Ethan Sturm | Rules of the Game
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 01:10
Welcome, everyone, to the final day of the baseball regular season.
It’s been exciting and eventful, but despite all of the drama that Bud Selig’s gambit — an extra wild card team in each league — brought us this September, there isn’t a single playoff spot still up for grabs with a game left to play.
One of those 10 qualified teams is none other than the Evil Empire.
The Bronx Bombers will face the same level of extreme animosity in opposing ballparks this October that they experience all season long, because everyone wants to beat the 27-time World Champions.
And as a Yankees fan, I’m perfectly fine with that.
In fact, I relish the antagonism. But please, can someone try to be at least a little bit original?
Back in early September, the Yankees headed down to Camden Yards for a key four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.
I remember tuning in and being so impressed with the crowd’s noise and excitement.
Camden Yards has turned into Yankee Stadium South in recent years, often full of more New York fans than their Baltimore counterparts, and to see a city rejuvenated in such a way excited me as a sports fan.
Then, the chants started
“Yan-kees suck! Yan-kees suck! Yan-kees suck!”
There is nothing inherently wrong with the chant. The syllables fit nicely into the beat. It’s blunt. It gets its point across.
What’s not okay is that it’s ubiquitous.
In one of the world’s most well educated countries, the best anyone can come up with to insult the nation’s most disdained team is a two-word chant that isn’t even clever? And nobody is even going to try to come up with anything better?
It’s not like the Yankees lack targets of ridicule. They have a starting pitcher who’s approaching social security, a relief pitcher who missed most of the year because of a trampoline accident and, to top it all off, they win on the back of good old monetary advantage.
And don’t even get me started on Alex Rodriguez. The poster child of the post-steroid era, A-Rod shouldn’t be able to leave a stadium without tears in his eyes.
Instead, all he gets are some boos when he steps to the plate, which, if anything, bolster him. How about some clever chants about Madonna once in a while?
This wouldn’t be nearly as pathetic if we weren’t being constantly shown up by our sporting neighbors across the pond. European soccer fans know what they are doing.
They are organized, they are clever and they are original. They will dive through every last English tabloid — and trust me, there are a lot of English tabloids — to find the dirt that will make your life miserable.
Things are taking a turn for the better in the U.S. Major League Soccer supporters clubs are taking on the look and sound of European hooligans, creating a sports atmosphere rarely seen in American sports.
The crowds are at their best in the Pacific Northwest, where Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers crowds rival anyone in the world with their chants and banter. Whether this can be extended into other sports, however, remains to be seen.
Even if we can’t ever emulate the likes of the Europeans, something needs to change.
Because if I have to hear “Yan-kees suck!” one more time this season, I might let steroid era A-Rod take a bat to my head.
Ethan Sturm is a senior who is majoring in biopsychology. He can be reached at Ethan.Sturm@tufts.edu or @esturm90.