A couple weeks ago, I was out with two of my friends, and we were watching the Yankees clinch a spot in the ALCS. My friend turned to me and said, “So. Who are you rooting for to win the World Series this year?”
I sort of just stared at him blankly. See, I’m a Giants fan (as in, San Francisco Giants, not that that lame football team all you East Coasters are obsessed with). Which means, for those of you that haven’t been paying attention, I haven’t had anyone to root for in the World Series since 2002. And I’m still trying to deal with the painful memories of that October, and no, I don’t want to talk about it, thankyouverymuch.
So, for the past six or so years, when October rolls around, I’ve been a little bored. And this year was no exception. I mean sure, once it became clear that the Giants weren’t going to make it to the postseason (and, as a master of denial, that fact didn’t really hit me until a day or two after the playoffs had started), I did what any self-respecting SF fan would do: I put all of my energy into dooming the Colorado Rockies, and waited patiently for the Dodgers to choke under the pressure of the postseason.
But now that’s done. Normally, I’d turn off the TV and just avoid the Sports pages until well into November. But this year, for some reason, I felt a little differently. Maybe I wanted to drag Summer out a little longer. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready for the snoozefest that is the fall and winter sports season.
Well, the Angels don’t really get a fair shot, for several reasons. I don’t like the waterfall in their stadium. I don’t like their rally monkey. And I don’t like their cheating ways, which date as far back as the 2002 World Series. (Look, I have no proof for that last statement, but I really can’t find any other way to explain what happened that year, alright?)
Then there’s the Yankees. Unlike much of America, I don’t blame the Yankees for everything that’s wrong with baseball. I don’t even detest A-Rod and his crazy Madonna-dating, steriod-enhanced ways. (Before any Yankees fans jump on my back about Barry Bonds and steroids, I’d just like to say. Don’t blame me because YOUR superstar didn’t think to invoke the brilliant Flaxseed Oil Defense).
The problem with the Yankees is that I just can’t relate to Yankees fans. They’ve won the World Series 26 times? Well then, if they don’t win this year, they’ll be around next year. Boo hoo. And if they do win this year….am I prepared to be surrounded by millions of New Yorkers that will never shut up about it? I think not.
So that leaves the Phillies. On paper, it was looking okay. I like Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin was an alright guy. The gang from It’s Always Sunny sets up shop there, fictitiously. I’ve never had a cheese steak, but I very much like cheese, and I very much like steak, and I respect a people with the vision to combine those two things into one extra-delicious thing. And I know they won the Series last year, but before that, it had been fifteen years. Those fans know heartbreak, and I can respect that.
But do I really want to live in a world where the Philadelphia Phillies and their ridiculous green part-bird part-monster part-whatever mascot are the best team in baseball…AGAIN?
No. I absolutely don’t. So, as the World Series race heats up over the next couple weeks, I’m officially bowing out. Instead, I’ll be waiting for Tim Lincecum to win the Cy Young Award, dusting off my copies of Field of Dreams and Little Big League and counting down the days until Spring Training 2010.
See you in four months, kids.