Thursday, November 5, 2009

New York.

People always ask me, why the hell are you a New York Yankees fan? They guess front-runner or that I'm a prick or that I'm just stupid. They are all wrong. I kindly explain and hope things will lighten up.

When I was 9 or 10, I started going to New York to experience the city that is unlike any other on earth. My dad works in NYC and he would take me to the Big Apple for weekend getaways. We'd crash at a Manhattan hotel, walk through Times Square, and go see Yankees games. He had incredible seats in the first row behind the 'Y' in 'New York Yankees'. It was a sports boy's dream.

New York is a monster of a place. It is indescribable until you experience it first hand. From the lights of Times Square, to the deli's and cozy Italian restaurants, to Frank Sinatra; New York is the most unique city on earth.

Spending time with your father, boy to man, experiencing life in New York, is a timeless moment. Walking the storied streets, striding side-to-side with your father, learning about life; New York bonds you and you cherish it forever. Life becomes exciting. It becomes everything you dream of.

I last went to New York City in 2006 with my dad and my roommate and best friend. Saying my roommate fell in love with the city might be an overstatement but he definitely isn't a hater. Not anymore. It's not possible once you go there. Unless you are from Jersey or Philly...that's another story.

Either way, the city reaches out for you.

The big dreams, the big stage, the big streets, the big lights, it grabs you. It's inspiring and you can't help but get into it.

My return to New York was extremely special for me back in 2006. The time before that, the last time I'd been to NYC, it was late August. Of 2001. I still have my ticket stub from when I stood on top of the World Trade Center Towers. I looked over the sprawling layout of marvelous city. I stared in awe and took in everything I could. I went up there every time I went to New York. Two weeks after I got home, two planes were flown into those buildings and they forever disappeared and forever changed our world.

September 11th, for all I'd come to know and love about New York, ripped me in half. I didn't live there, but I felt like somebody killed my family in my front yard. I ached, I cried, I raged. I missed it.

New York had grabbed me and was never going to let me go. There was no point to fight it. We were meant to be.

You can ask me who my favorite sports teams are and who I cheer for the most. I'll always answer New York Yankees first. Then I'll follow with the Miami Hurricanes, the Chicago Bears, the Blackhawks/Bulls, Sox, Cubs. I've been to more Yankees games than Sox/Cubs games combined.

When the Yankees won championship 27 last night, I know people around the USA groaned. They cursed, they talked about buying championships, etc, etc. I'm ok with that, no matter how much it pisses me off. More of NYC to myself. New York needed that. They got close in 2001 after 9/11 but fell short. It tore our hearts open a little bit more.

New York needed to heal. The Yankees always had the ability to do that.

At 9 years old, my life changed for the better. I was introduced to New York and Yankee baseball.

Last night, at 24, my life continued to get better and better. Things felt right again.

New York is a part of my heart. Because of that, the Yankees became a part of my soul.

I'm incredibly grateful for that. Congratulations Yankees. Let's Hear It For New York.

1 comment:

  1. I approve of this message. I am especially fond of your jab at New Jersey. I think it's important that we never let the Armpit of America get off without a smartass remark. Bravo, Phelan.