Well, that was weird. On Saturday I attended the A's vs. Yankees night game. Packed to the brim, the crowd was about a third to a half Yankees fans. I expected the worst. Usually my expectations are too high and they somehow manage to be worse than the worst. I go to an A's-Yankees game pretty much every year. The only good Yankee fan I ever saw in the Coliseum was CC Sabathia's mom, who I had the pleasure of sitting in front of when he started. She was cool. The rest have been miserable.
Maybe it was missing the playoffs, maybe it was distancing themselves from the heavy douchitational pull of A-Rod, maybe it was (for once) not being able to keep their star player who came up as a Yankee, maybe it was just "classin' it up" for Derek "the classiest guy that ever played baseball" Jeter, maybe the bandwagon emptied out...but these weren't the Yankees fans from previous years. I'm still reeling from the shock.
My initial experience was walking out of BART, onto the BART bridge.
There I saw the husband and wife owners of La Torta Gorda, a fine Mexican food establishment mere steps from my home. I had been there many times, but they were decked in Yankees gear and I in A's gear of course. I approached cautiously, thinking they would do the normal trash talking. Instead they were super nice and dare I say cool? I asked them if they lived in New York, he said he lived there for 8 years and then moved to the Bay Area and started his business.
He even volunteered in his thick accent, "I am an A's and Yankees fan. Yankees first but I love the A's. I hate the Giants. (Pointing to his wife) We both hate the Giants!" Hmm...I haven't even gotten into the Coliseum and already I found common ground with a couple of Yankees fans on more than one front. Also, they were nice enough to treat a regular customer and an employee to game tickets, and those two were wearing A's gear.
Inside the stadium, yes, people cheered for Jeter. I didn't boo initially (he is a hall of famer, after all) but by the third ovation I had to let out some boos. Standing for the duration of every eventual groundout was too much. Yet...not one Yankee fan bothered to yell that predictable trope "show some class!" After his last at bat I bellowed "LEGEND" at ol' Jeets. Some Yankee fans actually laughed. What?
During the Coliseum's not-so-shining moment, i.e. the 38-minute delay due to light failure, not one Yankees fan made a snide comment to me about my crappy stadium or third rate team or whatever. They just...pleasantly sat around talking and enjoying the night at the ballpark. When I needed to get out of my row, they were...polite.
After the game (a 5-1 A's victory) a fan was downright cordial, saying, "Hey, you guys got a good team. It's baseball, I'm always gonna have fun at the ballpark," all in a thick New York accent. Umm, thanks?(!).
Yes, they loudly cheered their team and they gave long standing ovations to Derek Jeter, but what fans wouldn't do that? I didn't have any problem with their behavior, other than having to wonder whether I was in an alternate universe.
This wasn't the group of fans that was so miserably obnoxious that my wife actually yelled at one to "eat a bag of dicks" (I have no idea what it takes to get her to that level nor do I know what that means. Never seen it before or since...thankfully). They weren't turning around and flipping us off, they weren't on their phones the entire game and taking ridiculous amounts of selfies, they weren't belligerent drunk a-holes...
Nice, polite, pleasant, cordial, friendly?
Boston fans, you're now a 2:1 favorite to claim sole possession of first in the worst visiting fan power rankings this weekend. I'm sure you won't disappoint.
Meet the new Evil Empire, the one that kills you with kindness*
*Until they start winning again.