The Boston Globe tells us what it’s like to be a Yankee fan in Boston when your team isn’t doing that well:
SHARON — For more than four decades, Ron Czik has proudly worn the label of Yankees fan.
Czik, 47, is not about to turn his back on his beloved team now, even as the once-mighty pinstripers stumble into Boston tonight more than 13 games behind the Red Sox. But ask him his reaction to the transformation of the Bronx Bombers into the hapless pushovers of the American League, and Czik’s feelings pour out as if drawn from the five stages of grief.
Denial: “Statistically, there’s nothing on paper that would explain why they’re doing this badly.”
Anger: “Right now, all the players need a swift kick in the butt . . . It’s embarrassing to have this much talent and do this poorly.”
Bargaining: “Am I dreading this weekend? Well, the way they’re playing now, I’m concerned every time they play. I’m hoping they will win at least one game.”
Depression: “I’ve been waiting for them to achieve, and then watching them fall into the bottomless pit of being 14, 15 games out of it.”
Acceptance . . . Well, this one could take a while.
These are excruciating times for Yankees fans, especially those who, like Czik, live and work here in the capital of Red Sox Nation, where the schadenfreude is flowing like World Series champagne.
What makes it even worse for Czik, a New York native who is a senior technical consultant at Fidelity Investments, is that he shares a household with three rabid Red Sox fans: his wife, Wendy; his 19-year-old daughter, Shoshana; and his 15-year-old son, Josh . Sometimes they are sympathetic to him; after all, he was magnanimous enough to buy them all Red Sox jerseys after the team finally won the World Series in 2004. But early yesterday, recalling his bravado when the Yankees were on top, they reveled in his suffering.
“You’re not even in the wild-card race,” Shoshana reminded her father. Replied Czik gamely: “You’ve got to know what it’s like to lose to enjoy all the World Series championships.”
In that case, Yankees fans must be enjoying themselves immensely. Barely two months into the season, they know what it’s like not just to lose but to plummet into the cellar of the American League East division. “Yankees fans identify with the team because they’re winners, so this must be very painful, disorienting, and bewildering for them. It’s the world turned upside down,” said Michael Mandelbaum, author of “The Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football and Basketball and What They See When They Do.”
Mandelbaum added dryly: “The lesson of baseball is humility. But people don’t become Yankees fans to learn humility.”
It’s gonna be a rough season.