one.  I suppose they might transfer their ire to Mark Teixeira, if the Phillies win, but they’ve always loved laying the blame on Alex.  Hmmm!  I think I’ll go for the crowing . . . just this once.  After all, 27 is just a number.  It’s really no different than hearing about 26, when you come to think about it.  I’d just prefer NOT to hear them recycle their favorite excuse/lament . . . yet again!

Go Yankees!

Your Uncle Rave

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