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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On Baseball, Not That I Care

by Jane (writer), Astoria, May 18, 2007

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I’m not what anyone would call a sports fan. I’ve never understood the thrill of seeing people you’ve never met win something that doesn’t affect anything. But I’ve been trying. And if I have to follow a sport, however vaguely, I’ll choose baseball. I would rather go to a live game than watch one on TV because I’ll take any excuse to get drunk, eat crappy overpriced food and shout obscenities en masse. (Don’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 didn’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 … what? … Chastised by people who have skewed values to begin with? I’m a Queens girl so I chose the Mets. Go Metropolitans!

Baseball fans are a little weird to me. For example: I went to Boston’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 wasn’t “Go Sox!” or “Red Sox Rule!” or any other variation of “Yay us!” It was “YANKEES SUCK!” that they shouted throughout the stands — for ten minutes at a time. I thought that was odd, considering the Yankees weren’t even there.

I’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 I’m from New York, they would give me curious stink-eye up and down until I would meekly offer, “Go… Mets?” and then stink-eye would dissolve and they would giddily reveal their “Yankees Suck” undergarments and high-five me. These are the frightening people whose identities seem to rest in the dislike of a particular sports team. “I don’t know what I like but I know I hate the Yankees,” seems to open doors in Boston.

Thursday’s Mets game was amazing. It’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 friggin’ minute. What an amazing game, even for people like me who don’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, “CUBS SUCK!” he would shout back “UGH! I KNOW!” He got more sympathetic pats on the back then heckles from Mets fans (possibly because of the fantastic last minute win) — 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 it’s going to be new and shiny and glorious when it’s done, I’ll miss Shea. I’ve been going to Shea since I was a kid learning to not care about baseball and now that I’m a grown-up not caring about baseball, I realize what I’ll be missing. I’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. I’ll be converted to fandom yet. Go Mets.


About the Writer

Jane is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on On Baseball, Not That I Care

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By Joshua on May 18, 2007 at 02:59 pm
Well, I will chime in, as a Cub fan, I think you nailed exactly how we are. I watched the game of which you speak and although it hurt me greatly, it is one of those games that makes one realize why us crazy kooks love sports so much. Great article.
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By GreatMinds on May 18, 2007 at 07:29 pm
As a rabid Alabama Crimson Tide fan, I completely identify with the BoSox fans' hatred of the Yankees. I have similar feelings about the University of Tennessee and, to a lesser extent, Auburn University. Your article was great, and I suspect you're a bigger Mets fan than you'll allow yourself to admit. Breathe in, exhale slowly, and just let the truth of your secret passions overwhelm you. That WAS a great game and an amazing comeback. I'm glad you were there. Good article!!
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By Venditto on May 19, 2007 at 12:31 pm
I can relate with your utter apathy towards sports. I can also identify with your love of overprived beer and shitty stadium food. Nice article. By the way all die hard sports fans are inherently abnormal.
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