Friday, August 27, 2010

Beating the Off-Day Blues*: I Will Always Love You, Johnny...

...Even if you had decided to put back on that uniform that goes with the hat with the ugly red bee on it. But you didn't, you pulled back on the waivers and you are staying in Detroit Rock City. Good for you.

My willingness to accept Johnny on any team is counter to a theory that Jerry Seinfeld introduced back when he was relevant in the day: Sports fans only cheer for the clothes that players wear.

On Monday, Tyler Kepner, whose job I covet, wrote a NYT article that revisited the 1995 episode in which Seinfeld joked in the opening monologue that fans root for the logo on the uniform, not the players, who can change teams so frequently. He continued:

“You know what I mean? You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player, but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt — they hate him now. Boo! Different shirt! Boo!” 

B*ston fans may be the epitome of this concept (see the photo of Johnny in Kepner's article), but Yankees fans are not immune. Even the beloved Hideki Matsui has heard boos at Yankee Stadium after going to the Angels. Of course, he received a standing ovation at the home opener at Yankee Stadium this year, but he also received a standing ovation when he struck out swinging at the top of the first.

I never cared for Gary Sheffield when he was on the Yankees. Probably why I clapped when he struck out as a player on the Tigers of the Mets. However, once I form a bond with a player, which we all know I am capable of doing, I can't boo him or even hope he does poorly. Derek Jeter could leave to play on the Indians and then the Red Sox I would still clap for him. I care too much about the player and even if he is on a rival team, he is still the same player who worked hard for my team.

Unless they go to the Cubs. Then he is dead to me. But that is more disappointment that my boys deserve better than to play for the wrong Chicago team.

*Today isn't an off-day, but I had intended to post this yesterday, just didn't finish it in time. Enjoy it on an on-day, please.

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