Thursday, September 13, 2012

Loyalty.

       I am going to judge you...not as a person, mind you, but as a fan.  I am not big on those insipid "rules for fans" articles you will get from hack sportswriters from time to time.  I find there are no "rules" per se for being a sports fan.  You can do what you want; sports is supposed to be a pastime, after all.  But, and we are talking a J-Lo sized but here, the fact that there are no rules does not mean I won't draw opinions from your choices as a fan and then apply them further upon you as a human being. 

       If you have been paying attention at all, you will know that I am a New York Mets fan.  Being a Mets fan is, um, difficult at times.  But they are my team, through (the rarely) thick and (very very) thin.  Liking the Mets is not always easy, but it shows a tremendous amount of patience and fortitude if you are a true Mets fan.  On the other hand, being a Yankees fan requires very little, other than the lack of a soul and a self important attitude based upon entitlement.  The two do not mesh.  If you say you are a Mets fan, I know you aren't a Yankees fan.  If you say you are a Yankees fan, I know that you are both a jerk and that you pity the Mets, and really, that's fine.  But if you say you are a Yankees fan who roots for the Mets, I know you are a milquetoast (at best) and if you say you are a Mets fan who roots for the Yankees, I question your entire understanding of how life works.

       There is a radio talk show host who does AM drive in New York on WFAN, so as not to give him too much exposure, let's just call him Graig Garton.  For full disclosure, I have listened to this blowhard for about a dozen years and know him from back in his 101.5 days, and he was unmistakeably awful then.  But after the Don Imus fiasco five years ago, WFAN made the unfathomable choice of giving this jackass a bigger audience.  While his grating voice and sub-moronic IQ are obvious drawbacks to his job, the worst thing he does is around this time of year is he switches his allegiances from the Mets to the Yankees, opening what he calls the Church of Mets Fans for Yankees. This makes as much sense as "Jews for Jesus" - there is a word for that, we call it "Christians."  There is also a word for Mets Fans for Yankees, and that word is "Yankees Fan."  Packers fans don't root for the Bears, Bruins fans don't root for the Canadiens, Dodgers fans don't root for the Giants, Celtics fans do not root for the Lakers, and Mets fans do not root for the Yankees.  Period.  It is not a law or a rule, it is just the way it is.  Period.

       OK, I am on a complete ranting tangent here and I need to focus back to the point at hand.  Yes, I am a Mets fan and a baseball fan.  No, I will never root for the Yankees, ever.  Even in 2001, I was not rooting for the Yankees and was quite thrilled when they lost.  But, once playoff time comes around, when the Mets are out of it (which has been often in the last five years), I do take temporary rooting interest in a team, usually the one playing against the Yankees or, more recently, the Phillies (and when the Yankees and Phillies played each other?  I rooted for mother nature and football season).  This year I am rooting openly - and a little early this year, as well - for the Orioles.
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The Orioles and their fans deserve better than they have gotten the last 15 years or so.  Peter Angelos is a carpetbagging bastard of the highest order.  He took what was once one of the gems of the American League and polished it into a turd.
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There was once a concept of "The Oriole Way" which shows how seriously they took fine baseball in Baltimore and that they have gotten away from that shows how low they have sunk.
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I have never had a beef with the Orioles or their fans.  I am too young to remember 1969 and since we beat them that year, really, what kind of grudge could I hold anyway?  Even when I was at Camden Yards and some drunk lady practically accosted me when the Mets lost to the Orioles, I didn't use that incident against their fans.  This was a few years ago when the O's were losing 90-100 games a year, why kick someone when they are down?  Besides, I understand - being drunk at a Mets game is pretty much required. 
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I like what Buck Showalter has done with this ragtag bunch. I like that he got screwed over by the Yankees and has a chance to stick it to them. It would make for a good story if he is able to win the AL East with this team and a great story if he can not only win the East, but keep the Yankees out of the playoffs all together.  He'll need help from the Rays and the A's for that.
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I wish I had a page of some contemporary Orioles to show you, but most of my modern O's go to Kevin at Orioles Card "O" the Day.  You'll have to go there to see Adam Jones or Nick Markakis cards.
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So while my Mets sputter down the stretch to the tune of a 4-21 post All Star Break home record, I will continue to watch the games.  I will continue to wear my Mets hat - even in public.  I will root for David Wright to post great numbers and for R.A. Dickey to win 20.  But I will also be rooting for the Orioles to dethrone the Yankees.  I will be rooting for more Yankees injuries.  I will be rooting for the Rays and A's to keep up their end of the bargain and shut the Yanks out of even a Wild Card.  And any Mets fan who roots for the Yankees?  Shame on you.

5 comments:

night owl said...

I didn't know anyone outside of my grandmother, who was clueless about sports but had a habit of saying, "well, I like BOTH teams" when she sat down to watch a game, could like both the Mets and Yankees.

(Altho there is a card blogger who likes both now that I think of it).

I'm rooting for the O's, too. A lot of that is because of what they went through with Yankees fans taking over their stadium all those years. That is just sickening and the Yankees need to pay.

jacobmrley said...

Grandmother's get a slight bit of slack, but they are the exception that proves the point I was making.

My grandmother was a Red Sox fan from Roxbury and stayed that way until the day she died, even after moving to DC and New York. She was born in November 1918 and died in 1998. She lived 79 years and never saw them win. I should do a post about her Sox fandom.

Jeff Wilk said...

The Yankees/Mets is like being a Cubs or Sox fan here in Chicago. Those that claim to like both teams are Cubs fans.

Cubs suck.

jacobmrley said...

That's the spirit! I have always had a kinship with White Sox fans for just this reason. I rooted for you guys hardcore in 2005.

Fuji said...

Wow... this post gets my "post of the year" nomination... if there is one.

I agree on a few points:

A. I hate the Yankees too.

B. It's impossible to be a Packers & Bears fan at the same time.

C. I too will be rooting for the Orioles... if and when... the A's are knocked out.

Until then... help me Oakland Athletics, you're my only hope (since my Padres suck monkey butt... but... and I'm talking a j-lo but... I still love them!)