This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
If any of you watch the news, maybe you’ve seen the story about a Falmouth man who beat a tourist from New York with a baseball bat on July 4, in part because he thought the man was a Yankees fan.
If not, check out this video which consists of yours truly on TV today talking about it.
While I can’t really comment about the specifics of the story because I’m writing articles about it, I did want to chime in on the rivalry itself.
Red Sox-Yankees is the best rivalry in all of sports. With all due respect to Michigan-Ohio State, Cubs-Cardinals and the many other great ones out there, Boston-New York transcends everything. A lot plays into it from the geographic proximity of the two cities to the whole Red Sox trading Babe Ruth and the accompanying myth of The Curse of the Bambino (or as I like to call it, “The Padding of Dan Shaughnessy’s Wallet”). And on many occasions, the rivalry has spilled beyond the confines of Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, into the stands and even beyond.
Now let’s get a few things straight. I hate the Yankees. As a lifelong Red Sox fan there isn’t a single thing I like about the Yankees, except for the buzz they bring to town when they play the Red Sox. And as a new father, I am going to pass that hate onto my son. Now I know what some of you are thinking. You think it’s wrong to teach a child to hate someone or something. And you think it’s silly to take a sport — a game — so seriously.
Well to that, I say shut your mouth!
The love of the Red Sox and the hatred of the Yankees are both things to be cherished when you come from a sports-crazed family. These two attributes have been passed down among the men in my family for generations. It’s a common tie that binds and it is a powerful force that pulls us together.
Now, do I advocate violence against Yankees fans? Absolutely not. Attacking someone (especially when you don’t even know if they’re a Yankees fan) is boneheaded and should not be tolerated. You can hate the Yankees and their obnoxious fans, but fisticuffs are not necessary unless you’re being attacked in the bleachers of Yankee Stadium and you need to defend yourself from some guido in a lime green Yankees hat wearing too many gold chains and far too much cologne.
But the rivalry itself is fantastic. I love to hate the Yankees and despite what they’d have you think, Yankees fans hate Boston fans too. Don’t let these people from New York tell you “Oh we don’t really care about the Red Sox” because that’s a lie. I’ve been to Yankee Stadium and I’ve been harassed for my Sox hat. And I’ve seen the obscene anti-Boston shirts they sell in the Bronx, just the same as outside of Fenway. And with the Sox gaining the edge over the Yanks in the last few years, they’ve gotten even worse about it.
But in addition to the anti-Yankee sentiment, I will also teach him etiquette and how to be a good fan. Not like the bandwagon morons who have hopped aboard the Sox Express since 2004. He’ll learn about the Impossible Dream season in 1967, Fisk’s homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, he’ll know who “El Guapo” is and he’ll marvel at the nuttiness of Bill Lee. He’ll learn how to score a game in a program, he’ll know why the Red Seat in right field is so important and why it’s inexcusable that Jim Rice isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet.
And while I will never advocate violence, he will learn to hate the Yankees. And that’s a good thing.