Friday, March 07, 2008

The Rivalry Doesn't Need This

I'm surprised that an incident that occurred last Saturday night didn't get more attention on the news, especially here in New York.

A Yankee fan and his girlfriend were in a bar in Cambridge, MA when they were accosted by three guys who were apparently Red Sox fans and started busting on him about being a fan of the Yankees (he was wearing a Yankee hat). The couple then walked out of the bar when the group of three white males attacked the Yankee fan, and he suffered head and facial injuries. Fortunately they were not serious injuries.

More on the incident:

I was disturbed to hear that something like this happened. There was a similar incident last October, but the team loyalties were reversed. A Red Sox fan in a bar in Yonkers, NY got into an argument with two Yankee fans, and after he left the bar they attacked him and he was seriously hurt and spent time in the hospital.

Some fans take their team loyalties way past the edge of decency. Of course, you have to wonder how much these "Red Sox fans" really are fans (they were not caught and the police are still looking for them), and whether they were just aggressive morons looking for a fight, and the guy with the Yankee hat was just a convienient target. (The Yankee fan was minding his own business and not looking to make any trouble.) And of course, alcohol enters into the picture as well, and it can make for some tragic consequences.

Here in New York, I've been in bars with Red Sox fans for over four years, and I've rarely seen any kind of trouble between the rival fans. (Most Yankee fans avoid Professor Thom's religiously during Red Sox games.) I saw some pushing and shoving during one game last year, but it never got to the point of a full-blown brawl. Next door to Thom's there is a bar that is owned by some Yankee fans called Finnerty's, and the two pubs have a very good natured rivalry. Everyone treats it with good humor, no matter what's going on on the field. That's the way it should be, but of course, incidents do happen.

And one happened to me two years ago. I was in a fast food joint with a friend of mine late one night when we ran into a truly obnoxious Yankee fan, who apparently had been drinking and tried to pick a fight with us. (I was wearing a Red Sox hat.) Words were said between us but I didn't think it would evolve into anything. But the guy wouldn't back away, even as his friend tried to apologize and calm him down. He went after my friend and knocked him to the ground and clipped me across the face but he ran off. Neither of us was really hurt, and I was more concerned about my friend more than anything.

All decent fans of both teams would find this kind of thing abhorant. No one who's minding their own business deserves to be attacked simply because they are wearing the "wrong" team's paraphernalia. I can only hope that that man in Cambridge didn't suffer any lingering aftereffects from that incident of last week. All it did was give Red Sox fans a bad name, and when they do catch the guys who did it, they simply belong in jail. Period.

1 comment:

Michael Leggett said...

Just remember that Fan is a derivative of Fanatic & you get the Picture:

An a--h-le is an a--h-le