Tuesday, November 17, 2009

To Gloat, or Not to Gloat

As a Yankee fan it doesn't get better than it is today.
Current champions + most historical championships = the perfect storm of fandom.
Fans of other teams may try to minimize the accomplishment of our favorite team. They'll point to the payroll, ex (or not) PED users, and/or paid off umpires. But now, and as long as they keep the record books, a list of World Series Champions will include 2009 - New York Yankees.

Should you be happy? Yes.
Should you be proud to be a Yankee fan? Yes.
Should you defend the players and organization against the accusations outlined above? Yes.
Should you gloat? I say no.

The definition of "gloat": To express great, often malicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction.

I guess I'm against gloating in general. Even when it comes to victories that I actually have something to do with, be it slow-pitch softball, ping-pong, or cribbage, I feel winning in and of itself should be enough to give you a sense of contentment in a job well done.

But when you're a fan of a sports team, you're really just lucky you picked the right team to root for. You have nothing to do with your team's success or failure. I'm no psychologist, I haven't played one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but to gloat unprovoked about your team winning seems to me to be a defense mechanism to hide your own deficiencies.

Let me qualify this a little. I am using the literal definition above which includes the word "malicious." If you have friends that you can play a little give and take with while being jovial about it, this I understand. I also don't include trash talk in general, say, in a pick-up basketball game or fantasy football league as gloating.

What I'm against is walking up to a stranger with a Red Sox hat on and saying some form of "Ha Ha my team is better than yours." And doing it anonymously on the Internet is even worse due to the cowardliness of the act.

The majority of Yankee fans are good fans, but there is a subset of fans that have created a general "Yankees' fans are jerks" sentiment amongst the masses. Whether or not there's a chance to change this perception at all is a question I can't answer, but I think it doesn't hurt to try.

So, I say, put your Yankees championship jerseys and even your Yankee hats away for a couple more weeks. Your friends know you're a Yankees fan, and strangers really don't need to have the fact that the Yankees are the greatest team of all time shoved in their face. The truth is, they already, grudingly, know it.

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