a famous, but not so nice professional rivalry. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Think the fans like each other – wrong. Several years ago driving through Boston (and taking your life in your hands in every thoroughfare), one could not hardly notice an enormous billboard in downtown Boston. It said, and I may offend some readers, “F --- the Yankees”. Now is that any way to express your opinion of the most successful organization in
the history of American sports?
Hate to say it, but Yankee fans are just as bad. Playing in one of their 39 World Series, (their record is 27-12 for those who care), the opposing team sent a memo to fans going to the stadium. “Do not wear full team attire at Yankee Stadium. Do not wear our baseball caps to the restrooms. Travel in threes. If you go as a single, go at your own risk.”
I don’t like to go to large sporting events. I guess I’m unlucky when I go, but after attending a Cardinals-Cowboys game, I was able to use the old phrase,
“I went to the fights and a football game broke out.” No less than five fights broke out within eye sight. I guess the cheap $12 beers had something to do with it.
Across America we can see many examples of fan loyalty. Try and walk through Columbus, Ohio in the Fall, you will swear that our national symbol is the “Buckeye” not the eagle. Or go to an Alabama game where anyone was honored for naming their child, “Paul Bear” Bryant.” Only eighty-three showed up. Try going to New Orleans when the LSU Tigers are playing on
Saturday night. You will hear hundreds stand up in every bar and sing “Hey Fightin Tigers.” Try to get a season ticket for the Green Bay Packers. One, most of the ticket holders are proudly limited stock owners in the team. Second, season tickets are put in wills to be passed on to future generations of Cheeseheads.
When all around us sometimes seem like a mess, Americans love sports. It’s part of our heritage. We invented the games, play the games, and many are fiercely loyal to those that play. Sports are our outlet and our passion.