Jewish World Review July 30, 2004 / 13 Menachem-Av, 5764
Yanks, Sox & Dems
Choose your sides America and choose them now. Just as you can't be pro-life and pro-choice; pro-gun and anti-gun, trust me, you can't be both a Boston Red Sox fan and a New York Yankees lover at the same time.
I know, because I once tried it. It doesn't work. And these days it's ever more the case.
These days it's one of those logical impossibilities, like 2=2 equaling 5 or something.
If you are an independent, undecided, on-the-fence voter out there, you just saw, in metaphor, how even the sidelines are no longer safe as Bosox' Jason Varitek smashed a punch into Yankees' Alex Rodriquez mouth.
The oldest rivalry in the sports world, just became part of the culture wars.
You can't just be a bystander, in the midst of a brawl of historic proportions. One could get mowed down as the benches clear.
All year long the Democrats and the Republican's have been feuding. A kind of civil war they're calling it, with red states and blue ready to go at each other's borders. And now, like boxers, the candidates have begun taking to their corners. The John/John ticket is up in The Hub while the GOP are ready to hit the streets of Manhattan.
The timing couldn't have been more perfect and in sync when Saturday's ball game in Boston went Jerry Springer.
When I was a kid, I grew up in Mass. and didn't know what a Yankee was apart from the maker of bean soup. But then I went to school in New York and saw that pin-stripes were everywhere. The Yanks were popular and I was on foreign soil. It wasn't always easy to be loyal to my past in the midst of that sea of strident opposition. Ugh ... they always seemed to win too.
But these days, "coming out" on foreign soil can be hazardous to ones health if it means swinging your bat in the midst of a rival's field. Being politically ambidextrous is a handicap. Holding judgment until the debates is sacrilegious. It's sorta like only watching the World Series.
Just as the current, red hot partisan mood has infiltrated more mediums than just 30 second TV ads and has seeped into the culture through Michael Moore movies, Broadway plays and countless books, it was inevitable I suppose that even sports, in its own subconscious and violent way, would find its untamed expression. And so, Saturday's Sox game was just the latest place to find it.
I just hope, come election day, the game's not so close that it goes into extra innings like it did last time.
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JWR contributor Abe Novick is senior vice president of Eisner Communications in Baltimore. Comment by clicking here.
© 2003, Abe Novick
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