Yes, the Red Sox won the World Series. Good for them, they had an incredible year. The team’s off-season and mid-season acquisitions, namely J.D. Martinez and Steve Pearce, paid off. Their farm system has worked wonders developing an incredible array of young talent; Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers to name just a few. The future is bright. There are so many positive things to cheer for in New England sports.
So why are there viral videos of Red Sox fans chanting “Yankees suck!” at the pinnacle of their team’s success? It just doesn’t make sense to me, as a New Yorker. Cheer your team on, celebrate David Price’s gem that sealed the World Series victory or applaud Steve Pearce’s epic postseason performance that will go down in history. Why is your attention on the New York Yankees?
I get it, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is epic, but there seems to be another explanation for this: Boston’s intense inferiority complex when it comes to New York. David Waldstein identifies this in his article for The New York Times, “Red Sox Fans, With a Title to Cheer, Choose the Yankees to Jeer,” when he writes, “the overall inferiority complex Bostonians feel in regard to New York is centuries old.” The little-sibling mentality Boston has when it comes to its big brother to the south cannot be ignored. Is Boston such a little, insecure city that fans can’t celebrate their teams’ many successes without comparing them to New York? Does thinking about New York City make victory sweeter? If it does, that’s pitiful. Boston fans should enjoy their team’s accomplishments for the genuine pride and joy of winning, not because of a toxic rivalry.
“Start spreadin’ the news/ I’m leavin’ today/ I want to be a part of it/ New York, New York…”
Boston, I know you want to be a part of it, New York! Too bad you can’t. The viral video of Red Sox players singing Frank Sinatra’s iconic song, “New York, New York,” in their clubhouse after winning the World Series is shocking to me. Sure, interpret this as a silly troll of Aaron Judge playing the song after a Game Two win in the American League Division Series (ALDS). That’s fine, I guess. But when we connect this to the “Yankees suck!” chant, it seems like both fans and players are reinforcing this inferiority complex that discourages Bostonians from celebrating pure, unfettered victory.
This mentality trickles all the way down to advertising. A Dunkin’ Donuts ad in Boston reads: “Boston Runs on Dunkin’, Hard Work, The Sweat From 37 Championships #titletown! And The Tears of New Yorkers.” Come on! The fact that these big corporations know how to exploit Boston’s inferiority complex is pitiful. New Yorkers will never — maybe in a million years — cry about a Boston sports victory. We just don’t care. Bostonians, enough. But Dunkin Donuts knows that this commercial will boost your fragile egos. Maybe you’ll buy a doughnut as you commute from your distant suburb on the itty bitty metro system you adorably call “The T” contemplating on how the “Yankees Suck.”
Now, there is no way I can completely escape what might seem like my bitterness or resentment at the Red Sox winning the World Series. Obviously, I’m not thrilled! But at the very core of my sports enthusiasm, I value exciting and impressive feats of athleticism and the Red Sox did just that in 2018. New England, this is simply a reminder that there is no need to include New York in your celebrations. We get it, we’re pretty great, but sports bring us enough joy as is without feeding off of a petty inferiority complex.