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June 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm ET
7 Comments
Got Calendars?

A funny thing happened to me…

Last week, while ducking seven days of raindrops on Cape Cod, I decided to do a little shopping. While at one of the Cape’s renowned discount t-shirt and snow globe emporiums, sporting my finest late-June hoodie/jeans/Mets cap/hot coffee ensemble, I was approached by a somewhat forward middle-aged man. He was short, but bulky, and sounded like he started his day chain smoking unfiltered Camels, and ended it by inhaling bus fumes right from the source. After sidling up to me from behind a rack of inflatable beach toys, he greets me with…

“How can ya like ‘dose guyz? Da’ Mets suuuuuuuuckkkkkkk…..”

Upon closer investigation, I see the man is wearing a backwards Yankee hat and one of those side-splitting and not-at-all-dated “Got Rings?” t-shirts, right in the heart of Red Sox Nation. I could be wrong, but I’d wager my Limp Bizkit collection that this dude also ends his punchlines with “…NOT!!!!!”

(Oh, how we laughed…)

Still, old humor aside, it was a ballsy move for him to blindly heckle me in the sunscreen aisle — and I respect that. Since I was already five beers into my lunch, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to discuss the matter further.

“The Yankees are good. They got off to a rough start, but there’s no way you’re gonna keep guys like Teixeira and Sabathia down.”

“Damn right,” he replies, “The Yankees are the best team ever. No one will ever come close. Especially your sh*tbox Mets.”

“Sir, did you happen to notice that the Mets are playing without Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and John Mai—”

“It duzzint mattah! Twenny-six rings, mannn! Mets fans are foolin’ demselves if dey t’ink it’s dere year!”

At this point, before I can try and reason with this cunning linguist, he’s called over to the cash register by his equally lumpy wife. As a cordial gesture, I nod my head and he returns the favor by pointing to the sunbleached “NY” on his cap before walking away with an armful of marked down sun visors.

And to think I was the one that had been drinking…

Now, days later, I’m home and back at work. At the time of posting this, the makeshift Mets have just had their asses efficiently handed to them by those very same Yankees – swept over the weekend, losing 5 of 6 overall in this year’s Subway Series.テつ Over the course of two weekend series, the Yanks outhit, outpitched, outperformed and outshined their crosstown compatriots in nearly every aspect of the game. Other than a few miscues here and there, the Bombers looked every bit the part of a championship team, both for this year and beyond. The Yankee organization has built a very good ballclub — a ballclub that even I can’t find too many faults with.

So, why couldn’t the crusty guy from the Cape just talk about that?

I mean, seriously guys — you have an infield of potential HOF’ers. You have a pitching staff that can claim Andy Pettitte as one of its “lower end” guys. You have a closer that only seems to get better with age. テつ One would think that this could spark a healthy, honest discussion amongst rival fans. And more importantly, you’d think that it would serve as a much more relevant point of debate than “Got Rings?”

Now, I’m not saying all Yank fans are like this. I know they aren’t. In fact, most of my Yankee friends discuss the current team with as much reverence as those from seasons past.テつ Granted, I work with sports writers and dedicated fans, so this isn’t unusual.テつ But there are countless thousands — if not millions — of fans who know the 2009 squad as well as any. The problem is that these guys never want to discuss the game with me. You know — intelligently… honestly…

…currently

It’s not people saying the Mets suck, or fans trying to drum up rivalries that gets under my skin. What irks me is that a complete stranger — a guy 250 miles from home…in coastal Massachusetts — felt the need to start a debate with me because of my hat, and then “ended” the debate using a tired, overdone argument stating that the past somehow dictates the future. No one is arguing the merit of 26 world championships, and no one is trying to supplant the Yankees from their place upon the sports legend throne.

I just want to get past the idea that my team currently sucks based solely on your team’s history.

It’s 2009. The Mets are injury-riddled, have inconsistent starting pitching, and sport all the depth of a VH1 reality show. In their current form, they are not championship material. The Yankees, on the other hand, are riding a nice run of success despite some bullpen woes and a defunct Chien Ming Wang.テつ The players aren’t thinking of the Mets, and probably feel the same way we all do about the Subway Series — that it’s a boring distraction that takes away from the pennant race.

And they certainly aren’t telling the Mets about their 26 championships while hanging out at batting practice. Because that has nothing to do with what’s happening now.

If I had to compare the two teams, there’s no question — the Yankees are the more complete, more successful ballclub, and they deserve every accolade that comes their way as a result. There’s no argument to be had here. Yet, for some reason, a small contingent of genuinely dumb fans still feel the need to argue that their team is better because of history, rather than just discussing the present and the future.テつ And the next time I see one while buying souvenirs, I hope s/he’ll be a little better at holding a meaningful discussion about the current game, rather than just standing on the shoulders of ghosts, barking ridiculous, incongruous arguments about how Mickey Mantle is better than Jose Reyes.

Maybe this will actually bring something to this supposed “rivalry.”テつ Until then, I’d like to get back to the pennant race. You know, the one from 2009.

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7 Responses to “Got Calendars?”
  1. nicholas says:

    its so true. i fucking hate these fans. they are more widespread than you may think. no one seems to argue with us met fans when they are succeeding and winning, but as soon as the mets begin to fumble even a bit. its always about the history. who gives a shit. 26 rings are in the past.

  2. Sam D. says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH.

  3. dude abides says:

    I actually reminisce about the days of Horace Clark and Lindy McDaniel, but hey, that’s me. Guess the Philly fans are wonderful compared to Yankee fans.

    Seriously, any Yankee fan I’ve talked to about Wang’s recent outing has hedged their comments by saying that was only against a pretty banged up team and is also very cognizant of the fact that NYY is 0-8 against the Sox. Kinda glad I don’t hang out with the Yankee fans that you run into.

  4. Of course they have to bring up the past. Their own recent history has been lackluster, and by Yankee standards embarrassing. There’s always that shit-talking contingent with any fanbase, the contingent who talks shit no matter how bad it is in their own camp. Fucking hate those people, Sox fans included. It’s like talking to a 6th-grader.

  5. Eddie says:

    As a Cubs fan, I can’t walk outside my door without getting this from a dozen different Sox fans. “Cubs fuckin’ suck! 2005, homos!!!” It’s lovely.

  6. Drano says:

    Most fans that behave like that do so because The Yankees (or whoever) are the most positive thing going on in their lives. I’ve had a bunch of individuals accost me with that nonsense, and let me tell you they were quite a collection of sleestacks, primitives, literal bums (yeah! F’ing homeless bums will crow at you!) and residents of Staten Island. Not one has had the appearance of a civilized human being, although I suppose it’s possible a couple of them were eccentric millionaires or sociology students doing field studies.

    And wow, I have no problem with Tim Redding continuing to get work despite being a righty whose only pitch is a 92 MPH fastball that has no movement – I’d just like him to do it somewheres else, please.

  7. danclow says:

    nicely said, brad! i enjoy your articles. it gives me fodder to argue with insipid sports fans everywhere. hope you and the family are well. we need to meet up before the summer’s through! -dan

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