For many years I wondered why so many people seem to have such a disgust for the Yankees.
You either like them or you don't. "They buy their players," people say, or, "They spend the most." Show-offs. Greedy.
I never believed it—until now.
I, myself, have been a Yankee fan since 1987. I watched them play through terrible seasons, paying over the hill sluggers until the mid '90s. They turned it around and eventually rode their core of players (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams) to a dynasty.
I've watched legends be born and bred from scratch. It's kind of gratifying.
When they beat the Braves in 1996, winning their first of four titles in five years, the city was rejuvenated, with thousands of Yankee fans breathing a collective sigh of relief, since we endured the Mets of the '80s making the Yankees look like a minor league team with major league contracts.
By the year 2000, after beating the Mets in the Subway Series, the best World Series I have seen in my short 31 years on this planet, they were a bona fide dynasty. With that came thousands of fans that weren't around during the early '90s when they were terrible.
Granted, I know thousands of people who will wear Yankee hats that hate the Yankees. Their emblem and team colors have become a staple of any outfit, whether one likes them or not.
However, if a person is going to yell and scream and act like a fanatic, shouldn't they at least follow the team—their stats and day to day game performances?
It started with Rudy Giuliani, who was all of a sudden a lifelong fan. Hillary Clinton was a Yankee fan, despite really being a supposed lifelong Cub fan. Through the years more and more celebrities came out of the woodwork, and being a fan almost became a trend.
I could equate it with people being Bulls fans in the '90s. How many of them were cheering as hard when Michael Jordan retired, through the Eddy Curry years? How many of these Lakers fans will be there when Kobe Bryant moves on? It's the same sort of thing, but a hundred times worse.
Unfortunately, the fakeness doesn't only apply to fans, but to the players as well. I hate to hear so many Yankees who come here by trade and free agency talk about how they were lifelong fans—how it was a boyhood dream to play for the Yankee organization. Like it really had nothing to do with them paying them the most.
I like fans like Billy Crystal who will ride with the Clippers. Jack Nicholson. Spike Lee. Jerry Seinfeld. Fans that are there during good times and bad. Not ones that pop up in playoff games and in title-clinching games.
Where is Rudy at Knicks games? You never saw Ed Koch or David Dinkins or any other mayor in this city cheering the Yanks when they were winning 60 games a season. It wasn't THAT long ago.
The final straw was yesterday's pep rally. Are you kidding me? To begin with, what championship team does that? Celebrate after the win. Our mayor is standing out in the rain trying to get a crowd of so-called fans to chant, "Four more wins."
Secondly, to me, it isn't a surprise that they are here. Did we forget that the Yankees spent $400 million in the offseason? Why? To get to this point. It isn't an accomplishment. It's an expectation. Let's act like it.
The Yankees don't need a rally. Celebrate in a parade with the trophy.
I watched news crews go through the crowd and ask people why they love the Yankees. The answers were sickening: "Because they're the best team." "A-Rod is my favorite." Why? "'Cause he's hot and hits." Half of those people can't name six Yankees. How many of them would even know a Shelley Duncan or Jose Molina?
People are quick to jump on a bandwagon of any winning team. But being spectators posing as fans make me sick—when people who don't follow baseball are yelling and screaming and claiming to be fans. Do they watch those games when they play Kansas City and Baltimore, or the games A-Rod doesn't play in? Do we need to see Kate Hudson every telecast?
All the hoopla and fake admiration. Fair-weather fans. I respect Mets fans more, because they endure losing and remain fans. When they finally get their act together then they could cheer twice as hard. But they were there.
Unfortunately, Yankee fans aren't that way. The success, history, and tradition is what draws our fans—not loyalty for the team.
That is why people hate the Yankees.