Last night I watched the Yankees vs. Red Sox ALCS playoff game, including the pre-game on FOX. I enjoyed the Nomar, Goat Curse, and Bartman parody - it was pretty funny. But what really irked me about the pre-game was the intro just before the game started where they equated the Yankees as the "Evil Empire". Hey, don't call my beloved Yankees the Evil Empire when in fact the Boston Red Sox are the "Evil Empire", which I will prove as fact in just a moment.
First off, let me say that I always root for the "good guys". Exhibit A: When growing up, I watched the WWF and always rooted for the good guys, including Hulk Hogan, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, and Tino Santana. I hated the evil bad guys, including Rowdy Roddy Piper (though later on when he became a good guy I liked him). In the late 1990's, something strange happened in the wrestling world, specifically in the WCW - the bad guys became more popular than the good guys. People cheered the NWO (New World Order) and rooted for the bad guys. I just couldn't do it - I always like to see good triumph over evil. I also liked goody-too shoe heroes like Superman over "darker" heroes such as Batman. So to say I am rooting for something evil just really stuck in my craw, even if it was in jest. Well, this brings me to my list of reasons why the Red Sox are the Evil Empire:
|Reason||Explanation||Who is the Evil Empire?|
Yankees or Red Sox
|1) In the end, Good always triumphs over Evil.||Yankees - 26 World Championships since 1918 Red Sox - 0||Red Sox|
|2) The Curse of Babe Ruth||The Red Sox trade Babe Ruth to the Yankees setting in motion a curse that plagues the Red Sox to this very day||Red Sox|
|3) The Curse of the letter "b"||Babe, Bucky Dent, Buckner, Boone, Byung-Hyun - all cause Boston (another word starting with the letter "b") to lose. I think we will be adding Bernie to that list before all is said and done. He had a key double last night that put on a couple of insurance runs, but I expect more from Bernie. The curse of the "B" will be passed on from Babe Ruth to Bucky to Boone to Bernie.||Red Sox|
|4) The Empire is trying to implement a New World Order with a single mind-set and very little diversity. Just look at the "white" armored Storm Troopers that all look alike.||NYC - the most diverse group of people anywhere in the world with very diverse opinions and sport affiliations (Mets vs. Yankees, Giants, Knicks) - a true melting pot consisting of every nationality, race, and color in the world.Boston - Well, Boston doesn't have any Storm Troopers, but unlike most large cities, the city is predominantly "white" (Storm Troopers?) with very little diversity as compared to other large cities. Similarly, the Red Sox over the years (until recently) has been dominated by white players. Here's a quote from an MSNBC article titled "Debunking the Curse of the Bambino" :|
If the Red Sox fail to win a World Series again this year, blame the club’s long record of postseason futility on poor personnel decisions or a reluctance by previous owners to employ African Americans even long after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
Similarly, until recently, the Boston Celtics drafted and had more white players than any other NBA team. I guess this must be a Boston thing.
In Boston it is a requirement that you root for an preach the Red Sox religion. It is a cult that if you do not join you will be ostracized. You can be a Patriots fan, but only part-time since that is a distraction from the true cause. This is the same as the Evil Empire where you either join their following or suffer the consequences.
|5) Yogi Berra - a past Yankee catcher and Yankee Legend||Yogi - Pretty close to "Yoda" - the good guy Jedi master||Red Sox|
|6) Further, look at Yogi and Posada||combine the first two letters of Yogi, a past catcher, with the the last two letters of the current Yankees catcher Posada and you get Yoda. Try that with any Boston legend with any current player.||Red Sox|
|7) 2003 Red Sox almost entire team shaves heads in hopes of showing "unity" and spirit||Wasn't Darth Vader bald underneath his helmet?||Red Sox|
|8) Yankees vs. Confederates||In the Civil War the Yankees (what Southerners terms Northerners) defeated the Confederates thus ending slavery||I won't say Red Sox are the Evil Empire because of this, but the Yankees earn "not being the Evil Empire" points for saving the American Union and ending slavery|
|9) Yankees in World War I and World War II||The British, French, Germans, indeed all of Europe called Americans "Yankees" or "Yanks" for short. If I recall correctly, in WWII Winston Churchill said something to the effect of, "Thank God the Yanks are coming". Similarly, all of Europe breathed a sigh of relief when America entered WWII - they knew freedom was on the march and would be coming soon.|
From this site: Military.com - One thing the GIs had to get used to was constantly being addressed as "Yank." Occasionally the word was lengthened to Yankee. No matter if the soldier was from the depths of Alabama -- to the British, he was still a Yank. A middle-aged woman stopped a GI who was visiting Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in the early part of 1942, before American uniforms became a familiar sight, and asked, "Excuse me, are you a Yankee? Or a Canadian?" For a moment, the amused GI thought she was going to say, "a Yankee or a Confederate?"
