The now famous or infamous words or Rodney King, Cant we all just get along? have been used ad nauseam since the street-racing king of Los Angeles first uttered them more than a decade ago at every possible opportunity.
And I, neither truly inspired nor entirely original, will take my swing no pun intended at putting those simple but true words to work this week. As sports fans, as New Yorkers, as Americans, cant we all just get along?
I like to consider myself as affable a man as the good Lord, who kept my airplane from crashing into the Atlantic Ocean this week, can make. In the normal state of affairs, I like to believe I am as amiable and likable as they come. Of course, a few female residents of the greater New York area may disagree, but nevertheless I stand by my statement.
I love the New York Mets. Whether the influence of a Mike Piazza-infatuated ex or that rooting for the Yankees became too boring, I have made a 180 degree turn in my loyalty between the two New York-based Major League franchises. The fact that the Mets play in Queens, the borough of my birth, doesnt hurt either.
But unlike so many Mets fans, including two ravenous fanatics here in the TimesLedger newsroom, Assistant Managing Editor Brian Rafferty and reporter Alex Ginsberg, I dont hate the Yankees. Not even a little. In fact, I still pull for them, still want them to win the American League and the World Series, as long as they arent playing against the Mets. And with the way things are going this year, there is little chance of that emotional conflict twisting my gut.
Brian and Alex, acting like the two sad sacks they have been all season, usually come into the office with a grimace, lamenting the loss by their beloved Metropolitans the night before. Tuesday morning, both, however, could celebrate an 8-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Of course, at this point, any celebration is tempered. One notes the first home run of the season for Joe McEwing, another the first save for John Franco a former St. Johns University star, I might add or whatever statistical anomaly is worth a slightly elevated raise in ones endorphin levels.
The Mets did not climb out of last place, not that they look to be doing so any time soon. That fact was not changed by Mondays win. Ah, but solace can be found, a double-dose of happiness, courtesy of an 8-0 shutout loss by the Yankees at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays.
I dont know about any of you out there, but I could not take pleasure in another team losing unless that loss directly and positively affected on my favorite team.
There are exceptions, of course. As in baseball, I have an affection for both New York, or should I say New Jersey, football teams. While I follow the Giants, know the players and root for the team, I live and die with the New York Jets, Gang Green, my pick to win the AFC East this year, as always.
This does not come hard for me and I dont know why it would for anyone else. Even with interleague play and the AFC-NFC crossover games, I root for my teams and against the teams in their respective divisions. Its not rocket science and, especially during the autumn months, it makes Sundays a heck of a lot more interesting.
But I realize I stand in the minority. For the most part, people pick one team, align themselves to it and never waver. I would bet that the allegiance to a sports team a die-hard fan makes is likely to outlast his first marriage and maybe even his second. Why? Because sports fanatics are exactly that, fanatics.
Perhaps its my unwillingness to hate the other teams in my city, except maybe the Islanders eew, I just loathe them that makes me think I am affable.
Even when the Jets play the Giants or the Mets play the Yankees, I dont get crazy over it. I might get a little edgy if the Jets are down by two in the fourth and driving with under two minutes to play, but I wont begrudge the Giants the win.
Some people just go a little too far in their venom for other teams. And Im not talking about a couple of yahoos who jump out of the stands and attack a coach; thats a crime and really has nothing to do with being a fan. What I mean is the use of the word hate, which is thrown around more than the word love, which is also overused to the point of nausea.
I cant tell you how many times people say, I hate the Yankees or I hate Derek Jeter or even, I hate Mr. Met. All this hate has to stop, people. Its just unhealthy.
Be that as it may, there have to be exceptions. It had to be permissible for Yankees fans to hate the Red Sox and vice versa. And dont get me started on the Miami Dolphins. Its because of Dan Marino thet I am not the least bit offended by the use of fishing nets to snare tuna and a few unfortunate marine mammals. (Just kidding on that one).
So, in the words of Rodney King, Cant we all just get along? I know the answer to that question and it is an emphatic no. I know this because football season is about to start and I just got back from Florida. The Dolphins must die.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.
©2003 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.