I’d only been to one Yankee game in the new stadium. I’d only been to one Yankee game, period. It was on August 20, when the Bombers were shut out by the Seattle Mariners, six to zip. So, that was disappointing.
I was ready for the sports team I’ve supported since the basinet to redeem themselves. I was really hoping I wasn’t a jinx, since they were playing their arch-nemesis, the Boston Red Sox. And even though my friend and I had seats in the second to last row — aka the nose bleed section — I had hope. Andy Pettitte threw
a one-two-three inning in the first and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then he gave up three runs in the bottom of the second. But it was OK, I told myself — that was totally surmountable. Curtis Granderson even blasted one in the third to make it 3-1.
But then things slowly unraveled … to the tune of 10-1, Red Sox. Yeah. Things were starting to echo my last less than exciting experience. At least they scored this time, I reasoned with myself.
And then something amazing happened. The Yankees came back. They came back to within three runs before the ninth inning. They blasted homerun after homerun. When Nick Swisher hit his two-run homer in the seventh, my fellow grandstanders and I were screaming like it was the bottom of the ninth in the seventh game of the World Series. Kerry Wood pitched two no-chance innings and things were looking pretty positive going into the ninth.
Mark Teixeira made it 10-8 with one swing of the bat. A-Rod worked a walk. It was all up to Robinson “Doncha Know” Cano. Most of the sell-out crowd was on their feet. I held my breath, crossed my fingers
Cano struck out.
Which just goes to show that you really don’t always get what you want. Even though the Yankees disappointed me that night, I still love them. And therein lies my point. The Yankees could lose every game to finish the season (even though they won’t), and I would still love them. They could blow their playoff run and I would still love them. Derek Jeter has had the worst season of his big league career, but I still think he contributes to the Yankees every day by his mere presence. I can come up with every excuse imaginable to defend my team. Even though they blow an important game and I should be mad, I can’t.
Because they’re my team. And Americans always stick to their sports teams. Even though I hate the Red Sox as much (if not more) than I love the Yankees, I admire that fans stuck with the team for 86 years during their (very pathetic) drought. Cubs fans are equally awesome, even if they still haven’t been rewarded for their faith. And Yankee fans, even though the Bronx Bombers hit a low point in ’08, stuck with the storied franchise and were rewarded in last year’s incredible postseason.
Sports is special in that it can make a grown man cry, can inspire an entire city — and sometimes, even a country — and can unite people from the east coast with those of the west coast. What I guess I’m trying to say is … keep watching, America. Keep supporting and keep getting over-excited. It’s one of the only things we seem to care about as a nation anymore, so let’s keep it up and watch when the Yankees win the World Series for the second year in a row …
Caroline Russomanno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.