I didn’t cry when the New York Yankees won the World Series last week. I didn’t mope, or bite my tongue, or call home and complain until I turned blue.
Don’t get me wrong — I was angry. The veins in my head looked like a road map through West Texas. But within the anger was an emptiness, a what’s-the-point? voice that made me deflate quicker than Brad Lidge’s confidence. After years of battling New York’s legacy, trying at every turn to chide them and reprimand them and belittle them, I had never felt more defeated. The energy had fast drained from me. The Yankees had won. My cause had been crushed.
It wasn’t what I’d expected. I’ve always been full of ill will toward the Yankees, so I thought seeing them win would cause my eyes to pop from their sockets and bring a hailstorm of fire and brimstone from the sky.
See, I don’t hate things — except the Yankees. Through the years I’ve waltzed the halls in a “Yankees Suck” shirts, bounced around AIM with a yankeessuck moniker, turned up to every Yankees-Mariners series I could just to shove as much vitriol in George Steinbrenner’s ears as I could possibly muster. Twenty-one years of it, and I have it down to a T. I danced with a Diamondbacks’ jersey in 2001; I snapped up Marlins memorabilia in 2003; I became an Idiot in 2004. I was only 12 years old the last time the Yankees won, still entranced with my LEGOs and fruitlessly trying to figure out how to interact with girls. (Some things never change.) So, throughout my adolescence and into my young adulthood, I had never truly known what a Yankees World Series victory feels like. I’d experienced it in childhood, but never as a fully rational being.
And it sucks. Man, does it suck.
Seeing Alex Rodriguez throw his arms in the air, track marks and all, turned my rumbling stomach into a beehive of nausea. Watching Joe Girardi’s confusedly happy looks — surely, he was just elated he couldn’t wriggle his way out of another victory — was more than enough to bring the walls of my baseball Jericho crashing down. Witnessing the New York faithful drunkenly declare “27” on their hats and shirts and banners put my head in a vice that wouldn’t stop tightening.