Here are the exciting storylines I get to deal with as a Yankees fan this spring:
-Andy Pettitte looked decent in his Spring Training Debut, despite having to fly back and forth to Washington, DC for steroid and HGH investigation related issues.
-Lying blowhard Hank Steinbrenner descended further into self-parody after being forcibly inducted into Red Sox Nation by Boston owner John Henry.
-A bizarre cult has developed around Joba Chamberlain, a pitcher with 24 innings of professional experience.
-Yankees fans are beginning to realize how close we actually came to losing Robinson Cano and sweating at night thinking about it.
-Fans are expecting Michelle Damon to be more productive than Johnny Damon in 2008.
So this is what I’m dealing with. Let’s Go Yanks.
Happy 2008, team. We here at Nerds On Sports hope your New Year’s Eve parties were exciting, your college football bowl season was fruitful and your hangover has finally crept out from behind your eyes.
I was at my gym this morning and, as expected, saw a couple of new faces (and the attached bodies) on the treadmills. “Oh New Years,” I thought to myself as I hopped up on my usual elliptical machine, “you make fitness fun again.” I stole a couple of glances at a pair of the Resolution Runners (feel free to use the term) and did some quick figuring in my head. The folks that were slogging along at the gym at 7:45 a.m. on this cool Boston morning likely already had memberships and were simply renewing their vows to their cardio routines. The real My Plan Is To Join A Gym And Lose Thirty Pounds crowd shows up in the first full week of the year. Generally, that crowd spends a couple of days gorging and then takes a weekend tour of the facility, picks up some new running shorts and gets gung ho on that following Monday.
This bout of early morning thinking made me realize that I don’t really have any New Year’s Resolutions to make. I go to my gym as much as I need to, eat three square a day and write for a sports blog. That’s about as perfect as my life is going to get. So since I have some time on my hands that would’ve been otherwise earmarked for my own resolutions, I’m going to do the Sports World a solid and contract myself out to make some 2008 Resolutions for others. You all can thank me later:
Bill Belichick – Continue to find ways to feed Humble Pie to an undefeated team.
Rich Rodriguez – Bring West Virginia’s style of furniture burning football enthusiasm to Michigan’s Big House. Read More
I’m still sad from the weekend. I’m not delirious with rage, or throwing darts at a picture of John Swofford or lamenting a broken system with stunning poetry. I’m just sad. Oh well, at least my Boston College Eagles will get to relax in sunny Orlando over the holidays. I need to take whatever I can get.
Anyway, I’m not here to write about this. I don’t want anyone here to see me cry at my desk. Instead, I want to talk about Christmas.
We all still believe in magic, especially around this time of year. Even the most steadfastly secular and reasonable among us can still be overwhelmed by heart-quickening memories of holidays past. We can recall the excitement of seeing presents that appeared (out of nowhere!) under the tree, and that feeling we got when we were certain we heard reindeer on our roof. We have that specific moment when we were first told that Santa wasn’t real inked in our mind, right alongside the memory of us absolutely insisting that he was to the foolish non-believer.
Sure we’re grown-ups now. And we know there isn’t a toy factory on the North Pole or Rudolph with his nose so bright. But one thing I learned as a grown-up is that Santa is real. I’m serious. He exists in the harried expression of a parent trying to figure out what video game to get. He exists in a doting grandma’s car as she circles the mall looking for parking. He exists when dad gets up in the middle of the night to eat the carrots his daughter left out so she thinks that Dasher and Dancer did. So yes. Santa exists. But what doesn’t exist is free magic. Grown-ups know this. In fact, I think that’s the big difference between children and grown-ups. The adults among us know that miracles cost money. That video game wasn’t cobbled by elves, it was bought by your mom. That your stocking wasn’t stuffed by St. Nick in your living room, it was stuffed at Walgreen’s. And that no one is going to magically jump down your chimney and give your team Johan Santana for free. It’s going to cost you. Read More
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