Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

“…it’s the Yankees I hate”

I don’t think anyone comes here looking for September 11th remembrances so I will spare you those.  What I will do is give you my opinion on the idea that the attacks on September 11th turned the New York Yankees into “America’s Team”.

I love New York.  As a child of the 70s I watched the movie “Godspell” and so wanted to go there to frolic in the fountain.  I read any book I could about the city and watched the “I Love New York” commercials (especially the ones featuring the Broadway musicals) like they were television shows.  As a teen in the 80s, I decided I should move to Greenwich Village.  I didn’t know what I was going to do once I got there, but I knew I wanted to go.  I never moved to the Village but I loved it from afar in Boston.  As I stated, I love New York.  I can’t adequately explain how I feel when I go to New York but I can tell you it feels like I’m at a second home and I get very sad when it’s time to leave.

Having written all that…

I dislike the New York Yankees with a passion that I’ve only reserved for more personal affairs.  Hate seems like such a strong word but how else would you describe my emotions when I admit that when Luis Gonzalez hit that bloop single off of Mariano Rivera in game 7 of the 2001 World Series I cried?  And my tears were those of joy.

The only connection I ever made between September 11th and the Yankees and their fans was that I was saddened for any of them affected by the attacks.  Just as I was saddened for ANYONE affected by the attacks.  It never occurred to me once from September 11th through the post-season in 2001 that I should be rooting for the New York Yankees.  I remember all the the touching, heart-breaking moments of silence throughout baseball once the game started up again and I remember watching the activities at Yankee Stadium and being sad for all the folks in the stands who might have lost someone or might have been there themselves.  But September 11th didn’t just happen to New York Yankees fans.  There were people from Massachusetts on some of those planes.  There are many people who live in New York who are Mets fans or, I know it’s hard to believe, not baseball fans at all.  People from all over the world were killed on September 11th and even more were deeply affected by it.

There was a documentary made in 2004  that promoted the idea that everyone in the country wanted the Yankees to win the World Series in 2001.  Just this year, Ken Rosenthal wrote a piece for Fox Sports discussing how the Yankees became “America’s Team” in 2001.  Heck, even today, Yankee-hater and well-known Red Sox fan, Michael Chiklis tweeted:

NYC I play with you guys about our baseball teams but today, we’re all Yankees…

I mean really.  Chiklis did end his tweet by writing “Proud to call you brothers. Chin up today. Cheers” and I can absolutely get behind that sentiment but there will never be a time when I will be a “Yankee” (in the sense of being a New York Yankee) and the idea perpetuated by these three examples that the most hated team in MLB suddenly isn’t hated because of the tragedy is offensive to me as a fan and just as a person.  I was affected by September 11th and I didn’t want the Yankees to win the World Series, and I’m just one person.  There were plenty of Mets fans and other people traumatized by the attacks who didn’t want to see the Yankees win it all.  Attaching some importance to the  Yankees in connection with this aside from acknowledging that it must have been tough for them given they’re in New York, cheapens things to me.

In Boston, much of the local media tried to push this idea in the faces of Boston sports fans in the fall of 2001.  Many radio and television stations were encouraging us to back the Yankees in the playoffs.  For me it never took.  I never saw the point.  I could mourn what happened without selling my soul in the process.

So today, while I privately mark this day in my own way, I won’t tell you to never forget.  I find that sentiment condescending.  As if any of us around to witness what happened that day could or would ever forget it.  I’ll just tell you this, be nice to people.  That’s all.  That’s what we should do.  We should be nice to each other.

Except to Yankees fans.  We don’t have to be nice to them unless we want to.

(If you’re looking for a little bit of sentiment, last year’s post on September 11th still explains how I feel quite well.)


September 11, 2011 - Posted by | 2011 | , , , ,


  1. I could understand suggesting that we were all New Yorkers, but never that we were all Yankees or Yankees fans. Seems to me that returning to the normal traditions of baseball–which include, for many people, hating the Yankees–was part of the healing process. The act of playing baseball again after the attacks in New York City was huge, and in that respect I rooted for the city. But never for the team. If anything I think it cheapens the legitimate appreciation people showed for the “teams” of firefighters, police, etc. who served the city so well and so tragically.

    (And I don’t, of course, mean to leave out the non-NY victims of 9/11 in suggesting we could see ourselves as New Yorkers–NYC has always held a symbolic position representing the United States in the world.)

    Comment by KellyO | September 11, 2011 | Reply

  2. Cyn:

    I agree 100%–and I too, rooted for Arizona in 2001.

    I actually had a Yankee fan say to me “The Yankees need this” To which I replied: There are a lot of people from places other than NYC that lost their lives on that day” To which this mental giant replied: “The DESERVE to win, because more people died in New York”

    Yes, someone actually said that to me–and worst of all, they actually BELIEVED it…

    Comment by Christine E. | September 11, 2011 | Reply

  3. Well written, Cyn. I did not know one single Red Sox fan rooting for the Yankees in 2001. I was ecstatic when the Diamondbacks won the Series.

    All of this “Red Sox fans pulling for the Yankees in 2001” written long after the fact makes me want to puke.

    Rudy Giuliani said that we had to go back to living a normal life as possible after the attacks. So for me., that was hating the Yankees.

    Comment by TheOmnipotentQ | September 13, 2011 | Reply

  4. I was not really invested in that series and didn’t know who I was rooting for. I watched the games not really caring who won until it got to game 7. Then I suddenly found myself yelling for the D’Backs to win the game. Guess it’s just not in me to root for the Yankees, no matter what.

    Comment by Brenken | September 13, 2011 | Reply

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