Most Americans view sports as a distraction from reality. They follow their favorite teams like an addicting soap opera, trying to see what new storyline will play out today.
For me, however, the New York Yankees are more than just my favorite sports team. They are the glue that has held my life together over the last 12 years. They are the arteries of my very being, bringing me new life everyday. The New York Yankees can be thanked for making my life what it is today.
Everyone remembers the emotional first pitch that President G.W. Bush threw out in the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Baseball fans can picture "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani sitting next the dugout with his NYPD/FDNY hat on, cheering on his favorite team through this time of crisis.
When New York City, and America as a whole, needed them, the New York Yankees were there to bring normalcy back to everyone's lives. The Yankees represented everything that was American and everything that this country stands for. It can be argued that the New York Yankees represented more than just the city of New York in the 2001 World Series. They represented America!
Having been a Yankees fan for over a decade, the Bombers have had a major impact on my life as well.
The Yankees are my favorite team and they play in my favorite city. No big deal. That can be said for millions of people across the nation. However, the Bronx Bombers have always been more than that for me.
I can fondly remember going to Yankee Stadium in 1997 to see the Yankees and the Mariners play. Sitting in the bleachers, with The Creatures, I thoroughly enjoyed watching my first ever major league baseball game. Even though the Yankees lost to Ken Griffey Jr. and the Mariners, that was the first real taste I had of Yankee baseball.
Since then, I've been to over a dozen games and each of them have been special for different reasons. Those Yankee games represent bonding experiences with my family and best friends. They represent landmark highlights of my life, including a number of birthdays. They represent happiness, summer, love, and the best times of my life.
Outside of just being at the games, the Yankees also are the biggest point of connection with most of my friends. My best friends are Yankees fans or Red Sox fans, giving me something to either agree or disagree on. It even gives me something to pick on my girl-friend about, who is a big Red Sox fan.
I get pissed at people when they talk about Yankee fans as being "band-wagoners". I yell at Boston fans for insulting Derek Jeter's abilities and clutch hitting. I turn off the WFAN 660 when the Yankees lose and the Mets win, because I don't want to listen to the comparisons.
When the Yankees win, I'm in a great mood the next day. If they happen to lose, I'm not fun to be around.
Through it all, the Yankees have been the rock in my life. I can always look forward to the summer months, listening to John Sterling's voice on the radio. I dream about the next time that I'll get to look out over The House that Ruth Built. I long for the next time that I can gloat about the Yankees wrapping up the World Series.
My life revolves around the New York Yankees and that's what they mean to me!