With the World Series underway, I feel now is an appropriate time to address a topic that’s been on my mind for a while, now. Fans are only allowed to take credit for championships during times that they were actually fans of the team and actively rooting and living the season with them. Cub fans don’t go around saying, “at least we won the World Series in 1908!” That’s no consolation because they weren’t around to experience the excitement.
I’ll admit right out of the gate that this springs from the Yankees return to the World Series and having friends who are fans of them. Don’t get me wrong, though. Having my roots in Pennsylvania, I experienced this phenomenon with the recent success of the Pittsburgh Steelers (“One for the thumb”), as well. There is never a time that it isn’t annoying, regardless of the team.
Yankee fans are calling for their 27th title, but how many people are still alive that were fans for all of them? And you can call it sour grapes if you want (I am a Red Sox fan, after all), but even if you look at the past fifteen years the Yankees still have the most titles. They still have bragging rights! But if I run into an 8-year old Yankees fan, you better believe I’m going to dangle his title-less existence over his or her head while I flaunt my two championships. It’s just the way it’s gotta be.
Fans really view themselves as a part of the team. If this is true (and there is a strong argument that they are more a part of the team than the actual players), then they shouldn’t get the glory of the team from before they signed on. If I joined the Red Sox now, they aren’t going to give me a ring for 2007. The best part of this new rule is that it rewards longtime fandom. You can’t just hop on a bandwagon and the longer you root, the more title chances you get.
It’s time to stop living in the past.
But because I was alive for this (and yes, I see the irony with the prior sentence):