Yankees and Yankee Fans

I was disappointed that the Angels lost (and the way they lost with playing uncharacteristically sloppy baseball), but man, this Yankee team is scary.  They’re really built to win a 5-game or 7-game series this year with their three frontline starters and solid bullpen.  And man, Mo is lights out.

I saw this interview with AJ Burnett after the game, and he said that the most impressive part of Mo’s game is his confidence.

I must say, there’s no other closer in baseball who inspires the same confidence.  Even when K-Rod was having his record season, I’d get nervous every time he pitched.  With Mo, it’s over.  I had resigned defeat when he ran onto the mound in the 8th inning.  If Joba would have still been in the game, I’m 85% sure the Angels would have rallied.

Me, Peter, and smug Yankee fans Mike and Alan.  This photo was after an Angel loss to the Yanks a few years ago.

Me, Peter, and smug Yankee fans Mike and Alan. This photo was after an Angel loss to the Yanks a few years ago.

By the way, I wanted to make a comment about Yankee fans.  One reason I’m not so deflated by this loss is because it was to the Yankees and not the Red Sox.

What’s ironic about this is that I used to like the Red Sox, and I rooted for them to beat the Yankees every year.  However, something changed after I actually lived in the New England area.

It wasn’t a particular episode or event that changed my perception of Boston… it was a gradual annoyance with the fan base… in every sport.

Keep in mind I was there before and after the World Series win in ’04.

The ’04 win only exacerbated one of my grievances against the fan base – they got even more irrationally passionate and defensive.  SN:  One exception to this is Bill Simmons, who is irrationally passionate but not as defensive.  I love reading his Boston stuff because he’s admittedly irrationally passionate… and hilariously so.

It’s just hard to argue with a Red Sox fan or talk trash to them.  Things get personal.  Moms and families get thrown under the bus.  Insults are made.

I thought Red Sox fan would chill out after they won a couple of championships, but in my experience, it’s gotten worse.

But with Yankee fans, it’s different.  And I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I actually respect Yankee fans.  Now, many of them are bandwagon fans, and it’s ridiculous and maddening that there are so many of them in every opposing stadium, but in my experience, they’ve been really good fans.

Yankee fans are passionate and smug, but not mean and derisive.  Sure, they talk some trash, and they’ll ride you for rooting for an opposing team, but there’s a certain calm arrogance that accompanies their passion.

When talking to them I don’t get the feeling of “You’re dumb and we’re gonna destroy your team!”.  Instead, I get “It’s going to be fun beating your team along with the rest of the baseball universe.  I think you should join our cause instead of agonizing over there.”  Or, I get “Hahaha, that’s funny.”  Smug.  Overconfident.  I rarely sense defensiveness.

I’ll give you this example.  Back in ’03 when the Yankees were battling the Marlins in the WS, I remember talking trash to Mike Favilla at the beginning of the series.  He, of course, was his usual Yankee-loving self, and brushed off my statements.

When the Marlins actually won the series and Beckett pitched like a maniac, I remember gloating about the win and calling Mike and telling him how thrilling it was that a smaller salaried team took it to the Yanks, Clemens didn’t get to go out on top, yada, yada, yada.

Mike laughs as I’m talking, and then he says with complete sincerity:

“It’s okay, Beckett is a free agent in a couple of years.  He’ll be in a Yankee uniform by then.”

That’s the mentality of Yankee Fan, ladies and gentleman.

I think Jeter and Mo carry the same persona.  A-rod didn’t… until this year.  Tex and CC have the same mentality, it seems.

I think winning (and the willingness to spend $) breeds that type of confidence.

If I were in Mike’s shoes and someone was calling me after the loss, I would have done the following:

– Complained about the Umpiring

– Ignored the Phone Call

– Made Disparaging Remarks about the opposing teams players.

– Made Disparaging Remarks about the city of the other team, and tell them how much better our city is than theirs.

Losing breeds this kind of irrational, emotional passion.  I think I’m finally understanding what Danny has been talking about regarding Cal fans.

I’ve come to the realization that I despise Red Sox fans because that’s precisely who I am when it comes to my teams – irrational, defensive, angry, and melancholy.

That’s what losing can do to one’s outlook.  I grieve for you, Met and Jet fan.

But I stand in solidarity with you.

And even if I may respect you Yankee fan, I still stand on the other side of the fence with Mr. Met.

And I must say, the food and feel of Citi field is so much better than the new Yankee Stadium.

See what I mean?

Okay, I realize this only describes some Yankee fans (or just Mike Favilla), but this is the consistent feel I get from the fans I know.

A text from Hydie Kim last week:

“Whether I’m confident or overconfident is subjective.  Either way I call it faith.”

A text from Joe Philip last night:

“It was a great series… I actually like the Angels and would’ve rooted for them if they beat the Yankees… sorry bro.”

Sigh.

There’s a spiritual lesson in here somewhere.

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6 responses to “Yankees and Yankee Fans

  1. “but there’s a certain calm arrogance that accompanies their passion.”

    I think you can say that of a lot of NYers. I’m not into these sports but I do like to make fun of all fans because everyone’s reaction is so comedic.
    I can’t wait until baseball season is over and hugball is the main attraction.

  2. Oh, how I enjoyed reading this post! You know how to articulate your thoughts so well. I actually watched the entire game last night, maybe for the 2nd time in my life, and enjoyed it. I am starting to think baseball ain’t so bad. 😉 I’m gonna send your link to my die-hard yankee fan cousin. He will thoroughly enjoy reading this.

  3. drew,

    i see the same increasing level of “irrationally passionate and defensive” attitude among phillies fans. i lived in Philly for about three years and come to respect the city as well as the fans’ passion for all their teams. i still do respect them and defend them because i believe they are largely misunderstood (and they don’t care that they are misunderstood). but i felt that same irrationally passionate and defensive character you’ve experienced in boston fans from the Phillies fans during the NLCS this year where the Phillies went on to beat my Dodgers.
    i guess ppl in the east coast generally don’t really care for anything philadelphia but personally i hate seeing philly fans getting really ugly like this. they say they are champions but they sure don’t act like one. perhaps this is the real boston and real philadelphia.

    but if you ask cubs fans, they would trade whatever love/respect ppl have for their city and the club with a championship season with a heartbeat. and if i’m really honest, i would have traded some of that to have beaten the phillies this year. so what’s worst? losing or winning ugly?

  4. Yankee fans are: “Smug. Overconfident. I rarely sense defensiveness.”

    According to Tim Keller this is due to New York City itself. Yankee’s fans may loose a game but their mentality goes like this after loosing, and I paraphrase Mr. Keller, “…yes… we lost this game, however we’re still New York and you’re not!”

    Can’t believe I’m reading something about sports. Enough of this! Only because I love New York.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Pingback: My Unusual Disdain for Boston Sports Teams « while waiting

  6. Pingback: Irrational Boston Fans « while waiting

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