So hey, if you want to call me a Yankee, by all means - it's just as good as calling me an American, and I'm damn proud of both!
|More "not being the Evil Empire" points to the Yankees.|
|10) Yankee vs. Red Sox home colors||Yankees - blue and white. Interpretation/Symbolism - Well, the sky/heavens are blue and the clouds are white. The Yankees are always reaching for the heavens, striving to reach the pinnacle of success and indeed they have reached the Heaven of baseball many times by winning 26 World Championships. And of course only good things can from from Heaven, therefore the Yankees cannot be evil.|
Also, their uniforms also have 2 out of the 3 colors of the American flag. And every once in awhile, a Yankee spills some blood on their uniform thus resulting in 3 out of 3 colors of the American flag. Very patriotic to be a Yankee, especially in this era of terrorism.
Red Sox - red and white. Interpretation/Symbolism - When I think of the color red I think of two things - blood and hell. Sure, one could argue that the Red Sox have spilt their blood on the field to try and win a championship. No one can argue that over the years they have shown some heart (another symbol of red). But they have always fallen short. When I think of the red in "Red Sox", I think of the blood, sweat, and tears that the Red Sox Nation has spent -- all for naught, causing them to live in a "white hot hell" for 86 years and counting. Yes, the Red Sox's home is in HELL, which is why they are the Evil Empire.
|11) Yankee ticket prices vs. Red Sox ticket prices||Yankee tickets are more expensive than Red Sox tickets, which one could term capitalistic evil. However, the Yankees have to have high ticket prices so they can reward their heroes - the Yankee players - that have built a baseball dynasty going back to 1996. They are the champions and representatives of American baseball all over the world. We are willing to reward our heroes, just like we're willing to pay and reward our armed forces, and provide body armor via a $87 billion supplemental bill that Kerry voted against before he voted for it. Oh wait, never mind, that's a different debate. Sorry, I must have gotten carried away.|
UPDATE: I was pointed out that the Red Sox actually have the highest average ticket prices, so I guess the Red Sox are the capitalistic "evil" ones. You mean to tell me they charge more money for tickets than the Yankees and their payroll is less than the Yankees? According to numbers compiled by Forbes magazine, the Red Sox had $98 million in gate receipts in 2002, topping the Yankees, which brought in $96 million at the gate. So the Red Sox in theory could have the highest payroll in baseball, but their organization does not have the will or desire to win that George Steinbrenner has. Or it could be all that revenue from the YES network, and Yankee merchandising. If Bostonians are itching that badly to beat the Yankees, maybe Bostonians should implement a "Beat the Yankees tax" that is used to subsidize their players to match the Yankees payroll?
|12) Kerry - "If I had to choose between the Red Sox winning or winning the presidency, I'd have to choose the presidency:"||I guess Kerry is not your typical die-hard Red Sox fan. I wonder what NY Yankee super-fan Rudy Giuliani would say if he were running for the presidency?||Neither/Draw|
|13) God Bless America||Per Steinbrenner, every 7th inning stretch since Sept 11th, Yankee Stadium will sing 'God Bless America'|
I know of no such rule in Boston's Fenway Park.
Love Steinbrenner or hate em' you gotta love his patriotism!
|14) Chewbacca vs. Red Sox's hairy dudes||Chewbacca is one hairy dude, just like many in the the Red Sox lineup, especially Matt Damon, err. I mean Johnny Damon. Now who lost the "chess" match between Chewbacca and the hairless R2-D2? Similarly, expect the chess match between the scary, hairy Red Sox and the less hairy Yankees to end in the same result. Joe Torre is the better manager and just a better overall good guy.||Red Sox|
|15) Matt Damon and Ben Affleck||Two huge Boston Red Sox fans. One word - "Gigli" - ranked one of the worst films of all time. Similarly, the Red Sox have experienced some of the worst let-downs in sports history. Bill Buckner anyone?||Red Sox|
|16) Steven King||A huge Red Sox fan and #1 horror and evil book author of all time. Hey, guilt by association man. If this man loves evil, or at least being a huge fan of it, then by association, he is a fan of that Evil Empire known as the Red Sox.||Red Sox|
|17) Yoda vs. Grady Little (Former Red Sox Manager)||Yoda - "There is no try!, Do or Do not!"|
Grady Little - (after losing to the Yankees in the heart-breaking Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS) "We tried the best we could"
See the difference?
