Iâ€™m not what anyone would call a sports fan. Iâ€™ve never understood the thrill of seeing people youâ€™ve never met win something that doesnâ€™t affect anything. But Iâ€™ve been trying. And if I have to follow a sport, however vaguely, Iâ€™ll choose baseball. I would rather go to a live game than watch one on TV because Iâ€™ll take any excuse to get drunk, eat crappy overpriced food and shout obscenities en masse. (Donâ€™t try that at an airport or inside a movie theater.)
Up until a few years ago, I cheered for New York City. Mets or Yankees, it didnâ€™t matter. Go New York! Over time, I was harshly informed by sports fans everywhere that I had to choose one team only or I would risk being â€¦ what? â€¦ Chastised by people who have skewed values to begin with? Iâ€™m a Queens girl so I chose the Mets. Go Metropolitans!
Baseball fans are a little weird to me. For example: I went to Bostonâ€™s Fenway Park two years ago to watch the Red Sox play the Angels. It was a beautiful sunny day and since I hold allegiance to neither team, I was just there (as I mentioned) to get drunk, eat crappy overpriced food and shout obscenities en masse. All was going well until I heard the official Red Sox battle cry. Can you guess? It wasnâ€™t â€œGo Sox!â€ or â€œRed Sox Rule!â€ or any other variation of â€œYay us!â€ It was â€œYANKEES SUCK!â€ that they shouted throughout the stands â€” for ten minutes at a time. I thought that was odd, considering the Yankees werenâ€™t even there.
Iâ€™ve decided that some fans are more defined by their hatred of opposing teams than they are by the merits of their own. I would meet seemingly normal people in Boston and when it would come up that Iâ€™m from New York, they would give me curious stink-eye up and down until I would meekly offer, â€œGoâ€¦ Mets?â€ and then stink-eye would dissolve and they would giddily reveal their â€œYankees Suckâ€ undergarments and high-five me. These are the frightening people whose identities seem to rest in the dislike of a particular sports team. â€œI donâ€™t know what I like but I know I hate the Yankees,â€ seems to open doors in Boston.
Thursdayâ€™s Mets game was amazing. Itâ€™s the kind of game that gets people only half-assed into baseball (like me) out of their seats and screaming. The Mets were losing to the Cubs 5-1 going in to the 9th inning and the Mets turned it around and won the game 6-5 at the last frigginâ€™ minute. What an amazing game, even for people like me who donâ€™t officially care. Poor Cubs fans. The thing about trying to heckle Cubs fans is that they already know their team is not-so-good so anything you shout at them is ineffectual. (Ninety-nine years since a championship speaks for itself.) We had a Cubs fan in our group and when someone would shout at him, â€œCUBS SUCK!â€ he would shout back â€œUGH! I KNOW!â€ He got more sympathetic pats on the back then heckles from Mets fans (possibly because of the fantastic last minute win) â€” which leads me to believe that Mets fans are generally nicer than Red Sox fans.
There is a new stadium being built mere feet from Shea stadium. And while itâ€™s going to be new and shiny and glorious when itâ€™s done, Iâ€™ll miss Shea. Iâ€™ve been going to Shea since I was a kid learning to not care about baseball and now that Iâ€™m a grown-up not caring about baseball, I realize what Iâ€™ll be missing. Iâ€™ll always remember that today at Shea, for about 120 seconds, watching my team win was all I cared about in the whole world. Yes, even more than getting drunk, eating crappy overpriced food and shouting obscenities en masse. Iâ€™ll be converted to fandom yet. Go Mets.
Copyright © 2010 Jane
On Baseball, Not That I Care
Copyright © 2010 Jane
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