Gabriel Garnica
My sincerest apologies to Yankee fans
By Gabriel Garnica
July 9, 2014

As a suffering Mets fan for many years, I have been constantly tortured by the success of the Yankees, and have had to experience my fair share of discomfort at the sight of celebrating players and cheering crowds over the past two decades. To my disgust, reality and facts show that the Yankees are the most successful sports team in the world, in any major sport, with nearly 30 championships to their name. To my further disgust, Yankee players who have won championships over the years have proven to be among the nicest athletes around. Excellence in sports, as in any endeavor, is only enhanced when practiced by unpretentious, unspoiled, humble, hard-working, respectful, and classy individuals. Sure, there have been some exceptions but, by and large, when players who are good at what they do combine that with being generally good people, one is left with no response but admiration lest one wants to look like a mindless, irrational, fanatic.

Fortunately, many Yankee fans have given me something to hold on to when it comes to justifying my disgust of all things Yankee. While there are certainly many nice Yankee fans who choose not to rub their team's prowess in one's face, others expertly combine obnoxious disrespect with delusional expectations, never missing an opportunity to bash detractors with past glory, constant financial ability, and twisted perceptions of reality. Living off past glory and legends, many Yankee fans have come to expect every year to end with a title, and see any year that does not as some sort of human disaster. Worse still, they manage to treat any opponent who dares to get in the way of their yearly march to the crown as some kind of cross between a mosquito and bump in the road. The bottom line is that, while one has to be impressed by the Yankees overall success and the relative humility of most of their players over the years given that success, the behavior of many Yankee fans leaves something to be desired. I thought that I had seen the most delusional, spoiled, irrational, arrogant, disrespectful, and entitled fans in the world wearing a Yankee cap, but I have been sadly mistaken and, for that reason, I wish to apologize to Yankee fans everywhere.

While I certainly know that many Brazilian soccer fans are respectful, noble, and proud examples of their rich soccer tradition, the recent and ongoing reaction of most Brazilian fans to their teams World Cup debacle makes the typical Yankee fan reaction look tame by comparison. In a country with far greater economic and social problems than losing a World Cup, these fans have managed to overreact to a degree that is embarrassing, if not downright absurd and laughable. The images above are but a fraction of the absurd grimaces and twisted looks of doom over their team's 7-1 destruction at the hands of Germany found everywhere online.

I understand that the word fan is derived from fanatic, as in irrational, passionate support, but this is ridiculous. In a nation with has its share of issues, as any nation does, these people have managed to exhibit the kind of reaction usually reserved for mass destruction, widespread death, or some other form of calamity. In a sport where about 92% of playing nations have never won a world title, where the vast majority of fans have never tasted a top four finish and would give anything to experience it once, Brazil has won nearly a quarter of those titles. In terms of success, they are the most successful of a very small group. They are literally the Yankees of soccer in more ways than one, but their fans are making Yankee fans seem downright rational, sophisticated and professional by comparison.

While past, great Brazilian squads, populated by greats such as Pele, Garrincha, Socrates, Zico, and Ronaldo, used great skill and utter joy to exhibit the Jogo Bonito ( beautiful game) that was the envy of the world, this team has proven itself to be little more than a bunch of whining, spoiled, overrated, crying, drama kings who expected to be handed the trophy just by throwing their uniform on the grass. Most experts have agreed that the team deluded itself into thinking that some combination of sheer passion, home colors, destiny, and a home crowd would ultimately guarantee a title. Those experts have also observed that Brazil was fortunate to get many favorable calls from referees too intimidated by raving crowds to spoil the fun in a sport where unfair referees can decide a match. Nowhere was this more evident than in the quarterfinal match against Colombia, where Brazil fouled their opponent over 30 times and particularly targeted Colombian star player James Rodriguez for punishment while the referee looked the other way. Having allowed the game to get out of hand by both sides, the referee was powerless to stop the kind of harsh takling which directly led to the injury of Neymar, Brazil's star player.

Not satisfied with winning a game called in their favor, Brazilian fans directed racist accusations and violent threats at the Colombian player who injured Neymar, ignoring their own team's blatantly violent attacks on the star Colombian player. Now, faced with a humiliating loss in a game they were clearly not prepared for, nor deserved to be a part of, these fans have reacted as if the world was coming to an end. Considering their country's much more important issues, and their history of greatly disproportionate success in comparison to the vast majority of other nations, these fans' reaction to this defeat makes even the most irrational Yankee fan look calm, realistic, and collected in comparison.

© Gabriel Garnica


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