No crying in baseball

By Yousef Munayyer

On the September evening when I first arrived at campus, the Yankees were playing the Red Sox in a heated one-run game. It was fun, exciting to watch and a good way to get to know some of the people in the hall quickly. I knew from then on that people here were really into their baseball team and really hated the Yankees.

I was never a huge baseball fan. It’s great to root for the home team, but my priorities were always hockey and football, putting baseball a distant third. I’m not from Massachusetts or New England. In fact, I grew up just five miles outside New York City. So I cheer for the Yankees.

Now that last statement may get me into more trouble than anything political I have ever written on this campus. It’s sad but true.

Shortly after that game, the Yankees were in the World Series and they lost in a nail-biting ninth inning. What happened after that really made me think about this rivalry. I experienced my first UMass riot. I really didn’t understand why people were rioting. I still don’t really get it. Apparently this was some form of celebration, but if you were watching the game closely, you would have seen that the Red Sox didn’t win, because they weren’t even playing. People gathered, rioted and burned things in celebration of a team losing. It was simply mind-boggling.

That’s when I began to think about why some Red Sox fans act the way they do. And I say “some” because I know not all Red Sox fans riot and not all Red Sox fans chant “Yankees Suck!” at every family meal. After considering it for a while, I came to the conclusion that it’s very similar to sexual frustration. It’s a pent up frustration that has been building since 1918 and can only be relieved by a climax they just can’t reach. And how do they get by in the meantime? Masturbation: in the form of “Yankees Suck!” chants.

Honestly, if your team isn’t winning, don’t blame it on a curse and don’t blame it on another team. Do you realize that you cheer “Yankees Suck!” even after they beat you? What does that say about your team?

Then something else happened. The Patriots won the Super Bowl. Now, I was happy for the Patriots because they were due, and they played a charged game. Of course, rioting ensued. So what were the cheers at the Patriots riot? “Yankees Suck!” again. Now guys, you didn’t just overlook the fact that the Yankees and Red Sox weren’t playing, you got the wrong sport this time.

So far this year we have seen more riots. After Game 4 of the first series, that’s right Game 4, students rioted again. Has it really been so long since you guys have won that you have forgotten how to act afterwards? Cars were overturned, things were burned and property was destroyed, as was this school’s reputation. Alumni began to write to the Massachusetts Daily Collegian telling students that they were devaluing their diplomas with their conduct. And I, as a Yankee fan, can only sit back in amazement.

Then another riot. This time, it gets more dangerous. Someone decides it would be a good idea to jump off a building. Maybe this is using the same logic that is behind the “Yankees Suck!” chant. How far is it going to go? Do you guys plan on carrying this on into spring training next season?

I blame the administration for not cracking down on this sort of behavior. Sending out letters of disapproval to all the dorms and printing it in the paper will not deter a thing. Would the administration’s response have been different if that guy who jumped had died? What if the papers in Boston the following day read, “UMass riots lead to student death.” That wouldn’t look too good, now would it?

What should the University do? Crack down and crack down hard, because it becomes a very serious issue when people start getting hurt. Anything short of public hangings is fine by me. Suspension or expulsion will do. I’ve known of students who got expelled for “endangering the UMass community” because they had a few empty baggies in their room. Would you consider inciting a riot “endangering the UMass community?” I sure would. Something should be done to control this because it’s only going to get worse as the postseason goes on. When will it stop? If the Red Sox lose, the students will riot after Yankee losses in the series, and if the Sox win, God help us.

You all need to get a grip. I don’t like getting into the trash talk because I don’t hate the Red Sox in the way you guys hate the Yankees. In fact, I don’t hate the Red Sox at all. They simply have never given me a reason to hate them. Maybe this has to do with the Yankees having more championships than the Sox have fielders. Either way, if the Red Sox win, more power to them, good luck in the World Series. I’m not going to riot, and I hope you guys don’t either, because it just makes everyone look bad.

The New York-Boston rivalry has been huge and this past week was no exception. Just remember when it’s all over, we all have to go back to school or work the next day. However this postseason ends, it will be fun to watch, and when it does end, remember one thing: There’s no crying in baseball, no matter how long it’s been since your team has won.

Yousef Munayyer is a Collegian columnist.