Monday, April 14, 2008

Playing along with the schtick

Do I think Randy Levine, Lonn Trost and the Steinbrenner progeny really believe that the buried jersey in the cement would bring about a "Sox pox" (my creation, feel free to send me the residuals)? Of course not. But I thought it was good fun that they played along with it. Calling the press to make it an event was a bit much, but I thought it was fun that they actually went and dug this sucker up.

Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, and Lonn Trost, the team’s chief operating officer, presided over what Levine called an “excavation ceremony.” The New York Post had reported Friday that a Red Sox-rooting construction worker hoping to curse the Yankees’ new stadium had buried a Red Sox jersey at the site last week.
The Sox/Yanks thing has been built up for generations. The fans genuinely hate each other. As someone who had to spend time in Boston every week for a year, I felt how much they hated the Yanks. It allowed me the perspective to see the passion up close. Up through mid-October 2004, the Yanks fans didn't hate the Sox quite as much as the Sox fans hated the Yanks and the reason was obvious: The Sox never won.

It was like wrestling with your little brother. Your little brother wants to beat you more than you want to beat him. You only need to beat him and that was generally a given. You're bigger, stronger, faster. You had an insurmountable psychological advantage. Except one day, you're on cruise control, or your brother gets bigger, faster, smarter and suddenly, like in that fateful day in October 2004, the roles reverse. Suddenly the little brother has learned the ways, studied and practiced harder than you and next thing you know, the little brother has got you pinned. [My personal moment with my little brother came once I realized that he was bigger than me and maybe it's time to stop wrestling him. I can still take him, in Tiger Woods golf on the Wii, though. Except he's got me by 25 or so pounds so I don't rub it in anymore.]

That brings me back to the Sox/Yanks, the buried jersey, any hexes, etc. Keeping the idea that there are supernatural forces in play just makes this battle that much more fun. So long as no one really takes it that serious, it's all good and fun and I think it's great for the rivalry.

That they are doing this only goes to prove my point:

Levine said the extracted jersey would be cleaned up, put in a display case along with a Yankees Universe T-shirt and sent to Boston. There, the Ortiz jersey and Yankee T-shirt will be auctioned to benefit the Jimmy Fund, the Red Sox’ primary charity, which is affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
That's awesome. The two fan bases could learn a thing or two from this: It's just a game and no matter how seriously we take it at times, let's have some more fun with it. We can still root like mad but let's maintain perspective now that both heavyweights have won recently.

Good job, guys. Now, go fix Phil Hughes.


Craig Calcaterra said...

Yeah, but did you notice that Levine was also talking about trying to press charges or sue the worker who put the jersey there in the first place? The guy, however unwittingly, creates a nice little PR/charity opportunity for the Rivalry, and Levine wants to nail him for costing the team a few hours of jackhammer time? It's especially rich considering how many billions of tax dollars they're already spending here.

Jason said...

I filed that under "bluster" and ignored it. maybe I should have, could have addressed it, but I left it out. I was happier with the charity angle.

Besides, Levine comes off as a bully and I don't care much for him.

aon said...

Jason, been awhile since I checked in -- sorry about that. Looking good here, as always. I wonder if your bro saw this one today? I think he'd take it as the best backhanded compliment there is. My moment of bliss was when I could start beating my brother at basketball, around the time I was 15 or 16. Good times picking on older brothers for all the years of abuse...


Anonymous said...

Oct 04? Doesn't ring a bell specifically. wish it did!


Jason said...

Oct 04 was when the Yanks blew the 3-0 series lead, Marc.