|18) NYC/Gotham/Metropolis||Superman, Batman, and Spiderman - all superheroes - work in NYC (aka NYC/Gotham/Metropolis). Sure that means there's a lot of evil and crime in NYC that they have to battle, but I suspect 95% of that crime is from those damn Boston Red Sox insurgents stirring trouble.||Red Sox|
|19) Pedro #1 - Slams down 72 year old Don Zimmer||Pedro throws down an old man. If that's not the pinnacle of evil, I don't know what is. Granted, Zimmer shouldn't have charged at Pedro, but hey, that's after a fastball buzzed a Yankee's head and after Pedo pointed to his head just prior to that. Pedro could have saved face by simply side-stepping away from the slow moving Zimmer. It would have looked like a raging bull running towards a matador before the matador makes him miss and look really bad. Pedro could have even shoved him out of the way, but to forcefully throw him to the ground? That was classless.||Red Sox|
|20) Pedro #2 - Record against the Yankees||One of the most dominant pitchers of all time is 10-11 against the Yankees. I can't recall if Pedro has ever beaten the Yankees in a big playoff game. He may have beaten Clemens in one playoff game, but I believe he still has a losing record or lots of "no decisions" in playoff games against the Yankees.||Red Sox|
Pedro #3 - Who's your daddy?
|Pedro admits defeat and surrenders. Even his own teammates were ticked off at this statement. Good guys never give up PERIOD! Good guys, and indeed heroes triumph over evil against all odds. That's why the Yankees are my heroes. Even when they sucked for the most part in the 1980's, I never gave up hope they would win.||Red Sox|
|22) Curt Shilling - "Why Not Us?"||Never ask why. Just believe with all your heart you're going to do it without any stupid motivational tricks like "Cowboy Up!" or "Why Not Us?" or what's that new one? "We're idiots"?||Red Sox|
|23) John Henry vs. George Steinbrenner||To borrow a quote from John Kerry, "George Steinbrenner bought the past several championships, John Henry lost A-Rod, arguably the best player in baseball to the Yankees, which is worse?" I wonder if the Red Sox would be in better shape to beat the Yankees this year if they did spend the money to get A-Rod. Still, it's hard to argue in defense of Steinbrenner, even with all the championships, so Red Sox win this battle.||Yankees|
|24) Star Wars Trilogy coincides with Yankee victories when the good guys win.||1977 - Star Wars (Good Guys win-Destroy the Deathstar) - Yankees win 1977 World Series|
1980 - Empire Strikes Back - Red Sox record 83-77. Yankee record - 103-59. Well, the Yankees beat the Red Sox record-wise this year, but neither won the championship.
1983 - Return of the Jedi (Good Guys win) - Yankees win 1983 World Series, well according to this MLB Remake link anyway: MLB Remake : )
Actually since that's a "remake" of baseball history, let's stick with the facts. Red Sox record - 78-84 (losing record), Yankees record - 91-71
So the Yankees coincide with 2 out of the 3 Star Wars movies. Can this be any clearer that the Yankees are the Jedis and the Red Sox are the Evil Empire?
|25) April 20, 1912||Titanic sinks - History's greatest sea-faring tragedy of all time |
Fenway Park - First Opening Day at Fenway Park sets in motion history's greatest baseball tragedy of all time.
|26) Obi-wan and Babe Ruth||Obi-wan - one of the greatest Jedis of all-time dies, yet lives on to inspire Luke ("Use the Force, Luke") to defeat Darth Vader and the Evil Empire|
Babe Ruth - one of the greatest baseball players of all-time dies, yet his ghost (and curse) lives on to inspire the Yankees (Jeter whispered to none other than Aaron 'bleeping' Boone, "Don't worry, the ghosts will come out" when the Yankees were losing to Boston in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS) and the ghost of Babe Ruth has helped the Yankees defeat the Evil Empire (Red Sox) time and time again.
Holy Roman Empire vs. Evil Empire
|I believe the press has mischaracterized the Yankees as the Evil Empire when in fact, the Yankees are the Holy Roman Empire. You know, the Roman Empire that built roads, sewers, and had major architecture accomplishments and helped spread Christianity throughout the known world and lasted roughly 1,000 years followed soon after by the Middle Ages/Dark Ages.|
Well, I foresee a repeating of history with 1,000 years of Yankee dominance (which explains their 100 years of dominance so far), followed by the Dark Ages when evil will flourish, and when the Red Sox will finally win. So Red Sox fans, you'll have to wait until 2918 A.D. I'm glad I won't be around to see the day when The Empire Strikes Back.