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The Boys Of Summer And Sports Rivalries

Updated on October 13, 2011

The Boys Of Summer And Sports Rivalries

Yes, things are not going well in our fair republic, but this the season for Baseball again and the rivalries are on and many of us welcomed the distractions provided by the 'Boys of Summer.' Rivalries in sports too are universal and growing up in Saint Kitts… my rivalries pertained to Cricket and Soccer. Back then, I, along with my team, would travel to neighboring villages to play and compete and when we won, there were times when we had to run. I supposed it could have been worse because we all know about the hooligans in Europe and their penchant for violence at football games - as a matter of fact, referees here have no idea how good they have it in America, as opposed to those in South America.

I recalled going down to Ohio for law school and wearing a Michigan College football jersey, which was given to me by my then girlfriend before she became my wife. Both of us, ignorant of the deep seated rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State, saw the Michigan football jersey top as clothing and didn't realize that I was breaching some sort of social rule in Ohio. I saw the piercing stares, I supposed now by many Buckeye fans, but I chalked it up to something else. It was when I found a church that one of the ladies of said church told me of the potential danger I was in by wearing the ‘enemy’s’ garb….

There is a similar rivalry in New York between our Yankees and the Red Sox; I personally do not take it too serious like my brother and younger sister, and, it is perhaps because I wasn’t born here and that I am more a fan of American football than that of Baseball. When I first came to the U.S., my father took my brothers and I to see the Oakland A’s and the colorful metaphors I heard around me, coming from some of the spectators, especially when the opponent was Boston, confirmed that sports' rivalries were universal. This was the era of ‘bash brothers’ - Mark McGuire and Jose Canseco - when they were part of the ferocious A’s and before the era of the knowledge of steroids and performance enhanced drugs (PEDs).

Although the Jimmy Carter Misery Index, coined by the economists of that perdition era, might be making a comeback, the Boys of Summer keep our minds from the travails of our battered economy. I know Baseball is America’s favorite pastime, but I prefer football, yet my support for the Raiders are not like the rabid support displayed by the Boston and the New York fans for their respective teams. The fans in Boston even go so far as to refer to the Yankees as the Dark Side, a reference to the bad guys in “Star Wars.” I supposed that I reside on the Death Star and that Derek Jeter is the Emperor and Alex Rodriguez, Darth Vader. I always thought that some enterprising novelist would write a book where America’s second Civil War started out of the rivalry… between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

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