The World Series

by Brian Lupo, http://neovox.cortland.edu

Posted in on Wednesday, Oct 28

I was home last weekend spending some time with my family during Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. My dad and I are both Met fans so it's safe to say that we do get some pleasure out of seeing the Yankees blow a big game, especially in the playoffs. It was a close game throughout and I remember thinking after Chone Figgins singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning that maybe out of God's love for humanity the Angels could pull through and win the game. But what happened next? Alex Rodriguez hits a solo shot to tie the game. The camera panned around the crowded cathedral known as New Yankee stadium and showed Yankee fans cheering, screaming, and pouring their heart out for their team. I'll never forget what my dad said in that moment.

"I hate all of you."

I don't hate the Yankees. I really don't. It's the fans that I have a problem with. And it's not that I hate all their fans. My dad doesn't either (despite the quote above, which was clearly said in context). I have great friends and family members who are die hard Yankee fans and I love them as much as anyone else. But what I do hate, and I'd like to speak for most Mets fans as well, is the cockiness, mind-set, and unabashed attitude Yankees fans have. Every season they expect to win the World Series. Does anyone remember last year the shitstorm that occurred when the Yankees didn't make the playoffs? Most Yankee fans were either irate, or just pretended like the season didn't even happen. I can only hope that there will be a period of time, somewhere in the near future, when the Yankees will have a string of seasons comparable to the last few seasons the Mets have had. Not because I want the Yankees to fail but because I want Yankee fans to understand what real disappointment is.

But I must say it is painful to be a Mets fan right now. If the last four seasons weren't bad enough, this had to happen: a World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees.

As for the Phillies, they can go to hell. Seriously, I hate them. I hate their egotistical players (Jimmy Rollins specifically), their manager (old bastard), their ballpark (too small), their fans (shrill, whiny, obnoxious Pennsylvanians), their logos (lame), and their mascot (Mr. Met could take the Phillie Phanatic any day). But really the reason I hate them so much has to do with more than these things. It's the fact that for the last few years I was more than convinced the Mets were a better team. If I was told in the beginning of the 2008 MLB season that after the Mets had acquired one of the best pitchers in the game, Johan Santana, that not only would they miss the playoffs again but that the Phillies would win the World Series I would have laughed my ass off. I thought for certain that Jose Reyes could hit lead-off better than Jimmy Rollins, David Wright could hit more home runs in a season than Chase Utley, and Carlos Beltran could cover twice as much ground in center field than Shane Victorino. But all of these thoughts proved to be irrelevant.

Bad losses, an absolutely dreadful bullpen, a ridiculous number of injuries and basically just failure to come in the clutch have been responsible for the Mets' demise. And now I am left in unimaginable defeat. It truly is a horrible feeling. When the Mets had their September collapse at the end of the 2007 season it almost felt like I was getting dumped by a girl, but somehow worse. At least when I'm getting rejected I know I could just find another girl to talk to, or just stay up all night and listen to Bright Eyes (not that I've ever done that...), but when your favorite team since childhood blows a 7-game lead in the middle of September, it's hard to fathom fully recovering.

So now the question is, "Who are you going to root for?" And to be perfectly honest I would love to root for the Yankees. I would. For a while I've been saying that if the Yankees were playing the Phillies in the World Series, I would absolutely have to root for them. Yet this remains a difficult transition.

During the American League Championship Series, any time a Yankee would get a hit, score a run, steal a base, come out of the dugout, go into the dugout, or chew a piece of bubble gum, I would be informed about these things by Yankee fans on their Facebook statuses. Why? WHY MUST YOU PESTER ME WHILE I'M ON THE INTERNET AS WELL? HAVE YOU NO SOULS? DON'T YOU REALIZE THAT NOT ALL OF YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS ARE PART OF THIS STUPID YANKEE LOVING LIFESTYLE? MOST OF US DON'T CARE THAT NICK SWISHER GOT A HAIRCUT, OKAY?

I digress. What I'm trying to say is that it is difficult for me to root for the Yankees, due to their fans. Yankee fans like to make fun of the Mets failures while gloating about their success, which is part of the NYC bragging rights and general sports talk. I mean I'd be lying if I said haven't taken many verbal bashings in the cafeteria and schoolyard as a kid, especially during the 2000 World Series when the Mets lost to the Yankees 4-games-to-1 (This is a period of time that I've almost entirely blocked out of my memory...). But this time around, I'm going to have to let it go. The Yanks are in, good for them. I'm still not rooting for them... well... not really.

This is the way that I see it. If the Yankees win, then the Phillies lose, which is a small victory for Mets fans because it will keep the Phillies from repeating a championship, and it will dismiss all these sports journalists who keep mentioning a "Phillies Dynasty." Now if the Phillies win and the Yankees lose, it will hurt for Mets fans. It will hurt a great deal watching a team that's humiliated you for the last several years winning back-to-back World Series. But if that happens, Mets fans will be able to go up to Yankees fans at their job, school, or wherever and say, "Sucks right?", and it will be a good feeling.

So the best way for me to survive this ordeal is to not root for either team, because either way I lose as a Mets fan, but ultimately I can still enjoy the failure of the Phillies or the misfortune of Yankee fans. If I had to pick a team to root for on a positive note, I really couldn't. I'm just looking forward to the failures here. As for now, it's football season, it's hockey season, basketball is coming up, I'm sure someone in Australia is playing cricket - I'll pick teams for those sports. I'm done with rooting for a team in baseball until Spring Training when I'll be putting on my Mets cap and getting laughed at by everyone again.

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