Just like clockwork, every spring brings the same hopes to major league baseball teams all over the country. Some fans of teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers are just hoping to stay in the pennant race after the first few weeks of the season, while other fans have higher aspirations.
Take the rabid fans of Boston Red Sox nation or the equally intense fanatics who root for the New York Yankees.
Not only do these fans demand that their teams be in the playoffs or World Series every season, they also demand that the two clubs beat each other.
Boston and New York are separated by about four hours in a car, but their baseball fans and ideas are separated by much more space than almost anyone can imagine.
The best word, although not too politically correct, is "hate." It is not a stretch of any imagination to say that the fans of these clubs hate each other. Every year, fights break out in the stands or in sports bars across America, and they are all involving Yankee or Red Sox fans.
Ever seen or heard about a Cardinals and Braves fan fight?
Both Boston and New York have fans who are living in various cities away from their hometown, and this has spread the rivalry across many time zones. Trust me from first-hand experience, you can find New Englanders and New Yorkers almost anywhere in the USA.
The rivalry and bad blood runs fairly deep for me, and I would not be able to write with such certainty on the topic had I not been so directly involved through many years.
Being born and raised in New York, you have a choice between teams. Once you select the Yankees (in my case, passed down by dear ol' Dad), the next step is to immediately work up a hatred for Red Sox fans, Red Sox management, New England Clam Chowder and even anybody foolish enough to be wearing actual red socks.
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If you're a Yankees fan, that is your first given in life ? hate thy Red Sox fan. With their annoying accents, general lack of knowledge toward the game, their laughable track record of winning over the years and barrelful of excuses for losing, it is fairly easy to work up a good lather against them.
Another year is upon us, and 2006 will see these two teams meeting 19 times.
The first pair of these games takes place on May 1-2 in Beantown. If you're a baseball fan and you're not watching these games, you either better be getting married or mourning a death in the family. If you're a Yankee or Red Sox fan, there is no excuse not to be watching?just keep the volume low on your mini TV and nobody at the funeral should get too upset.
But emotions and people getting upset are actually the hallmark of this rivalry. It's easy to go back and cite all the times on the field that these two teams have mixed it up, which in turn usually carries over to the stands or the bars.
More recently, we had Alex Rodriquez taking on Jason Veritek, and Don Zimmer battling it out with Pedro Martinez.
Granted, the names and faces change, but the intensity between the two teams and their fans is legendary.
I can personally attest to one infamous episode during Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship series. It was the game where New York recovered from a 5-3 deficit to defeat Boston with a home-run from Aaron Boone that sent the Yankees to the World Series.
Drinking a beer amidst hoards of Red Sox fans at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, I was resigned to watching the Sox advance to the World Series. Soon, the Yankees mounted their comeback, and my bravado had started taking the best of me. Although very conservative in my early remarks, I saved the best for last: When Boone's shot landed in upper reaches of Yankee Stadium, my outburst lasted for several minutes?which most likely felt like hours for Red Sox fans.
Now this incident took place before Boston finally won a World Series title, so Red Sox fans were more surly than usual.
With my yelling ringing in their ears and their sorrow turning to desperation, two New England tourists started hurling insults my way, and we exchanged profane remarks for several minutes before your classic dimwitted Red Sox fan charged at me, telling me to keep quiet.
Now, telling a Yankee fan to keep quiet is like telling Pam Anderson not to show any cleavage, so it quickly turned ugly. In the end, Red Sox fan lost the fight but had some red blood to show for it on his nose, and his wife was also the recipient of some collateral damage.
If you're curious, all charges were dropped.
I would expect nothing else from the loyal, overzealous fans of either team. In the end, being a Yankee or Red Sox fan is like defending your country. If attacked and provoked?or just not a fan of a particular nation?let them know you're serious and that they best not challenge you again.
Winning a World Series title hasn't made Red Sox fans any smarter or relevant, it just gave them a one-year sense that everything was fine?but pinstripes will always be the real color of choice.
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Article Source: http://www.articledashboard.
By: Brad Halfond