Thursday, October 21, 2004

Embracing Bostonian history

I partied with one Red Sox fan and a bunch of Yankee haters in the hours of revelry following the greatest collapse in the history of baseball, sports and possibly the world.

The dismantling of the Berlin Wall? The fall of Communism in the USSR? The withdrawal of troops from Vietnam? They can't hold a candle to the Yankees becoming the first team to squander a 3-0 lead in baseball postseason history. Actually, squander is too soft a word. They choked. They blew it. They crapped out after betting max on the pass line. They left their hearts in the clubhouse . . . in Boston.

Respect must be given to the Bostonian "Idiots" for their accomplishment. It was an amazing comeback and one that deserves admiration from even the most "diehard" Yankee fans and even the "biggest Yankee fans" ever. If not, then your fan pass should be revoked. The Red Sox are the government. The Yankees are Henry Hill. And yes, they folded under questioning. It's an undeniable fact.

Despite my peacemaking with the situation, it felt a little strange as the lone Yankee fan surrounded by demonic Yankee haters living their dream. But it was somewhat refreshing. There's no more pressure on the Yankees anymore. No more curse to play in fear of. No more, "Oh my God, imagine if we lost" yang to listen to from idiot Yankee fans. (Note: There are three intelligent Yankee fans left in the world, and I believe I am one of them.)

To see the man we call Bus, a true Red Sockian, shed his patriarchal title of sultan of the Vortex of Negativity and adopt a Mr. Positive attitude was heartwarming. He looked like a proud man who just became a grandfather for the first time.

Derisive chants of "Twooooo-thousand" and "John-ny Da-mon" filled the bar at unchoreographed moments. Then, Eddie Mac, the chieftain of the Vortex of Negativity, gave a toast he's been waiting at least 34 years to share with America: "When the banner of Evil is finally burned, great men will rejoice."

The party lasted until one light remained on inside the Great Saloon of Bostonian Revelry . . . in Farmingdale. Even being a Yankee fan, there was no other place I'd rather be on this night. Euphoria for a region that is a four-hour drive away, with good people who waited a lifetime to share this moment with anyone who would listen.

This was history the likes of which people will never see again and Yankee fans will never understand. The closest thing I can compare it to is Charlie Hayes catching Mark Lemke's foul ball to clinch the 1996 World Series. Anyone Yankee fan under 35 worth his pinstripes must consider that night the most Utopian of October nights. Any Yankee fan under 35 who disagrees wasn't a Yankee fan until 1997 and they should just stop reading this immediately and search the Internet for the latest bandwagon. Rumor has it there is plenty of room with the New York Giants, so do a quick search and see how much the best seats are being scalped for.

Yankee fans, we will live to play another day. But the world will go, your paychecks will still be deposited directly into your bank accounts, your children will still love you, your credit card statements and student loan payment coupons will still be delivered by e- or snail mail, your car will still need an oil change every 3,000 miles, your cell phone will still get reception, your boss will still instruct you to do something that you believe is completely ridiculous, you'll still have low-carb diets, I can't believe it's not butter lite and ATM fees at banks other than your own.

So embrace being a part of history, and for a moment, no matter how brief, allow someone else to experience the joys of October. Live vicariously through someone else for the next two weeks. Besides, Steinbrenner will bring in Pedro and Derek Lowe next year, so get used to rooting for them.