This is something that has been on my mind for a couple days now:â†µ
What's up with Yankee fans' sense of entitlement?
I've heard this a few times this week from a few different places, but apparently Yankee and Red Sox fans are not amused that the Rays fans are enjoying this run of success. I've been told that since I like a young franchise I'm an obvious band-wagoner, that when we win 27 titles I can start talking, that because I'm a Rays fan I must know nothing about baseball, that the Rays don't deserve fans, and various other ridiculous insults.
I'm sorry, but I didn't realize that World Series championships only start counting at 26. I didn't know that because my team is only 12 years old I wasn't allowed to enjoy their new found relevancy. I wasn't aware that since my team isn't 100 years old I wasn't qualified to comment on the joy of postseason baseball.
Clearly none of those things are remotely true, but rather, I believe that this elitist fan attitude is entirely a manifestation of an underlying jealousy; an emotion so great that its only satisfied by degrading my fandom. Jealousy not in our team's current success, because by all accounts these fans have experienced unprecedented success in the history of their chosen franchises and continue to do so, but jealousy in the fact that for many Rays fans we are experiencing this joy for the very first time. This playoff business is new to us, we've only been here once and as franchise success goes we are still in infancy.
For every fan of every team, no matter what sport, there was a time when you weren't a fan yet. No one was born a Yankee or Red Sox fan, no one has pinstripes in their blood, or Yawkey Way tattoos from the womb. But at some point in your life you witnessed something so special, so magical, that you are forever changed, you become a fan for life and no other team will ever do.
For Yankee and Red Sox fans that moment most likely happened when they were very young; perhaps dad took them to Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, maybe they grew up watching Ted Williams or Mickey Mantle. I'm sure they all were elated when World Series trophies were lifted. These fans have experienced success so many times in their lives that I think they have forgotten how sweet that first time was.
For Rays fans, that time is now... and Oh how sweet it is.
And it makes Yankee fans so incredibly jealous that they can barely stand it.