Anybody that knows me knows I’m a sports enthusiast. Between basketball, football, and baseball, I honestly don’t know how my future wife will be able to wean me from the idiot box when a game is on. Seriously, best of luck to her.
Sports are a serious part of my life, real talk. You know it’s real-in-the-field when your team loses a game and because of that, you avoid watching Sportscenter that night just so you won’t have to see a replay of your heroes failing. That’s me. I’m not like that for all of my teams though. For example, I couldn’t do that with the Knicks because, quite frankly, I would never watch Sportscenter. Knicks in 2010-11!
One team, however, that easily empassions me to that extent is the New York Yankees. I still remember the first year the Yanks won the World Series against Atlanta in back 1996. Mind you, I was 11! But I remember it clear as day, running around the room and yelling at the top of my lungs, “WE WON! WE WON!” It was my first experience watching a team that I had invested so much emotion and support into actually go all the way. It was an epic memory for me in my childhood. They, of course, went on two win again in 1998, 1999, and 2000. It goes without saying that I, along with all Yankee fans, have been spoiled with a winning tradition. We have every reason to be bursting (pause) with pride, and there is no greater opportunity to show that pride and flaunt your team’s successes than against a team you have some history against. Enter: The Rivalry.
A ‘rivarly’ exists when there is extremely intense competition between two teams. Everybody involved knows what’s at stake. There is genuine hatred and a lot of sharp rhetoric exchanged between the respective teams’ fan bases. We all know the rivalries: Cowboys/Redskins, Ohio State/Michigan, Cub/Cardinals, Celtics/Lakers, to name only a few. And beginning tomorrow, the Yankees will continue perhaps the most intense rivalry of them all when none other than the Boston Pink Sux Red Sox come to the Bronx.
Folks, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. It is the most intense rivalry you will find. Two teams (fans included) that genuinely have no love for each other. Back in college, I remember when Aaron Boone hit the epic game 7 home run in the ALCS that sent the Yankees to the World Series. After running around the dorm for a couple of hours where my friends and I watched the game, I finally ventured back to my own dorm. When I got there, I kid you not, devastated Boston fans were congregated at the entrance BURNING Yankee paraphernalia! Having spent most of my life in NYC, it wasn’t until I attended Syracuse University, a school with its fare share of native Bostonians, that I came across so many Red Sox fans. I will never forgot the image of chicks crying and dudes yelling around a burning Yankee jersey. That snapshot captures the rivalry to a tee. From the days of DiMaggio and Williams, to Bucky Dent’s HR @ Fenway, to Aaron Boone’s EPIC shot (easily a top 3 Yankee memory in my lifetime), and every gut-wrenching moment in between, this 100+ year-old rivalry isn’t short on intensity. And it all continues tomorrow.
The Bronx Bombers are currently 0-8 against the Sawks this year. Yet, they find themselves with a 2.5 game lead in the standings. Even though they’re ahead, there is no question that New York must put an end to this losing streak against Boston. Getting blanked in yet another series against rival Boston would be demoralizing, not to mention a potentially critical blow in the fight for 1st place this season.
You know who I’ll be rooting for.
Who: Smoltz (2-4, 7.12) @ Chamberlain (7-2, 3.58)
Where: The NEW Yankee Stadium
When: August 6 @ 7:05 pm ET