Okay, I'll admit I don't know much about men but I really don't understand this thing so many of them have about sports teams, and loyalty and unrelenting passion year after year for a game. I've had men try to explain this to me and believe me, they get no where.
The mystery about men and sports was in the headlines over the past few days because comedian Billy Crystal was able to fufill a lifelong dream - a LIFELONG DREAM - LIFELONG!!!! - to play baseball with his favorite team, the New York Yankees. He got to wear a real uniform and face a real major league pitcher and stand at bat and try to get a real honest-to-God hit during spring training with the Yankees. Apparently he got ahead on the count and then struck out.
Wow. I wish I could relate to this on some level but I can't do it. Just can't summon up much to help me conjure up what this felt like for him. Oh wait - maybe having a baby? Creating the miracle of birth, perhaps, and in a matter of seconds have a living, precious, newborn baby emerge from my body and begin life as an independent human being on this planet? Maybe that? Maybe not. I'm sure he felt something just a little deeper, a little more cosmic, a little more mystical when he swung at the ball.
The funniest stories I've read about men and sports in a long time are found in a book titled True Believers by one of my favorite writers of all time, Joe Queenan. All I can tell you is that if you want the definitive book on men as fans, particularly men who relentlessly support perennial losers, please treat yourself to this book.
But getting back to Crystal and his fascination with the Yankees, I'll have to quote Queenan because I can't do better: "Crystal is one of those infuriating New Yorkers who acts as if his passion for the Yankees involves some sort of risk, when in fact saying you support the Yankees is like saying you support the air."
I haven't looked at the comments people posted about this story on MSN because I didn't want them to influence this post with the thoughts of others. I plan to check them out, though. I'm sure they'll run ten to one in favor of this whole episode - full of delight as they exclaim over this story. They'll mostly come from men who express some kind of desire to experience the same ridiculous fantasy Crystal has vicariously lived for millions of men in America.
You wait. Next year, Crystal will produce a documentary about his Yankee at-bat experience, or start a reality show about giving people their fantasy come true or some such nonsense. I could do without that. But I could've done without this whole story, too, and that didn't seem to matter.
Star indulgence and supremely annoying fan wrapped into one story. Almost like a double-header of aggravation.
Thanks for visiting -