This past Sunday when the Yankees celebrated Mariano Rivera day and acknowledged Andy Pettitte’s retirement, I sobbed. I sobbed like a baby actually. Being a diehard Yankees fan, could you blame me? Today was no different either. Watching Pettitte and Jeter go to the mound to get Mo, and Mo resting his head on Pettitte’s shoulder crying….if you didn’t shed a tear, you are not human (or you’re a Boston fan).
One of my cousins once said to me that being a sports fan is like being a part of a cult. Of course I looked at him like he was off his rocker. He explained his theory to me… “When a team loses, no one says, ‘The team lost. They say we lost.'” Think about it, it’s true. However, contrary to my cousin’s belief, I don’t think that makes sports a cult. Instead, I think it shows dedication, and adds a sense of unity among the world; even if just for nine innings or four quarters…
That’s one of the many reasons I love the Yankees so much, but also just love sports in general. I love the essence of a team. The whole “I got your back, you got mine,” type of attitude. I think that’s all anyone really wants in this world. I think that’s why people take sports so seriously. It really is more than just a game. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that people have to make them feel like they’re not alone in this often cruel world. I mean think about it, how many times have you struck up conversation with someone because you’re both wearing the same team logo? How many times have you fist pounded the person next to you at a game because you both have a common enemy? Life can sometimes be a joke, but a game is always serious.
So watching a teammate retire – in the case of the Yankees, two teammates retire – is absolutely heart wrenching. Especially if those teammates have been a part of the team that you have looked to for comfort throughout the years. It pulls on your heartstrings, or at least it definitely did for me.
I’m the girl who doesn’t cry during “The Notebook,” and yet cried at the end of “42,” and sob at any type of baseball ceremony for the Yankees. I don’t just cry because I’ll miss the person either. I cry because the history that goes along with certain players and organizations is so overwhelming and powerful, and I got the honor to be a part of it. I know what you’re thinking, “You weren’t a part of it.” But, I was. Every fan was. Every true, dedicated, diehard fan has been a part of the history of the team they root for. The history the team accomplished also gets added on to every fan’s history of accomplishments; because it’s a team effort.
Seeing two of my favorite Yankees leave their heart on their home field one last time is upsetting. Some people will tell me (and all the other crazy fans) that I’m being dramatic, simply overreacting. My team is changing though, and therefore it’s like an aspect of my life is changing as well. This may sound crazy to some, but I guarantee the diehards will completely understand.
And I’m well aware there are some people who would love to comment on this blog and say what a terrible season the Yankees had this year. Well, I beg to differ. With all the injuries we were dealt this season, the fact that we were still considered a candidate for the playoffs in September was a huge deal. And not for nothing, we (yes we) have a tendency to come back with a vengeance.
Mo, Pettitte, we’ll miss you; I’ll miss you. Thanks for letting me be a part of such great memories.