Obnoxious NY Fans
I hate my neighbors.
Which brings me to this blog subject.
Those who know me know that I've always been a Boston sports fan, but I've never been obnoxious about it. I like watching the games...when I can. I hope they win...when they do. I hope as we all hope in New England that the Red Sox will pull off another victory against the NY Yankees, and when they do, I'm smug about it. It's about freaking time, don't ya think?
But I'm the first to buy the "loser" a beer. And I will take my ribbing in good nature if my team is the loser. I realize it's just a game. My self-worth and identity are not inextricably tied to a sports team.
Which is the problem with many NY fans, Yanks fans in particular. The years of baseball monopoly they have enjoyed has made them boorish, spinal column-ruled bullies. They remind me of the folks who listen faithfully to right-wing political porn pundits. They transfer the victories of their team -a finely tuned, insanely fit and competitive winning machine- to their more mundane and flabbier everyday lives. They have been winning for way too long and their fans have become asshats because of it.
Which is why everyone -not just Boston- hates them, except for them.
I work with two guys like this. They are young, educated, smart and decent men. But I get shit from them constantly. When the Pats lost to NY I got videos and snide emails. Most of it was just good natured ribbing, and I have some snide retorts myself. But I think they take it just a bit too seriously. Sometimes they get a little too snipish. They literally HATE Boston, not just the team. One of them went to school there and it was all he could do apparently to survive. He was like a little delicate Yankee flower withering in the dirty Boston water.
Maybe it's because I grew up hating "jocks" in general and respecting the 80's NY/Boston/DC trifecta in the punk scene. NY punk influenced us, we influenced them. Maybe there were some sports rivalry, but it was about the music. I have all the respect for the city of NY. And not just the punk, but the art, the culture, the world-shaping influence. The other night I saw a Boston hardcore band open for the great Sick of it All from NYC. SOIA had a giant Yanks sign on their stage. Did my eyes burn? Um, no.
Or maybe it's because we Bostonians have pride in being the underdog. We fight harder and we are tougher. I don't want the Sox to be the next Yanks because I like Boston's fighting spirit. I don't want us to be smug, self-satisfied fatties expecting our team to win again and again. It's too easy. Besides, we found the soft underbelly of the NY empire, and we impaled it. Us. Little, humble Boston. WE slayed the dragon, with spit and hard work. We broke up Ma Bell. Everyone likes it when the underdog wins.
So while it's great to be a passionate sports fan, it's not so great to be a fragile little prick about it. It's a game. Anyone who hates a city and everyone in it because of a sport team is posing a thuggery they do not posses and betraying for all the world a fragility and petty smallness of spirit. And anyone who wins too much for too long is going to fall that much harder when the time comes.