We’re traveling into uncharted waters here. For the first time in 86 years, the Boston Red Sox are the defending World Series champions, and the Yankees are the ones in a drought, if you can even call it that, which you can, because I just did. It’s only been five years, but I’m mighty thirsty, especially considering the fact that it felt like I was swallowing sandpaper when the Red Sox won Game Seven of the ALCS, and then went on to win the whole thing. I have a very bad taste in my mouth, and it’s not from the cockroaches I had to eat for the pilot episode of “Fear Factor: Non-Twin Wannabe Writers.” (Coming this summer!) It’s the taste of defeat, and I need to wash it out with the sweetness of victory champagne. Hopefully, that can happen this year, with the Yankees bringing the glory back to the Bronx, and then inviting me into the clubhouse to drink that victory champagne with them. That’s really all I’m asking.
Anyway, before I went on that rambling tangent, I was talking about how we (Americans) are traveling into “uncharted waters,” which is true. The tables have turned, from a baseball standpoint. In 2005, it’s cool to be a Red Sox fan, which is kind of an oxymoronic statement considering, ya’ know, Ben Affleck. Regardless, it’s no longer looked upon as insane to root for the Red Sox, as evidenced by the fact that everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, except for Ben Affleck, who only hops on bandwagons carrying bad scripts and ill-fated relationships. The examples are everywhere — there’s a new movie out about Red Sox fans, “Boston Rob” and Amber of “Survivor” notoriety are on another reality show, and news came out recently that Ted Danson from “Cheers” is still alive, which I did not know. At the same time, it’s also NO longer cool to support the New York Yankees. Again, the examples are everywhere — Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield are mired in the steroid controversy, token ESPN Yankee-hater Jim Caple wrote a book entitled, “The Devil Wears Pinstripes,” and former Yankee Yogi Berra sued TBS for suggesting the term “yogasm” (from the show “Sex and the City”) meant having sex with Yogi Berra. I mean, really — that’s just nasty.
So, advantage: Boston. For now. Needless to say, Yankees’ fans are going to have to be on the defensive this year, with all the bragging rights on the wrong side. In fact, the chant that has spent 86 years in-the-making will undoubtedly surface this upcoming week, when the Yankees travel to Fenway Park. It is, “Year-Two-Thou-sand,” which signifies the last time Ben Affleck was considered a serious actor. But I’m sure that things will change the next time the Sox come to the Stadium, and I know that Yankees’ fans aren’t prepared to stand pat with regards to this rather unfriendly rivalry. In fact, I have several suggestions for chants that WE, Yankees’ fans, can counteract with during the upcoming season. (Please keep in mind that these chants are four syllable phrases, so as to be immediately followed by the necessary “clap, clap, clap-clap-clap.” Think of them as sports-related haikus, but without all of the annoying grammatical structure.)
No. 1: SCHIL-LING FAKED IT! This chant could, ney, SHOULD be accompanied by the dangling of some faux bloody socks for maximum effect. After all, the idea that Curt Schilling laid an egg in Game One of the ’04 ALCS, blamed it on his ankle, and then showed up for Game Six donning the bloody sock while throwing BBs all night seems a little suspicious, doesn’t it? As the old saying goes, “real men don’t show their bloody ankles.” Let’s let all those Red Sox fans know that we’re onto the hoax. Besides, I heard Hideki Matsui played every game last season with a torn testicular muscle, and didn’t even tell anyone. Now THAT’S a man!
No. 2: WHERE’S-THE-GAME-BALL? This chant would best be used immediately following the inevitable “Year-Two-Thou-sand” that will be hurled at us from Sox fans. Since first baseman-for-hire Doug Mientkiewicz basically refused to give up the ball he caught for the last out of the ’04 World Series, we can pretend that whole thing never happened. Where’s the proof? And could you even imagine something like that happening in New York? If a guy like Charlie Hayes refused to give up the ball from the last out of the 1996 World Series, the Yankees would hire someone to “coerce” him to hand it over, and then we’d never hear the name “Charlie Hayes” again. In fact, maybe that’s exactly what DID happen.
No. 3: SUB-PON-EA WELLS! This one works because the idea that David Wells would get subpoenaed for the Congressional steroid hearings is as hilarious as the time he got beat up in a New York diner at three in the morning. Boy, I already miss those days of waking up and reading headlines like, “Yanks win, Wells denies charges.” Anyway, Wells is obviously not on ‘roids because he is grossly overweight, and because steroids don’t go well with alcohol. Therein lies the sarcasm of this chant, in case you missed it.
No. 4: JIM-MY FAL-LON! Trust me that even the most casual Red Sox fan (if there are any) is embarrassed by the fact that “Saturday Night Live” alum Jimmy Fallon was ON THE FIELD kissing Drew Barrymore when the Red Sox won the World Series. And why was he on the field? Because he was filming the movie “Fever Pitch,” in which a Red Sox fan has to balance his favorite team and Drew Barrymore at the same time! Wow — can you imagine the hilarity? Or lack thereof? Not to mention that during an interview a few months ago, Fallon claimed to have grown up a Red Sox fan, but changed to liking the Yankees while doing SNL, but now likes Boston again. Boy — where can WE get fans like that? If being a Red Sox fan WAS cool, it’s officially not anymore after Jimmy Fallon made a movie about it. I mean, “Taxi” was the reason nobody uses cabs anymore.
No. 5: NINE-TEEN EIGHT-EEN! Hey — nothing is as frustrating as denial.
Now my last suggestion is not actually a chant, but should work just as well. Again, if you thought that being a Red Sox fan was cool, then I hope you’re aware that five Red Sox players — Johnny Damon, Doug Mirabelli, Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, and Kevin Millar — taped an episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” that will air on June 7. Because there’s nothing quite like watching your athletic heroes getting pedicures. So I highly recommend that Yankees’ PA Bob Sheppard, whenever one of those guys steps up to the plate or takes the mound, plays the theme song from the show: “Oh things just keep getting better…”
Ya’ know, now that I think about it, things DO just keep getting better.
Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!