Yankees fans are an interesting breed. ???? ????? Every fanbase has a particular culture, sculpted by everything from the team’s winning (or losing) tradition to the regional cuisine and availability of parking at the stadium. The New York Yankees play in the most culturally and economically influential city in the world, and have been putting a consistently good product on the field for a century. These factors combine to create a team that celebrities, rappers, and even certain breeds of cats think is cool to root for. This unbridled popularity creates a sense of arrogance and entitlement that is despised not only by their neighbors to the north, but by countless small market teams regardless of whether or not those teams even play baseball. And Yankees fans bask in it. They, or should I say ‘we,’ gain power from it. The hate is like our yellow sun. Hearing “Yankees Suck” chants empower us, even in years like this when the team actually does suck.
There is really one single element that caused Yankees fans to become what we’ve become. It’s not the World Series rings or the House That Ruth Built or the location in the world’s capital, though those things certainly set the table for the ‘element’ to dine at. The factor that made us what we are is our owner, George Steinbrenner. The reason why we demand a championship every year and demand instant accountability when we don’t get it is because of that man. He is why his team, and their fans, are hated. That said, I wouldn’t trade him for anything. And other Yankees fans should realize how lucky we are to have him. ???? ?????? ????? Read More
A week or so back, the NCAA amended college football’s (and as well as the other sports’) recruiting policy to forbid coaches and recruiters from text messaging high school players. This may not seem like a particularly big deal. But for someone like me, an avid fan of college football, this development is meaningful, significant, and a reflection of how terrifying the machinery of collegiate athletics.
Those that know me well know that I have a near psychotic obsession with Boston College sports. I’m a football season ticket holder, belong to two B.C. sports message boards and donate to my alma mater’s athletic fund with regularity. I’ve got a lot of pride in the school that educated me, and I cheer like a madman for my Eagles.
I am, of course, no different than the millions of other red-blooded college sports fans that live and die by their teams. I know Notre Dame alums that travel to South Bend every year to give a nod to Touchdown Jesus and watch a game. I know folks from Harvard and Yale that describe their times in school as simply “we were 3-1 during my tenure.” I know families in Florida that fiercely argue over where you could get a better show: in The Swamp or at The U. Heck, I know that 92,000 people went to Alabama’s spring scrimmage. Their spring scrimmage. This kind of pride (and the rivalries that it spawns) create brotherhoods rooted in cultish devotion. And while I love being part of a community that exhibits such passion, I realize that this passion manifests itself in peculiar and often disturbing ways. Folks want success so bad that their love becomes a destructive force, driving coaches out of a job and tearing up the lives of the kids that play. Read More
My original plan for the day involved a stirring commentary on the Boston Marathon, and how it reflects the wonderful sports culture of my beloved city. I had the framework in place and was starting to organize my thoughts and observations. I was all ready to start. And then all of my planning went into the trash can, courtesy of the starting rotation of the New York Yankees.
Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano found their way on to the Disabled List this week, joining fellow hurlers Chien-Ming Wang and Jeff Karstens, who have been riding the medicated pine since opening day. Three of the five projected starters and the projected long man are now out of action, with the Yankees sitting at 5-6. With the season at just two weeks old, itâ€™s a bit early to start lamenting a lost campaign, but this is the kind of devastatingly bad luck that can doom a club.
Much to my disappointment, Tiger Woods did not capture the victory at the Masters this past weekend. The green jacket went instead to Zach Johnson, a perfectly pleasant-sounding man from Iowa. While I do not begrudge the former Drake Bulldog for outplaying everyone (include Tiger) on the beefy Par 5s of Augusta, I am still upset that the best golfer in the world didnâ€™t take the title.
I root for Tiger Woods, for reasons that are probably a bit selfish. I want to be able to say that I watched the most dominant athlete in the world during his prime. I want the premier sportsman of the decade to be a well-educated man with no criminal record instead of a hard-luck case from Newark, NJ that overcame a murder conviction to be the best strong safety in football. I want to be able to talk about a great golfer while playing golf with other golfers. Selfish justifications, perhaps, but not bad ones.
At the behest of the Powers That Be here at nerdsonsports.com, I have laid claim to Mondays and will be posting my darkest secrets and most ludicrous conspiracy theories on the first workday of every week.Â So this is Business Day One, your source for ten minutes of sports-related distraction every Monday.Â Here we go.
The day job that allows me to pay my bills involves a lot of quantitative and trend analysis.Â More than “a lot,” actually.Â “A terrifying amount” would be the best way to describe it.Â As much as I want to quarantine that part of my brain to prevent it from affecting the rest, I need to accept my station in life as an Analyst and realize that my trend and variance geekery is a part of me.Â As such, for my first Business Day One column, I offer three trend observations that have been on my mind this past week.
1.Â Aging NBA big men are a lot like aging MLB left-handed pitchers, in that they can both hang in their respectiveÂ games much longer than they really should.Â