Monday, April 02, 2007

On Opening Day

Opening Day

Now that spring is settling in here in New York City, the next right of passage on the way back to football season has commenced - Baseball season.

This will be my third season in New York City, and the only thing I'm certain of is that no matter what, I will always hate the Yankees. Hating on the Yankees is as much fun as making out in a movie theater. Watching the fallen face of Derek Jeter as his team takes it up the #$%$ just makes my Red Sox-loving heart sing.

See, here's my dilemma.

I spent six years living in the heart of Red Sox Nation, a mere stone's throw from Fenway Park. I danced down my street the night they won the World Series in 2004, taking the time to call my boss and tell him that I would be 1) late and 2) hungover if and when I made it to Newburyport the next day. Having been the reporter sent to every sports-fan event, to collect opinions on every play-off game and every twist and turn in the Sox's season, I figured I'd earned my hangover and my day off.

My friend Phatiwe and I found ourselves in the B-Side Lounge, where just weeks before we'd watched the Yankees give the boys a serious thrashing. I think they were up 19 to something when we gave up and went to play pool somewhere with no TVs. I think gin and tonics were consumed as we talked to everyone in the bar in what was the first hipster sports-induced love-in I'd ever witnessed. (It was also the last.)

I love my Sox.

But I fell out of love with Boston, and now find myself living in the belly of the beast. Not the Bronx or Queens, at least, but god damn. There's a Yankee game on television just about every single night and do you know how often we get to see a Sox game? They have to be playing the Yankees, playing the Mets, or on some nationally televised thing. In other words, never. I almost never get to see them play anymore.

And so, like with any relationship, we got busy and kind of stopped calling each other.

I don't even know who's in the bull pen this year.

But I can probably name a handful of Mets players, because with Fenway a distant, green memory, I have to get my fix somehow and that somehow seems to be in the form of Mets games.

Now, I'm a Philly girl deep down, and here is where the dilemma comes in. Being a Mets fan strikes some primeval chord deep in my Philly-born soul that tells me I am betraying my people. Living in Boston and being a Red Sox fan made sense to my father. Living a mere 100 miles from Philadelphia and being a Mets fan just might be sports-fan treason, and I can't afford to jeopardize that one Eagles game a year I wrangle my way into seeing live.

It's not the same as loving the Red Sox and deciding that maybe the Yankees aren't so bad, but it's definitely not kosher.

So, next week I'll be heading to Shea on the subway to see the Phillies and the Mets duke it out, and I'm really not sure who I'm going to be cheering for, but even if I find myself undecided, I will have myself a hot dog and smile that once again, baseball is back.

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