Growing up in south central Connecticut as an avid sports fan, there are certain choices that you are forced to make upon birth. And being half way between New York and Boston immediately puts you in a bind.
Almost as soon as you can speak, you are saying the names of your favorite sports teams (at least that is how it was in my house), and right then and there you make life choices.
Is it the Giants or the Patriots? Is it the Knicks or the Celts? The Rangers or the Bruins? For me those choices were easy… Love who Daddy loves!! The Knicks, Rangers, and the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.
Then there is the BIG ONE. Yanks or Sox?
No rivalry in sports can come close to the enmity that lingers between these two teams. Every time they play, no matter if it is the middle of April or the end of September, you know that the emotion of 90 years of utter distain for one another will shine through brightly.
To get this out of the way early I will say that I am a DIEHARD Yankee fan.
When you walk into the big ballpark in the Bronx, you are hit with a feeling of such elation that it can almost knock you off your feet to know that you are standing on such hallow grounds.
The Babe, Lou Gehrig, Joe D, Mickey Mantle, Goose Gossage, Yogi, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter: These names are all so humbling.
From the very first row next to the Yankees dugout, (where you can usually find former great Mayor Rudy Giuliani) to the last row in the bleachers, everyone in the stadium is there to support the same cause.
They all love the boys in Pinstripes.
Loving the Yankees is so easy! They are the greatest team in the HISTORY of sports!
Don’t start pulling out crazy arguments about soccer teams around the world or men’s field hockey in Germany. I’m talking REAL NORTH AMERICAN RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES—the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL.
TWENTY-SIX World Championships is the tops in the sports universe (followed by the Montreal Canadiens with 24, www.nuttyaboutsports.com). To say that I am proud of this fact would be a complete understatement. I flaunt this statistic around as if I had thrown a complete game 2-hitter in each of the World Series going back to the mid-twenties.
With all the love that I have for the Yankees it would be easy to assume that I hate the Boston Red Sox with an equal amount of fervor, right?
I love the Red Sox too. Without the Red Sox, could my love for the Yankees ever be so strong? Absolutely not!
Without the Red Sox would wining a World Series even be any fun? No way!
I am here to say that I will always appreciate what the Red Sox do for the Yankees. We need one another like any other star-crossed duos destined to never be able to live together in harmony. When the Yankees aren’t on TV I always find myself watching the Sox on NESN (New England Sports Network).
Because it is almost just as fun to route against the Red Sox and poke good fun at their announcers as it is to cheer on the Bronx Bombers.
At the end of the day, what it comes down to is a true love of the game, and a true respect for a phenomenal rivalry.
So next time you step into “The House that Ruth Built” or gaze at the beauty of the Green Monster make sure you really realize what you are witnessing. Respect every aspect of the rivalry, and know how lucky you are to be fans of either team.
And then when the umpire finally looks up and shouts “Play ball”! Don’t be afraid to shout RED SOX (or Yankees) SUCK!!!
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