10/21/2004 Add a comment

You know, the Sports Guy is an incredibly lucky guy. His rise in Web/sports prominence coincided directly with two distinct sporting trends: the rise of the Patriots as a modern football dynasty (as close as they can get these days), and, even more importantly, the renewal and exponential growth of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Without those two things, and maybe without just the Sox-Yankees, the Sports Guy is just another dude writing a column. But now he has to be one of the most well-read columns on the web, sports or not.

His take on the Sox-Yankees series is almost a defining moment. For a few brief moments most of America is Red Sox Nation. This is instructive: The Yankees are at the same time the favorite team of the most people (because NY is so large and they win a lot) and the most despised team of the most people (because everyone else views them as a threat to their own team's viability).

I once read/heard (and probably from the Sports Guy) a great line that rooting for the Yankees is a lot like rooting for the house in Blackjack. So true. It's also, if I may venture, a little like supporting the GOP. Both have a ton of money and seem to throw around their weight and influence like a God-given right. When you look at the difference in appearance between the Red Sox and Yankees, you notice that the Yankees are the buttoned-up, classic pin-striped team while the Red Sox are the hairy, loud ruffians. It's old versus new, serious versus easygoing. The Yankees will face a dour offseason, and the Red Sox will still be smiling, regardless of the World Series outcome. William