Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Benedict Giuliani?

-Is this man a traitor? In many parts of the country baseball fans root for the home team, not against other teams. For example, now that the Tribe is out of the playoffs even the most rabid Cleveland fan may choose to root for the Red Sox - because they are from the American League, because it makes the Tribe look better if they lost to the team that went on to capture the world series, because they play in that cute ball park with the big wall and you once went to visit your cousin while he was at college in Boston etc. The disappointed Indian's fans may also root for the Rockies, because they are an exciting young team on what may be the most incredible roll in sport's history, because they like purple, because they are still mad at the Red Sox, etc. You don't have to hate the Red Sox, the Reds or anyone else just because you are a Tribe fan.

Among older Clevelanders there is a reservoir of Yankee hatred, bred by decades of watching the Yankees win penant after penant. A bitterness honed by the fact that the Yankees accomplished this with players captured from other teams. This was before free agency - cash poor Kansas City was a virtual Yankee farm club and other teams, including the Tribe, were not above shipping a star or a future star to the Yankees in deals that put cash in their pockets and cut their payroll. From Babe Ruth to Roger Maris the Bronx bullies bought the best with their big bankroll. The Yankee's dry spells from 1965 to 1975 and again from 1979 to 1995, along with divisional divorce and the Tribe's own success may have dampened this hatred to the point where it is socially acceptable to root for the Yankees if the Tribe is eliminated. Even in the Tribe's years in the desert of early elimination, Cleveland housed a small but noticeable minority of front runners who rooted openly for the Yankees, accepting occasional scorn, but not threats of imminent death.

Chicago's cross town rivalry shows signs of real passion, including the all important element of class warfare, but when the combined efforts of the rivals win one World Series every fifty years it's just too hard to care. One well promoted mutual support group and the Cub's and White Sox fans would fall into each other's arms in tears.

In California, the Dodgers and Giants have a bitter edge to their rivalry. The true Giant fan will root against the Dodgers in the post season, regardless of opponent, and the Dodger fans feel the same way, but this is a prehensile trait, inherited from the teams origins in New York, one home of the true, hate driven rivalry.

Yankee fans must detest the Red Sox or be shunned by their brethren. Hatred of the Mets is optional, but highly encouraged. Mets fans savor no victory like a win over their spotlight hogging big brothers from the Bronx. Boston is, amazingly, even more negative than New York, recent poll results indicate that 73.2% of all Red Sox fans are happier about a Yankee loss than a Red Sox win, and the punishment for any kind word about a Yankee is swift and severe.

So, is Rudy a traitor? At the very least, he is a phony, desperately seeking a friendlier image and New Hampshire votes. This guy could barely force a strained smile when the Mets were in the playoffs and he was the Mayor of NY. He is a true Yankee fan, trained to hatred of the Red Sox through years of conditioning and he is inwardly grimacing as that Red Sox cap burns painfully into his scalp. If Rudy had been Mayor of Cleveland , Los Angeles, Chicago or any other city, he would get a pass on the Red Sox cap, but in assessing a New Yorker who is a self declared and genuine Yankee fan As Good As News must join its tabloid brethren in declaring Rudy a traitor to the New York Yankees.

No comments: