Jays fan in a Yankees universe

If there’s one thing that unites most Canadians (other than health care and complaining about the weather) it’s got to be the notion that Americans don’t care to know anything about us and don’t pay any attention to us. I mean, there’s a reason those Talking to Americans specials were so popular, right?

This weird insecurity does extend to many baseball fans as well. It’s most evident in the “why doesn’t ESPN show the Jays on Sunday night?” cries that are heard from time to time.

So when an American does pay attention, it comes as a surprise and, unless the reason is obvious, people usually want to know why. It’s in that vein that this post is, uh, posted. The following was written by Elise Myers, a Californian living in New York who is, somewhat surprisingly, a Blue Jays fan:

Walking the New York City streets is overwhelming enough without facing the incessant bombardment of Yankees-this and Yankees-that, and the zombie army’s endless recital of, “Oh Captain, Derek Jeter, My Captain.” The interlocking “NY” is embroidered to the skull of even the most apathetic bystander who sells cell phone chargers and mangoes on the grimy sidewalk. To catch sight of any other team emblem comes as a breath of fresh air, and generally warrants a smile or a discreet nod as the lone soul passes by.

As a proud Jays fan in a Yankees Universe, there are perks and responsibilities. People notice me: friendly blue-collar people, like night security guards, post office folks, and grocery store managers, who pause to question my rationale. I routinely hear, “Why are you a Blue Jays fan?” I cannot rely on the logical home team argument, because I’m not a Torontonian — I’m from California. Therefore, it’s obligatory to keep a crafty remark off hand. My personal favorite: “Why is the sky blue?”

Yet truthfully, it is a legitimate query. My Blue Jays devotion, although steadfast, is puzzling to many, specifically the hordes of Yankees fans who haunt the streets and sports bars. So how did it begin?

I was undeniably born a mutt of mixed baseball heritage, with tangled branches of Phillies, Cubs, and Dodgers ancestry prominent in my family tree. Growing up, baseball was always in the background. It came mostly in the form of the scintillating speech of Vin Scully with the Dodgers, and also from my grandmother, with a Cubs cap sitting atop her curly white hair, shouting at Sammy Sosa.

Becoming a Jays fan developed later, after I grew into a frenzied baseball fandom all my own. An individualist innately, I sought out my own team, lest I fool a family member into thinking I sided with them in all arguments. The parameters for my search included: seeking a dedicated fan base, a team of promising young ballplayers to grow with, an interesting and unique ballpark to dream of visiting, and perhaps as a bonus, a loveable mascot. Furthermore, the team’s logo design and uniform aesthetics (both past and present) were crucial components in my decision, and obviously led me straight to the Blue Jays. My perfect match, I promptly pledged my allegiance to my newfound other half, and I never looked back.

Today, when I walk past a skull in a Yankees cap on Broadway, or find myself seated across from one on the subway, I boldly look them in the eye with the dignity and aplomb that comes from always cheering for the away team. It’s a treacherous cosmos fraught with navy pinstripes and taxicabs, and this Jays fan is soaring above it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elise Myers lives in New York City and is enthusiastic about writing, social media, and WordPress web design. In her downtime, Elise enjoys tweeting and watching baseball games. To find out what she’s up to, or to let her know she’s not the only Jays fan in NYC, visit her site: www.elisemyers.com or tweet: @Elise_Myers.

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15 thoughts on “Jays fan in a Yankees universe

  1. Very cool, I give full marks to Elise for sticking it out as a Blue Jays fan in perhaps one of the most difficult cities to defend your Blue Jays fandom.

    • Thank you Mr. Blue Jay Hunter! I’d love to see some more Jays fans down here, but I think they all must hibernate until the series against the Yankees. Flying solo for now, I’ll remain twice as loud and proud, just to remind the New Yorkers I’m here, like a splinter in the side of their homogenous fanpool.

  2. Very cool indeed. Must be tough, but once you are loyal, you stick with it. Well, at least those people who don’t just pick the championship team as their favourite each year.

    • I am home. Another looooong menetig and then a stop at my parents. My mother is pouting because my dad and I told her she was being a grouch. She is always grouchy. So she went back to playing solitaire on the computer.GnomeSon built a Chicken Tractor for Gnomica for her birthday. I may have taken a picture of it. I’ll go check. Nope, just pictures of the new golf cart.

  3. I’m here through thick and thin, Cole. Don’t worry, I sold my soul, and there’s no return. Like you said, challenges and setbacks only kindle the fire, they do not put it out.

    • “At least those Yankees played with heart.”You know, this is one of the menaengliss cliches that people keep throwing at this team that annoys the heck out of me. How do you know that these guys aren’t playing with a lot of heart? Melky looks like he is trying hard to me. He just sucks, that’s all. Jeter and Abreu and Ivan Rodriguez are trying hard to perform well. But their skills are simply declining and so they aren’t as good as they used to be. Betemit and Ensberg and Duncan weren’t inept hitters off the bench because they didn’t have the heart or passion to win. Those 3 guys just suck and aren’t that capable of hitting major league pithing. And then there is the pitching. Heck, Sidney Ponson is our number three starter. That should tell you all you need to know about how crappy our pitchers are. Kennedy and Hughes have been terrible. Is that because they lack heart? I highly doubt it. Rasner and Ponson are fringe major leaguers at this point, yet we are relying on crappy players like them to anchor the middle of our rotation. They don’t suck because they lack heart. They suck because they aren’t as effective at baseball as the opposition is. This is so simple, I don’t understand why most people don’t get it. It isn’t a matter of heart. These guys look to me like they want to win and they are trying hard to accomplish that. But a lot of the players just aren’t that good, and some of the good ones have been injured, like Wang and Posada and Matsui. Why do so many people confuse lack of performance with lack of heart? There is a huge difference.”I don’t want to see them make the playoffs this year just so they can get another first round elimination.”And this is just such an irrational thing to say. Once you get in the playoffs, anybody can win it. Heck, look at the 2006 Cardinals. They were such a mediocre team, but they got lucky and won the world series. I’m not saying that you should rely on luck, but what I am saying is that once you are in, your chances of winning it all aren’t much different from everybody else’s, so you have no reason for hoping they don’t make the playoffs. And how would getting eliminated in round one exclude them from being able to “recover, regroup, retool, rest” for next year? That makes no sense. Please explain that one to me. Right now the Yankees don’t look like they are good enough to be a playoff team. But it isn’t because they lack heart or passion to win.

  4. Stick to your guns, Elise! I’ve been a Philly Sports fan all my life! Gone thtough many (too numerous to count!) lean years. Philly has always been on the butt end of many jokes(i.e. we throw sowball’s at Santa Claus!). But I’ll always be loyal!!! ALWAYS REMAIN LOYAL!!!

    • Thanks for the support, Anon! I remember a while back there was an app called “Cheesesteak of Suffering” that counted how many days (years) had passed since the last Philadelphia championship, a la Curse of William Penn. I’m sure you’re stronger for it. What dignity has a fan if he won’t stand by his team through the tough times as well as the celebrations, right? #LoyalAlways

      • I always enjoy Seth’s inigthss as a breath of fresh air especially with CBS embracing people like Billy Packer, whose over-stated commentary got old quickly then his replacement Clark Kellogg’s his faux-Clyde routine One of the things Seth conveniently forgets is that some of the cupcake games are regionally politically correct I think that UCONN being on the bubble might be more of a reality with Coach Calhoun’s medical leave of absence Coach Blainey was a genius hire but he’s not Coach Calhoun I am hoping the American Sports Vatican (aka Notre Dame) falls off that bubble they need to establish a reputation of athletic excellence, not just a memory of the Digger Days !!!Glad to see someone speaking nationally about Da Hall and I agree with his evalaution !!!Lastly, I certainly hope Duke’s Singler stays for his senior year it will help the team and recognize that he’s not an NBA calibre player now and might never be

  5. Elise, Wherever I travel I always wear my Phillies/Eagles/Flyers gear proudly! It always sparks conversation or debate!!! Always fun, especially those Yankees & Red Sox front runners!!!

    • Absolutely Ray, I have to admit that I love flaunting my Jays gear, especially in New York, to see if I can instigate anything. New Yorkers don’t seem to understand why anyone might cheer for another team, which I think is all the more reason to take a stand and rub it in! It’s good to remind the giants at the top (Yanks/Sox) that there are other teams with fans who are just as/more devoted.

  6. br549I’m going against all the rest.I MUST wash my New Era umripe caps often. The trick is after the spin cycle , you need to place it in a cap keeper, or other type form while it dries. You can pack it full of wadded newspaper but you have to stuff the paper in a plastic bag first. There is also a way they can be folded, but that will give them a bit different shape.

    • KB Wrong, again. It’s Christie and the Republicans who will pick off the Dem votes they need to pass Christie’s budget and tool kit. The poiaitclins have seen the handwriting on the wall and they know the populace is ready to throw out anyone who wants to raise taxes and support the public labor unions. I agree that there’s a great chance for a shutdown, but the Dems will only be costing their labor masters a week or two of pay because Christie will NEVER approve paying them for the time they are off from work.Question for all those who favor the latest Millionaires tax (and for the first time we don’t have to put it in quotes, because it really would only hit people bringing in a Million Dollars a year) McGreevey was the first to enact a millionaires tax, soaking those who made more than $500K for 9% per year, up from 6.4% (a 40% jump), and Corzine followed with a temporary tax jump to 10.25%; and neither seems to have fixed NJ’s problems (EXPENSES), so what makes you believe that this latest money grab will do anything other than kick the can down the road as unsustainable programs are funded for yet another year? And what happens NEXT year when there’s yet another revenue gap? The issue of who’s sacrificing the most is just a giant smoke screen.

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